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Matthew Dieumegard-Thornton    

One of the youngest British climbers to summit Mount Everest

Matthew is a professional athlete, and on the 19th May 2012, became one of the youngest British climbers and part of the youngest ever team to climb Mount Everest.

Matthew was introduced to climbing when he was 7 years old, through a trip to the UK Lake District. However for many years, he competed in squash at national level. Squash gave Matthew a good grounding for elite level training and performance, and has taught him that even when you lose, you fight on and aim to put in 100% to achieve a goal. In 2008 Matthew commenced a 3 year degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Nottingham Trent University, and it was at this point he decided to try to pursue squash professionally. This involved gruelling training days, often involving 2-3 sessions daily, whilst ensuring he was studying hard also. As a junior squash player, Matthew competed regularly in national junior tournaments such as the British Open and British Nationals, up to the age of 19. At this time, he managed to reach the top 50 in the country, and became a member of NAGTY and NTU STARS. Matthew has played for many national leagues including North-West league, Lincolnshire league, Nottinghamshire League, and Midlands League, whilst being a sponsored athlete with Harrow Sports as a coach and squash professional. In the 3rd year of university, he had to make the difficult decision about his future, which he knew was in sport. In the summer of 2010, he left the UK during my summer break, to live and work in the French Alps. This enabled him to do alpine climbing, running, and technical downhill mountain biking at which point Matthew decided that he was physically and mentally prepared to take on the challenge of training and fundraising, to ultimately climb Mount Everest. After almost 15 years of experience, he has completed many climbs both in the UK, and in the French and Austrian Alps. More recently, Matthew has been on expeditions to climb some of the world's highest mountains in the Kyrgyzstan Pamirs and Nepalese Himalayas. Matthew takes much of my inspiration from mountaineers and explorers such as Mallory, Irvine, Hillary, Norgay, Andreas Hinterstoisser, Heinrich Harrer, Dougal Haston, Roald Amundsen and Samuel Hearne amongst many others. In the future, he aims to be involved in new and pioneering expeditions and challenges, constantly pushing the boundaries, and breaking the known limits to human performance.

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