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Marek Kamiński (born 24 March 1964 in Gdańsk) – Polish Polar explorer, author, photographer, entrepreneur. Kamiński holds the Guinness World Record for being the first person to walk to both the North Pole and the South Pole, solo and unsupported, even though it appears that Wojciech Moskal walked with him to the North Pole on 23 May 1995. In the same year, on 27 December 1995, he reached the South Pole alone. He is also famous for the 2004 Together to the Pole Expedition to both Poles in a single year with disabled teenager Jan Mela, with Wojciech Ostrowski and Wojciech Moskal (North Pole).
He was brought up in Połczyn-Zdrój (Pomerania). In 1982 he graduated from Władysław Broniewski high school in Koszalin. He studied philosophy and physics at Warsaw University. He is the founder and co-owner of a company called Invena S.A. and founder of the Marek Kamiński Foundation. He lives in Sopot with his wife Katarzyna and daughter Pola.
- 1977 - Denmark – first independent expedition, by cargo ship to the port of Aalborg; MR.Kris
- 1978 - Morocco – by ship to the port of Safi;
- 1984 - USSR (now the territory of Russia), Scandinavia, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia – hitchhiking;
- 1985 - Cuba, Mexico (Mexico DF, Yucatán, Chiapas) – hitchhiking;
- 1987 - Cuba, Mexico (Mexico DF, Yucatán, Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Chiapas) - hitchhiking;
- 1990 - Spitsbergen – first solo Polar expedition (about 350 km on skis);
- 1993 - “TransGreenland Expedition”– first Polish crossing of Greenland, with Wojciech Moskal (about 600 km in 35 days);
- 1995 - “Poles to the Pole” – reaching the North Pole from Ward Hunt Island, with Wojciech Moskal (770 km in 72 days);
- 1995 - “A Pole at the Poles” – solo expedition to the South Pole from Berkner Island (1,400 km in 53 days);
- 1996/97 - “Solo TransAntarctica” – attempted solo crossing of Antarctica (1,450 km);
- 1997/98 - Antarctica – crossing of the Ellsworth Mountains and reaching the summit of Mount Vinson, with Leszek Cichy;
- 1998 - Kilimanjaro, Kościuszko Mountain in Australia;
- 1998 - Bolivia – expedition to the Bolivian Andes, reaching the summit of Huayna Potosi, journey to Amazonia, with Børge Ousland;
- 1999 - sailing across the Atlantic by yacht, the “Gemini”, with Andrzej Piotrowski;
- 1999 - “Earth Expedition”, Australia – crossing the Gibson Desert (700 km in 60 days);
- 2000 - “Purmo Greenland Expedition” – crossing Greenland, with Wojciech Ostrowski (600 km in 13 days);
- 2000 - “Race 2000”, sailing across the Atlantic by catamaran, the “Polfarma – Warta”, with Roman Paszke;
- 2000 - “Amazon Source 2000”, expedition to the sources of the Amazon under the patronage of the National Geographic Society;
- 2001 - Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, with Katarzyna Pisera;
- 2001 - “North Pole 2001”, first expedition of Polish tourists to the North Pole, as a guide;
- 2001 - Dolomite (Cortino d’Ampezzo), with Katarzyna Pisera and Leszek Cichy;
- 2002 - expedition to the North Pole as a guide;
- 2002 - Dolomite (Marmolada), with Katarzyna Pisera;
- 2003 - Holy Land: Jerusalem, Cesarea, Netania, Masada, Tel Awiw – Jafa, with Katarzyna Pisera;
- 2004 - “Together to the Pole” – expedition to both Poles in a single year with disabled teenager Jan Mela, with Wojciech Ostrowski and Wojciech Moskal (North Pole);
- 2005 - “Around the Baltic by Dinghy” – a five-day trip, a celebration of a 25th anniversary of Solidarność, with Mirosław Kukuła and Wojciech Ostrowski;
- 2006 - “Baby on Board – Across Poland with Pola” – a journey across Poland, following the River Vistula, with wife Katarzyna and daughter Pola;
- 2007 - “Baby on Board – Across the World with Pola” – a journey to Norway (Oslo, Finnmarksvidd, Lofota, Flamsban), with wife Katarzyna and daughter Pola.
- 2008 - "HiFlyer Polar Ice Expedition" - reaching the Gunnbjørn Fjeld summit, the highest peak in Greenland (3694 m), with Leszek Cichy, Tomasz Walkiewicz, Mirosław Polowiec, Ryszard Rusinek.
Marek Kamiński has written the following books about his travels:
- Moje bieguny. Dzienniki z wypraw 1990–1998 (My Poles – Expedition Diaries 1990-1998), Ideamedia, Gdansk 1998 – awarded the Artus Prize in the Best Book of the Year 1998 category and the Amber Butterfly prize in the Arkady Fiedler Competition for the best Polish book on travel and tourism,
- Moje wyprawy (My Expeditions), Pascal, Bielsko-Biała 2001
- Razem na Biegun (Together to the Pole), Marek Kamiński Foundation, Gdansk 2005
and as co-author:
- Sławomir Swerpel, Marek Kamiński, Wojciech Moskal, Nie tylko Biegun (Not Just the Pole), Muza SA, Warsaw 1996
- Jacek Bunsch, Marek Kamiński, Poczta polska, czyli niezwykłe dzieje pewnego listu (The Polish Post, or the Unusual History of a Letter), Wydawnictwo Europa, Wrocław 2000.
