Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation
Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation

Erik Weihenmayer Captivates Audience

World-class athlete Erik Weihenmayer shared his impressive adventure experiences April 24th, 2004 at Upper Dublin High School.

On May 25, 2001 Erik became the first blind climber in history to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Despite the fact that Erik became blind from a deteriorating condition at the age of thirteen, he has become a world-class athlete. Erik has agreed to share his experiences, failures and successes at a special community event for the KSMF. He has impressed audiences throughout the globe and has recently published his memoirs in "Touch the Top of the World: A blind Man's journey to Climb Farther than the Eye Can See." According to Publisher's Weekly, Erik's memoir is "moving and adventure packed. Weihenmayer tells his extraordinary story with humor and vivid detail, and his fortitude and enthusiasm are deeply inspiring."

This Earth Day Event was sponsored by the Foundation to thank the local community for its support and to provide an afternoon of entertainment and inspiration. All attendees were treated to a free autographed copy of Erik's book, Touch the Top of the World. Mr Weihenmayer, also an acrobatic skydiver, long distance biker, and marathon runner, is the first blind climber in history to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, and one of an elite few in the world to have summitted the highest mountain on all seven continents. Erik, affectionately known to his climbing partner as "Big-E", was accompanied by his dog Willa. He wowed the audience with humor, warmth, and harrowing tales embellished with breathtaking slides of his Everest Expedition. He paid special tribute to the Svitek Family and their intensive commitment to the Foundation, describing them as Alchemists- the rare individuals with the grace and optimism to turn lead into gold. Erik defined a leader as one requiring a degree of skill, of vision of who he is, with the vision to follow through and lead by example. He finds inspiration from a variety of sources, including family, friends, and Sherpa monks. Erik left the audience with a greater degree of empowerment and peace as he shared an ancient Tibetan quote:

"The nature of mind is the water. If you do not disturb it, it will become clear."

The Kate Svitek memorial Foundation will be forever indebted to Erik Weihenmayer for his support and for imparting his gifts of passion, drive, leadership and wisdom.

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