Australian Teen Girl Breaks Exploring Record & Hits Back At Sexist Critics In The Best Way

There’s a saying that goes “revenge is a dish best served cold”, and in the case of 16 year-old record-breaking explorer Jade Hameister, that dish is a ham and cheese sandwich to be exact. This badass young woman who hails from Melbourne, Australia, has been setting records since she was 14 (no big deal…) and inspiring people wherever she goes.

A couple of years ago she gave a TEDx Talk titled ‘My Journey to the North Pole and Beyond’, where she talked about becoming the youngest person to ski to the North Pole from anywhere outside the Last Degree. She also said she wants to empower other women to be more active and chase their dreams.

“What if young women around the world were encouraged to be more, rather than less? What if the focus shifted from how we appear, to the possibilities of what we can do?” she said in her talk.

While there were plenty of supportive comments on Youtube below the posted video, unsurprisingly there were the usual amount of fragile men and boys denigrating her efforts, and resorting to sexist comments such as those telling her to go and make them a sandwich.

Jade was not deterred and clearly she is the one having the last laugh. Today she has become the youngest person to ever complete the “polar hat-trick”, where she trekked to both the North and South poles and also crossed Greenland. And once she completed the journey, she made a ham and cheese sandwich and took a photo of her holding it out, as if to tell the haters she just owned them all!

Tonight (it never gets dark this time of year) I skied back to the Pole again… to take this photo for all those men who commented “Make me a sandwich” on my TEDX Talk. I made you a sandwich (ham & cheese), now ski 37 days and 600km to the South Pole and you can eat it xx” she wrote in a caption accompanying the image of her holding the sandwich on Facebook.

Although dealing with internet trolls can be tiresome, it was the grueling journey to the poles that was far more exhausting and hard work. In an interview with ABC Radio Melbourne‘s Jon Faine, she shared how she dealt with the solitude, as she wasn’t able to listen to music since her player broke on the 9th day into the trek.

“I had 28 days, almost 300 hours, of just the voice in my head and that was probably one of the hardest parts of the trip because I didn’t have that distraction. I think when you’re really struggling there’s a lot of negative messages that your head is telling you and that can make it really hard,” she said.

While she and her team were in South America, the lodge they were staying at in Peru was broken into one night by armed invaders. While Jade and her team were not harmed, some of the accommodation staff and other guests were held and gunpoint and had their belongings stolen, before the invaders were scared off once more guests awoke and realized what was happening.

Jade shared the experience on her Facebook page with followers, letting them know she was OK. No doubt it was a harrowing experience, all the more reason to admire her achievements in the face of negativity.

This is undoubtedly her last adventure or record-breaking feat, but her next mission will be something a little more familiar to those in her age group – finishing high school. Jade says it will be “tough” sitting in a classroom because she enjoys the freedom of exploring a lot, and it’s not even about the accolades so much, either.

“I’m not really fussed about the records as much as they’re cool to have. For me it’s just the experience and the environment that no-one else really gets to see,” she said.

On another Facebook image she shared a few of the other records she has broken individually, and along with the team she completed the trek with:

Whilst these adventures were never about breaking records to me, over time I have learnt of the few I have broken along the way. In arriving at the Pole today (aged approx 16 and 7 months), I now have the privilege of being: The youngest person to ski coast to South Pole (unsupported and unassisted). The first woman to set a new route from the coast to the South Pole. The first Australian woman to ski coast to South Pole (unsupported and unassisted). The youngest person to ski to both Poles. The youngest person to complete the Polar Hat Trick. And the honour of being part of the first all-Australian team to set a new route from the coast to the South Pole.

The good news is that more of us will get to see what she endured and accomplished, thanks to National Geographic who helped to fund her trip and will be releasing a documentary of her trek later this year. If you are inspired by reading about Jade’s polar hat-trick, be sure to watch her TEDx Talk below to hear more of what this amazing young woman has been spending her teen years doing.

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