Kenton Cool celebrates his 2011 ninth Everest summit

Kenton Cool celebrates his 2011 ninth Everest summit

A record-breaking Everest summiteer will soon set out to try to honour a promise made to the father of the modern Olympics.

Kenton Cool, who has reached the top of the world’s highest mountain nine times – more than any other Briton – will attempt to carry a rare Olympic medal to the summit of the 8,848m (29,029ft) peak.

Gold medals were awarded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin at the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix to a representative of the 1922 expedition that came within 600m of the summit before being forced to turn back.

The baron, who helped found the modern Olympic Games, always intended alpinism to be included, and the award of the medals to the participants in the heroic failure was made for the first time for mountaineering.

In his memoirs, the baron said: “At the foot of Mont Blanc, the medal for mountaineering was awarded to one of the leaders of the famous Mount Everest expedition, a courageous Englishman who, defeated but not discouraged, swore to leave it next time at the top of the highest summit in the Himalayas.”

The promise was made by Lieutenant Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt, deputy leader of the 1922 expedition.

Now, Gloucestershire-based climber Kenton Cool will carry one of the mountaineering gold medals on his quest for a 10th summit.

The climber flew to Toronto to collect the medal, which belongs to the family of Arthur Wakefield, one of the 1922 expedition members.

The project has been two years in the planning Cool said. His friend Richard Robinson discovered the unfulfilled Olympic pledge while researching in 2010. Cool’s immediate response was: “I have to do this.”

The expedition will set off soon for acclimatisation before an attempt on the summit.

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