Oct 13, 2023

Preet Chandi: Polar world record holder receives MBE at ceremony

A British Army officer who completed two record-breaking polar treks says she is proud to be appointed an MBE.

Preet Chandi, also known as Polar Preet, earned her pair of records on an Antarctic adventure this winter.

She was honoured by the Princess Royal at a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony on Tuesday.

While receiving her recognition, she said she was "still recovering" from her most recent journey, which she hopes will inspire other people.

"It's just really important to say if I can go and do something like this, anyone can go and achieve anything and hopefully people can relate that to whatever they're interested in, whether it's the arts, science, adventure, whatever it is," she said.

Capt Chandi, from Derby, surpassed the world record for the longest polar ski expedition by a woman, as well as the overall record.

She covered 922 miles (1,485km) from the Hercules Inlet to the Reedy Glacier across Antarctica in 70 days and 16 hours, exceeding the previous world record of 907 miles (1,459.8km), set by Henry Worsley, a retired Lieutenant Colonel, in 2015.

During the trek, Capt Chandi pulled her kit and supplies on a sledge (pulk), weighing about 19 stone (120kg), in difficult conditions.

She was thought to have become the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition across Antarctica in 2021.

A physiotherapist at a regional rehabilitation unit in Buckinghamshire, she said she enjoyed chatting to Princess Anne about the difficulties of her trip during the investiture.

"She was asking me how I was doing after the trip and asking how I found it, I told her I was doing well and recovering post-op," she said.

"And she was asking me if I felt being a physio had helped as well, which, definitely, medical skills I carried with me on the trip were helpful."

Capt Chandi explained she suffered "polar thigh", a cold-related injury which affected her calf and for which she was given a skin graft.

Conservative MPs Dame Maria Miller, Sir Jeremy Wright and Tracey Crouch were among the 67 people honoured at the ceremony.

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Polar Preet