Who was Roald Amundsen? Why is it said that he was a man of exceptional willpower?

               Roald Amundsen, born in 1872 near Oslo, Norway, left his mark on the ‘Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration’ as one of the most successful polar explorers of all time. He was the first to reach the South Pole, on 14th December 1911. He was also the first to make a ship voyage through the North-West Passage, and one of the first to cross the Arctic by air.

               From his childhood days, Amundsen aspired to become an explorer. But his parents forcibly sent him for medical studies. After the death of his parents Amundsen decided to pursue his ambition.

               At first he was appointed in a ship sailing on a Belgian-financed Antarctic expedition led by the polar explorer Adrien de Gerlache de Gomery. On the way, the expedition got trapped in ice. They were stranded for 13 months, and most of the crew members contracted scurvy. The captain also fell ill. Amundsen, as first mate, took over the command.

               He ordered to catch seals and penguins for food. He also came up with the idea of making warm clothes out of woollen blankets. Thus the expedition survived the extreme winter.