Kim Marie goes to Antarctica

General Overview and what has happened thus far

The Start of the Adventure

As many great opportunities in life, I heard about the Commonwealth Women’s Antarctic Expedition through a friend via late evening phone call on the day of  the application deadline, October 16th 2008.  It sounded surprisingly exciting and before the call was even finished, I had completed the application form online.
The  Commonwealth Women’s Antarctic Expedition is one which will see 8 women from 8 countries – Cyprus, Ghana, India, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Jamaica and the United Kingdom – will ski over 800 kilometers across Antarctica to the  South Pole together, braving temperatures below 30C.  This expedition marks the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth and aims to demonstrate the potential of greater intercultural understanding, while highlighting the achievements of women across the world – the ancestors on whose shoulders we stand. Just the thought of being a part of this intrigued me. I wanted to go…and badly. So I hoped I would be selected. Why? You may wonder. I needed to conquer the unknown within myself and in the world around me. Moreover, there is the ‘tallawahcity’, as my fellow finalist called it,  a marked determination that we Jamaicans can do anything

Kim Marie and Queen

Kim Marie and Queen- Kim Marie Spence meets the queen on her first session in the UK.

A week later, I was among 10 finalists, from 26 applications from Jamaica, who were invited to the British Council in Kingston to interview. “It is dangerous” Felicity Aston, team captain and a member of the first all-female Polar Challenge  team said.  She was experienced; friendly; looked normal – if she had done it, couldn’t I? A few hours after that interview, Felicity rang letting me know that I was one of two Jamaicans selected for the final round– I was ecstatic! My journey to the South Pole had officially begun, so did the many challenges. The first of which was a major car crash the day after selection, leaving me without a car, my hand in a sling, no way to get around and a beyond extreme training routine that I had no idea how I was going to be able to follow manage.

Kim Marie 1st training- Kim- Marie looks quite at easy at her first training session in Antarctica.

Kim Marie 1st training- Kim- Marie looks quite at easy at her first training session in Antarctica.

The challenge, the camaraderie, the nationalism, and the countless stories of the extreme cold and melting snow for water surprisingly continue to inspire me. More on that next time! Off to face the rigour of running up Long Mountain!
Be sure to check back here on September 28th for more from Kim-Marie. You can also follow her story at for more info.

Kim-Marie with Flag: The proud Jamaican raises her flags to the world!

Kim-Marie with Flag: The proud Jamaican raises her flags to the world!

[1] Polar Challenge is a 320-nautical mile race to the 1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole with the competitors stopping en route at two manned checkpoints to re-supply.The race is held between mid-April to mid-May every year since 2004, and is televised annually to 168 million homes in 107 countries.

Kim-Marie Spence is the Jamaican team member of the Commonwealth Women’s Antarctic Expedition ( and is training to be the first Jamaican to ski from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole. She welcomes your support, financially and otherwise. You can contribute to her expedition at Jamaica National account no. 10870166. She welcomes your feedback at and on her Facebook page, Southpole Trod.


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admin Posted by: admin September 23, 2009 at 1:30 pm