Meet Paralympic Cyclist and Adventurer Steve Bate

Having become the first person with visual impairment to scale El Capitan, New Zealand-born Steve Bate, 43, is no stranger to adventure. The Tokyo Paralympic Games are but one challenge on his horizon – in 2022, he aims to smash the world record for biking across Africa, Sacha Scoging writes for a profile on Bate in National Geographic.

Bate tells National Geographic that his inspiration for the El Capitan climb was his 2011 diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa.

“They told me that the worst-case scenario would be blindness in four years. I lost my driver’s licence, stopped climbing and got really depressed – who on earth would want to trek into the mountains with a blind guy?” Bate explains.

“I wanted to prove, not to anyone else, but to myself, that I could still be who I wanted to be; that I could live a life of adventure without my disability holding me back.”

After he races for Great Britain at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, he will set his sights on Africa, and a biking odyssey from Cairo to Capetown, which he aims to complete in 25 days.

Original article by Sacha Scoging, National Geographic, August 21, 2021.

Photo by Chris Prescott.

Tags: 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games  cycling  National Geographic  rock climbing  Steve Bate  

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