On Tuesday morning, Arunima Sinha became the first woman to climb Mount Everest with prosthetic legs, according to a report by Indo Asian News Service.
The 26-year-old Indian woman took 52 days to complete the feat, under the guidance of Bachendri Pal, who is the first Indian woman to reach Everest’s summit.
“Her spirit, mental strength and will-power have been exemplary. She has defied all odds and will be an inspiration for millions throughout the world,” Pal said of Sinha, who was part of an expedition funded by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF).
Sinha, a former volleyball player who played at the national level for India, lost both of her legs in 2011 when she was thrown out of a moving train by three men who were trying to rob her.
In an interview with NDTV shortly before her trek, Sinha recalled her motivation to recover from her accident and achieve a worthwhile goal.
“At that time everyone was worried for me,” Sinha said. “I then realized I had to do something in my life so that people stop looking at me with pity. I read about people scaling the Mt Everest. I spoke to my older brother and my coach who only encouraged me.”
Sinha’s accomplishment comes only nine days before the 60th anniversary of the first climb of Everest by Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953.
She followed 44-year-old Indian male Susen Mahato, a TSAF instructor, who finished his ascent on May 19.