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Exclusive Q&A: Young Athlete

Jordan Romero is the ultimate extreme kid. He stood on top of the world, having climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, when he was just 13. As such, Romero holds the world record as the youngest person to have summited the world’s highest peak. He’s also climbed to the top of the rest of the world’s Seven Summits—the highest mountains on each continent—including Mount Blanc, Kilimanjaro, McKinley, Aconcagua, and others). His adventure continues today with the Find YOUR Everest Tour (http://www.jordanromero.com/b-i-g-tour/), in which he and his family are travelling around the country climbing the highest peaks in each state and inspiring kids to get outside and be more active. Eyecare Business caught up with Romero, now 16, to learn more about the Tour plus this active kid’s amazing accomplishments.

Everest-summit.JPG 

Eyecare Business: Why did Team Jordan launch the Find YOUR Everest Tour?

Jordan Romero: We launched the Find Your Everest (FYE) Tour as a way of getting our message out to young people that any dream they have can be achieved. The climbs are a way of drawing attention around a particular point in each state so that we can speak to local youth while getting a little media attention that can further spread our message.

 

EB: Why is important to inspire kids to get outside?

JR: Kids in general spend less time outside today and, as a result, they are a less active generation. Computers, video games, and other things distract kids today from spending time outside playing and being involved in outdoor activities. 

 

EB: How many kids/families are joining in for each climb so far?

JR: It really depends on the mountain in question.  Some of the peaks we climb require a higher level of fitness and therefore are not ideal for the general public (especially many of the western states). Also, some of the peaks are more remote and therefore require more logistics to pull off. Many times, we will speak at a school in a larger metro area and then climb the peak. We’ve had more people join us on peaks in the East.

 

EB: Which Find YOUR Everest climb has been the most inspiring so far?

JR: Each state's peak has its own unique characteristics. I’m climbing Mount Hood later this month and really looking forward to that. We climbed Mount Katahdin in Maine (along with the highest points in New Hampshire and Vermont) in rain, which was a challenging and unique experience. Obviously, though, standing at the top of Mount McKinley (in Alaska’s Denali National Park) has to be the top choice. It’s a very technical climb and reaching the top was a true accomplishment.

 

EB: What are your own personal climbing goals for the near future?

JR: We want to continue the FYE tour climbing the highest point in each of the remaining states. We’re also planning on skiing the last degrees to both the South Pole in December and the North Pole in Spring 2014 to complete the Adventure Grand Slam [climbing the world’s Seven Summits plus skiing the North and South Poles].

 

EB: What did it feel like to stand on top of Everest, having climbed the entire way to the top?

JR: Standing on top of the world is a truly amazing experience. We spent almost two months from the time we left our home in California until we reached the summit so it was great to finally realize the goal and be standing at the top of the world with my team. I could not have done it without my dad (Paul Romero), step-mom (Karen Lundgren), and our Sherpa guides.

 

EB: What are your favorite non-climbing activities

JR: I really like spending time in the outdoors and it is part of our lifestyle. I enjoy mountain biking, running, skiing, and anything that gets and keeps me outside.