Adventurers & Explorers
Jun 19, 2018
Colin O’Brady Profile: Explorers Grand Slam World Record Holder
Raised in Portland Oregon, Colin has faced real challenges in life, such as being told he might not be able to walk again. However, Colin’s never say die attitude only spurs him on to achieve more.
The Outdoor Journal
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This attitude culminated in Colin completing the Explorers Grand Slam, in a world record time, in 2016. One of the toughest tests known to man.
Colin is in the process of trying to break a new world record. Entitled 50HP, Colin will try and summit the 50 highest points in each of the 50 United States in record time. You can follow that journey here.
At a young age, Colin O’Brady clearly had athletic ability, with a national ranking in both soccer and swimming by the time he reached high school. In later years, Colin was recruited to swim on behalf of Yale University, where he graduated with a Bachelors in Economics in 2006.
Like many young people his age, Colin wanted to explore the world before he had to settle into his career. Having earned some money painting houses during the summer, he grabbed his surfboard and set off for South East Asia. However, tragedy struck in 2008 whilst in Thailand as Colin was severely burned in a fire; his injuries covered nearly 25% of his body, primarily damaging his legs and feet.
Colin was advised by the Doctor’s that he might never walk again normally. However, with his mother by his bedside in Thailand, telling him that he can still achieve all he wanted, Colin was determined to beat the odds. The goal was set, to complete his first triathlon after recovery.
Proving the doubters wrong.
Once he had recovered, Colin set to work. He trained, prepared and completed his first marathon just 18 months after his accident. However, that wasn’t the full story, Colin hadn’t just finished, he had finished in first place in the Chicago Triathlon.
Clearly Colin had a natural talent, sponsors recognised that and as such supported Colin’s future as a professional athlete. Colin would go on to compete in 25 countries around the world, representing the United States in international triathlon competitions.
Setting the bar even higher.
Colin had already shocked the sporting world, he had achieved so much more than anyone expected, but he had even bigger plans. In partnership with his fiancee, Jenna, they plotted an even bigger challenge. The Explorers Grand Slam, in a world record time. That’s the 7 highest peaks on every continent, plus the north and south pole. However, without the resources required, Colin had work to do before he could even think about setting off. It took Colin and Jenna 18 months to raise the funds and resources that they needed, but they did it, there was no stopping Colin now.
World records tumble.
The date was May 27th, 2016. Colin had climbed the 7 highest mountains on each continent, and reached the north and south pole, in just 139 days. Shattering the previous world record which was 192 days. Just 50 people have ever achieved this feat, only 4 have done so in under a year. However, in stereotypical Colin O’Brady style, he also broke a second world record, he summited all 7 peaks in just 132 days.
Away from the mountains
Despite the time and effort it takes to accomplish every thing he has achieved. Colin and Jenna have also set up a non-profit, called Beyond 7/2. Their goal is to inspire young people to live well, and achieve their dreams.
Colin now speaks to a variety of audiences, telling people about his journey, and convincing people of their own potential. In the Spring of 2017, Colin delivered a TED Talk which where he tells his full story. We encourage you to watch it for yourself below.
You can follow Colin on Instagram here, find out more about him here, and keep up to date with his latest 50HP challenge here.