- Zdobycie Bieguna Północnego (“Reaching the North Pole”), dir. J. Surdel (1995)
- Dwa Bieguny w jednym roku. Arctica (“Two Poles in a Single Year – the Arctic”), dir. J. Surdel (1995)
- Dwa Bieguny w jednym roku. Antarctica (“Two Poles in a Single Year – the Antarctic”), dir. J. Surdel (1996)
- Tamtego lata w Patriot Hills (“That Summer in Patriot Hills”), dir. J. Surdel (1996)
- Trzeci Biegun. Przerwana wyprawa (“The Third Pole – an Interrupted Expedition”), dir. J. Surdel (1997)
- Transantarctica 96/97, dir. J. Surdel (1997)
- Dlaczego? Wyprawa na Mt. Vinson (“Why? Expedition to Mount Vinson”), dir. W. Ostrowski (1998)
- Portret męski we wnętrzu (“Portrait of a Man Inside”), dir. F. Bajon (1999)
- Grenlandia za plecami Marka Kamińskiego (“Greenland Behind Marek Kamiński’s Back”), dir. W. Ostrowski (2000)
- Razem na Biegun (“Together to the Pole”), dir. W. Ostrowski (2005)
- White out. Wyprawa poza cień (“White-out – an Expedition Beyond the Shadows”), dir. W. Szumowski (2005)
- Pontonem dookoła Bałtyku (“Around the Baltic by Dinghy”), dir. W. Ostrowski (2005)
- Z Polą przez Polskę (“Across Poland with Pola”), dir. W. Szumowski (2007)
- Young Businessman of the Year 1994 in the Polish section of the international World Young Business Achiever competition (1994)
- Knight’s Cross of the Order of Poland’s Renascence, for reaching the North Pole, awarded by President Lech Wałęsa (1995)
- Sports Minister’s Gold Medal for reaching the North Pole (1995)
- TV Polonia Award “For Glorifying Poland and the Polish Spirit” (1996)
- St Wojciech’s Medal, an honorary decoration awarded by the Gdansk City Council, “For Making Gdansk Famous Worldwide” (1997)
- Amber Butterfly Award in the Arkady Fiedler Competition for the book Moje bieguny. Dzienniki z wypraw 1990–1998 (1999)
- Explorer 2000 prize awarded at the Explorer’s Festival, Łódź (2000)
- “Butterfly 2003” prize awarded by the Jolanta Kwaśniewska Foundation, for courage and presenting the disabled as fully able participants in public life (2004)
- “Super Kolos 2004” prize awarded for the greatest sporting achievement in the history of Polish Polar exploration, which was reaching the North Pole on 23 May 1995 (2004)
- Foreign Minister’s diploma for outstanding services to promoting Poland worldwide (2005)
- “Intrepid Carer for the Sick and Disabled”, medal awarded by the Metropolitan of Gdansk, His Excellency Father Tadeusz Gocłowski (2005)
- A special certificate - Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador (2005)
- Business and Passion Prize awarded at the Explorer’s Festival, Łódź (2006)
- St Brother Albert Medal for proving that a disabled person can be a fully able participant in public life, perform difficult tasks and make his dreams come true (2007)
- Honorary citizenship of the City of Koszalin, Połczyn-Zdrój and Tarłów County
Marek Kamiński belongs to the following organisations:
- Polish Business Roundtable
- Polish Academy of Sciences Committee for Polar Research (honorary member)
Marek Kamiński has many lectures in Poland, USA, and many other countries including Antarctica.
- "How the Impossible Becomes Possible"
- "Expeditions to the Edges of My Dreams"
He also conducts workshops and training for major Polish and foreign corporations, banks and insurance companies.
Marek Kamiński Foundation
The Marek Kamiński Foundation was founded in 1996. It is involved in creating and running educational programmes, fund-raising for prostheses for those in need, and integrated camps for the disabled. Its statutory aims also include supporting exploration of the Polar regions and other places worldwide, promoting Polar studies and ecology and supporting young participants in expeditions.
The Foundation's major achievements include:
- “Let’s Help Sick Children To Make Their Dreams Come True”, the first campaign by the Society, as a result of which the Foundation was founded. The funds raised were used to buy IV drips for children and to finance the upgrading of the Children’s Chemotherapy Ward at the Gdansk Medical Academy (1995)
- Solo TransAntarctica, the organisation of a Polar expedition, part of which was an International Educational Programme run on the Internet (1996/97)
- Organisation of a trip to Antarctica at Christmas for two children from the Ełk and Ostrołęka Children’s Homes. The trip was first prize in a competition testing knowledge of the South Pole region. (1996/97)
- Organisation of an expedition to Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica (1997/98)
- Organisation of a competition for children testing knowledge of Australia during an expedition to cross the Gibson Desert. Funding of the top prize, a trip to Sydney for the competition winners (1999)
- Together to the Pole, organisation of expeditions by Marek Kamiński and disabled teenager Jasiek Mela to both Poles (2004)
- Give Others a Chance, fund-raising to buy prostheses for the disabled during the first “Together to the Pole” expedition. The total raised – 733,227 zlotys – was used to finance the purchase of prostheses for 65 people nationwide (2004)
- School At the Pole, organisation of an educational campaign (2004)
- World Day of the Sick – nationwide campaign to distribute 10,000 copies of a book entitled Lulie’s Big Journey to children who were in hospital that day (February 2005)
- School for Crossing Borders, organisation of a free camp for disabled children. For two weeks 30 disabled young people took part in sports activities and a wide variety of themed workshops (July 2005)
- Help for Pakistan, raising donations for victims of the Pakistan earthquake (November 2005)
- FIRST PERSON TO WALK TO BOTH POLES SOLO AND UNSUPPORTED. Guinness World Records. Last accessed 26 Feb 2012.
- Kaminski Marek (POLAND). ExploraPoles. Last accessed 26 Feb 2012.