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Top Of The World: 53-Year-Old Kiwi-Indian Scales Mt Everest

Malkiat Singh/Photo: Supplied

This fifty-three-year-old Kiwi-Indian's journey to the top of the world stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and passion.

On May 19, 2024, at 8:37 am, Malkiat Singh achieved a lifelong dream by "reaching the summit of Mount Everest."

Singh, who resides and works in Auckland, migrated from Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, in 1998 and has always been known for his athleticism.

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“I did it,” Malkiat told his family in Auckland during an emotional phone call. His brother, Pargat Singh, expressed the family's mixed emotions, saying, “We were relieved and elated at the same time by my brother’s achievement.”

Malkiat Singh/Photo: Supplied

Malkiat's family claims that he scaled Mount Everest "all the way to the top", standing at an elevation of 8,849 meters.

A senior member of the Supreme Sikh Society for 25 years, Malkiat Singh is a graduate of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. He had a promising career in Mumbai, India as a manager at the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) but chose to relocate due to his dissatisfaction with city's train services.

“My brother did not like the train services in Mumbai, so he decided to move,” Pargat Singh quipped.

Malkiat's family describes him as a bright academic achiever and an exceptional sportsman.

His inspiration to climb Everest came from meeting Sir Edmund Hillary, the famed New Zealand mountaineer who, along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, first reached Everest’s summit in 1953.

In addition to mountaineering, Malkiat has a background in hockey, having played for various clubs in Auckland before retiring a few years ago. However, his passion for sports never waned. “I guess he picked up a new hobby,” Malkiat’s elder son Mansimrit told The Indian Weekender.

Malkiat Singh training with coach Walter/Photo: Supplied

Mansimrit Singh, a second lieutenant in the New Zealand Army, played a crucial role in his father's achievement. “I helped my father with physical training for about a year,” he said. Malkiat underwent rigorous training, focusing on core strength, cardiovascular health, and hypoxic training with his coach, Walter. Altitude training, also known as hypoxic training or low oxygen training, involves exercising in, living in or otherwise breathing oxygen-reduced air.This specialised training mimicked the low-oxygen conditions of high altitudes. Additionally, Malkiat practiced yoga to enhance his physical and mental resilience.

Last year, Malkiat participated in the 14 Peaks Expedition, a high-altitude sports company and one of the world’s largest expedition organisers for mountains above 8,000 meters, including the 14 Peaks and Seven Summits.

Initially, Malkiat’s family was apprehensive about his decision to climb Everest due to the risks involved. “No one was willingly happy about his decision,” Pargat Singh said. However, Mansimrit had unwavering faith in his father’s capabilities and strengths.

Currently, Malkiat is recovering at a monastery after his successful ascent. His journey to recovery has been smooth, and he is expected to return to his family in June.

As for what lies ahead, Malkiat plans to focus on recovery and inspiring younger generations to pursue their passions and embrace hard work. “Firstly to recover and inspire younger generations to go for their passions and love for hard work,” his son said.

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