Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The fact

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

Edmund Hillary was the first man to climb Everest, the highest mountain in the world. His success coincided with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, to whom he dedicated the conquest and from whom he received a knighthood.

Hillary had made another attempt the year before, but had failed completely. Nevertheless, the English had recognised his efforts and invited him to speak to a packed audience.

Hillary began by describing his difficulties and, despite the applause, said that he felt frustrated and inept. At one point, however, he moved away from the microphone, went over to the enormous drawing illustrating his route and shouted out:

‘You may have beaten me this time, Mount Everest, but I’ll conquer you next year for the simple reason that you’ve got as tall as you’re going to get, but I’m still growing!’

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