Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bear Grylls

Edward Michael "Bear" Grylls (born 7 June 1974) is an English adventurer, writer and television presenter. He is best known for his television series Man vs. Wild, known as Born Survivor in the United Kingdom. In July 2009, Grylls was appointed the youngest ever Chief Scout at the age of 35.

Personal Life
Grylls grew up in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland and Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. He is the son of the late Conservative party politician Sir Michael Grylls and Lady Grylls (née Sarah Ford). His maternal grandparents were Patricia Ford, an Ulster Unionist Party MP and Neville Ford who played first-class cricket. He has one sibling—an elder sister, Lara Fawcett, a cardio-tennis coach who originally gave him the nickname 'Bear' when he was a week old.

Grylls was educated at Eaton House, Ludgrove School, Eton College, where he helped start its first mountaineering club, and Birkbeck, University of London, where he graduated with a degree, obtained part-time, in Hispanic studies in 2002. From an early age, he learned to climb as well as sail from his father, who was a member of the prestigious Royal Yacht Squadron. As a teenager, he learned to skydive and also earned a second dan black belt in Shotokan karate. He now practices Yoga and Ninjutsu. He also became involved in Scouting, beginning at age eight, as a Cub Scout. He speaks English, Spanish, and French. Grylls is a Christian, describing his faith as the "backbone" in his life.

Although Grylls was christened 'Edward' he has legally changed his forename to 'Bear'. Grylls married Shara Grylls (née Cannings Knight) in 2000. They have three sons: Jesse, Marmaduke, and Huckleberry (born 15 January 2009 via natural childbirth on his houseboat).

Military service
After leaving school, Grylls considered joining the Indian Army and spent a few months hiking in the Himalayan mountains of Sikkim and West Bengal, Assam. He then briefly attended the University of the West of England where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps. In March 1997, he joined the British Army and after passing on his second attempt United Kingdom Special Forces Selection (where he claims he was one of four to have passed out of his group of 180), from 1994–1997, he served in the part-time United Kingdom Special Forces Reserve, with 21 Regiment Special Air Service, 21 SAS(R), as a trooper, survival instructor and Patrol Medic.

In 1996, he suffered a freefall parachuting accident in Zambia. His canopy ripped at 4,900 metres (16,000 ft), partially opening, causing him to fall and land on his parachute pack on his back, which partially crushed three vertebrae. Grylls later said: "I should have cut the main parachute and gone to the reserve but thought there was time to resolve the problem". According to his surgeon, Grylls came "within a whisker" of being paralysed for life and at first it was questionable whether he would ever walk again. Grylls spent the next 18 months in and out of military rehabilitation at Headley Court before being discharged and directing his efforts into trying to get well enough to fulfil his childhood dream of climbing Mount Everest.

In 2004, Grylls was awarded the honorary rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve.

On 16 May 1998, Grylls achieved his childhood dream (an ambition since his father gave him a picture of Everest when he was eight) and entered the Guinness Book of Records, as the youngest Briton, at 23, to summit Mount Everest, just eighteen months after injuring his back. However, James Allen, an Australian/British climber who ascended Everest in 1995 with an Australian team, but who has dual citizenship, beat him to the summit at age 22. The feat has since been surpassed by Jake Meyer and, at age 19, by Rob Gauntlett.

To prepare for climbing at such high altitudes in the Himalayas, in 1997, Grylls became the youngest Briton to climb Ama Dablam, a peak described by Sir Edmund Hillary as "unclimbable". Grylls' Everest expedition involved nearly four months on the mountain's southeast face. On his first reconnaissance climb he fell into a deep crevasse and was knocked unconscious. The following weeks of acclimatisation involved climbs up and down the south face, negotiating the Khumbu Icefall (a frozen river), the Western Cwm glacier, and a 1,500-metre (5,000 ft) wall of ice called the Lhotse face, before he made the ascent with the ex-SAS soldier Neil Laughton.

Chief Scout
On 17 May 2009, The Scout Association announced Grylls would be appointed Chief Scout following the end of Peter Duncan's five year term in July 2009. He was officially made Chief Scout at Gilwell 24 on 11 July 2009 in a handover event featuring Peter Duncan in front of a crowd of over 3,000 Explorer Scouts. He is the tenth person to hold the position and the youngest Chief Scout since the role was created for Robert Baden-Powell in 1920.

From : www.wikipedia.org