Captain Harpreet Chandi is a British army officer and physiotherapist, who has roots in Punjab, India. On 3 January 2022, she completed her 40-day solo expedition to the South Pole and became the first Asian woman to do so.
Captain Harpreet Chandi was born on Tuesday, 7 February 1989 (age 32 years; as of 2021) in Derby, United Kingdom. Her zodiac sign is Aquarius.
She did BSc Physiotherapy from St George’s, University of London, England, from 2009 to 2012. She attended the Queen Mary University of London, England, to pursue a Master in Sports and Exercise Medicine in 2019.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Weight (approx): 70kg
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Brown
Her parents got divorced when her mother was 35 years old. She has two elder brothers named Pardeep Singh Chandi and Jag Chandi.
She got engaged to the British army reservist David Jarman in 2021. In one of her blogs, she talked about getting married. She wrote,
I read somewhere that when you ask people to be your bridesmaids it’s nice to do it in a special way, so all the way from Antarctica I would love nothing more than for you to be my bridesmaids. Sonia Chandi, Rachel Tucker-Norton, Kamal Dhamrait, Tig Bridge, Hannah Sawford (or Hannah Smith now) and Collette Davey.”
I am ambitious and driven and incredibly motivated. When I told my family of my plan to cross Antarctica, my brother was not surprised and said ‘you never give up.’ Even if it is out of pure stubbornness to not give up, I know I will achieve this goal. The only question is when. Help me achieve the funding to set a start date.”
She was born in a Sikh family.
She started her career as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist at the National Health Service in Nottingham, the United Kingdom, in December 2013. She worked there for almost two years, and then she was appointed by the British Army as the OC PCRF (Officer Commanding Policy and Charging Rules Function) in Blandford, England. During her tenure, as an OC, she helped in the rehabilitation of 2400 personnel. After working there for almost two years, she was appointed by the British Army (during the UN Operational Tour in South Sudan) as a physiotherapist in July 2018. She then started working as a clinical training officer/physiotherapist and was deployed at Preston, UK, by the British Army. While working in the British Army, she organised combat training combats for Combat Medical Technicians (CMTs). She has also organised training for the British medical regiment as the Clinical Training Officer. During her training for the South Pole expedition, she dragged two large tyres in around two months to train herself for carrying the heavy sledge during her expedition in Antarctica in 2021. After 40 days, she completed her solo South Pole expedition on 3 January 2022 after travelling 700 miles (1,127 kilometres) and carrying a sledge with her kit. The average temperature recorded there was minus 50 degrees Celsius and the wind speed was around 60mph. Chandi shared her expedition through a 40 days blog. In her blogs, she wrote,
Anything ambitious can feel out of reach at the beginning but every bit of training I complete brings me closer to my goal. My training expeditions in Greenland and Norway have helped prepare me and my goal is now in reach. It definitely feels colder in the last degree where I’m at a higher altitude. I haven’t seen anyone here in the last degree and now I’m 15 nautical miles from the South Pole. I can’t believe I’m almost there.”
Her other blog reads,
I made it to the South Pole where it’s snowing. Feeling so many emotions right now. I knew nothing about the polar world three years ago and it feels so surreal to finally be here. It was tough getting here and I want to thank everybody for their support. This expedition was always about so much more than me. I want to encourage people to push their boundaries and to believe in themselves, and I want you to be able to do it without being labelled a rebel. I have been told no on many occasions and told to ‘just do the normal thing’, but we create our own normal.”
In her blog, she even shared a live tracking map of her expedition. On the 40th day of her expedition, she wrote,
Day 40 – Finished. Preet has just made history becoming the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition in Antarctica. You are capable of anything you want. No matter where you are from or where your start line is, everybody starts somewhere. I don’t want to just break the glass ceiling; I want to smash it into a million pieces.”
- She also goes by the names Polar Preet and Preet Chandi .
- She follows a non-vegetarian diet.
- She is a trained Tennis player. At the age of 14, she started her training in Tennis at Sutton Tennis Academy, England, from 2003 to 2005. She then moved to the Czech Republic to complete her two years of training in Tennis at Novak Tennis Academy, and she received the Army Tennis Champs Award there.
- Chandi has participated in various marathons. She has done hiking at various places like Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, the Alps, and Nepal.
- During her tenure in the British Army, she organised a 30-hour endurance event in which various British Army personnel participated to raise funds for charity.