An explosive investigation published last week by National Geographic alleged Portland endurance athlete Colin O'Brady embellished aspects of his celebrated history-making solo trek across Antarctica. The magazine spoke to several polar explorers—including some of his mentors—who claim O'Brady misrepresented the facts of his journey, including the difficulty of the route he took, his claim it was "unassisted," and the notion he was the first to accomplish the feat. In 2018, the 34-year-old O'Brady—the son of businesswoman and former Portland mayoral candidate Eileen Brady—made headlines by becoming the first person to cross Antarctica alone and without any assistance beyond his own power. WW examined the allegations on wweek.com, and later published portions of O'Brady's rebuttal. Here's what our readers had to say:
John Retzlaff, via wweek.com: "Read the National Geographic article. It's not some National Enquirer article, very in depth and well researched. Numerous experts as well as other participants and companies contracted in the endeavor spoke out about the way in which O'Brady presented and continues to present himself."
Aaron Olinger, via Facebook: "I don't really see the problem. He did a thing and it was difficult. No one expects his personal recounting of it to be a dry scientific journal log; of course there is going to be some embellishment. Some of the article's claims, like that requesting a rescue in the Antarctic would be as easy as getting an Uber, are obviously exaggerated, too. This seems like drama for drama's sake."
Bob Diogenes, via wweek.com: "Guess exaggeration and self-celebration is a family trait. His mom claims to have co-founded New Seasons, but according to the actual official founders—nope."
Thomas Sherlock Craig, via Facebook: "LOL. Swam with this kid during high school. He was way more athletic than me. Not surprised by this story."
Braaainz, via wweek.com: "Having a pushy personality does not mean he falsified his expedition. There is a difference between human-powered travel and using a kitewing to ski-sail mileage away. In this age of constant communication and transportation, I'm not surprised rescue is an option in so remote a place; he might have exaggerated the danger, but he still did the travel apparently (if his GPS was active like he said)."
Izzy, via wweek.com: "Nice to see we are out of problems."
Alice Atha, via Facebook: "I am stunned. Colin has a single-minded message to inspire others to do the impossible in their lives. A humble, generous man."
Bob_in_Portland, via wweek.com: "OK, I admit it. The neighbors across the street shoveled the snow off my sidewalk last winter."
Letters to the editor must include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words.
Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.