"Record holder" Phan Thanh Nhien - constantly conquering the top

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Phan Thanh Nhien is no the stranger name to becoming one of the first three Vietnameses  to conquer Everest in 2007. He was named "The youngest Vietnamese to conquer Everest". At the time of setting foot on Everest - "Roof of the world", he just turned 23 years old, was still a 3rd - year student at Ho Chi Minh City University of Physical Education and Sports.

When sharing about the achievement of becoming one of the first three Vietnamese to conquer Everest along with Bui Van Ngoi and Nguyen Mau Linh, Phan Thanh Nhien said: “In 2007, the number of people successfully conquering Everest was more than 1,900 people, of which more than 1,000 people are locals, the remaining nearly 900 people from more than 40 countries around the world. Initially, I participated in the contest for making a living and I had to go through many rigorous selections to enter the next round. By the time the climb started, there were 12 people left and I was almost the weakest.”

Therefore, for teacher Nhien, this achievement is a ceaseless effort. He experienced from Fansipan peak to KoTa Kinabalu with an altitude of 4,095m, and especially Kilimajaro peak with 5,800m - the highest in Africa. He "climbed while crying" many times due to the tibia pain and the harsh temperature disparity between day and night, but the team managed to complete the goal.

Crossing each mountain in turn, the teacher continued to climb 6,195m - high Island Peak with with 5 members, choosing to venture to conquer this peak in the night for fear of not making it in time for the Everest journey. He shared: “With shoes weighing up to 6 kg, I climbed in a vague way because I could not distinguish time and space, only knew how to climb up or down, overcome thousands of small sharp ice cliffs to climb up. I passed the mountain waves, broke my glasses because I fell countless times, fell headlong into the cliff, and then gradually became fearless. How many times have to bite my teeth, use all my strength to go, only when I see the peak in front of my eyes, then the sadness and happiness overflow into tears."

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After Everest, teacher Nhien participated in the 42km Marathon competition in the North Pole - the world's toughest marathon. He told: “There were many times when I ran across the refueling point, I really wanted to sit down and leave everything to drink water and rest, but looking behind there were other countries, Vietnamese appearance revolted and continued to fight. In the last five kilometers stage, everything seemed to be out of control. My eyes could no longer move because of the cold, my cold hands constantly cramped because of lack of energy, the face distorted on one side, and the legs stiff and numb, but I kept going rushed forward with the thought of "running fast and then resting" and so on until collapsing. Everything was spinning, looking ahead to see the finish line and everyone’shouts. Once again I got up, ran towards the Vietnamese flag, pulled out the flag and sprinted with the last bit of strength.” In that competition, Phan Thanh Nhien finished with 3rd place in the men's category with the running time was 4 hours 29 minutes.

After the journeys, teacher Nhien feels more confident about himself, looks at everything in a positive and optimistic direction, and sets higher goals for his life. Then people see Mr. Phan Thanh Nhien trying out in many different roles such as speed climbing athlete, starting a business, speaker, brand ambassador, acting in the  "Hai Phuong" movie.

Also after the journey to conquer Everest, Phan Thanh Nhien is passionate in extreme sports and mountain climbing. In 2012, he won silver medal in speed wall climbing at the 26th SEA Games and was also the first Vietnamese to win the SEA Games medal in this subject. Most recently, in 2020, Mr. Nhien set a record in the field of trekking that is conquering the top 6 highest mountains in Vietnam in 3 days and 6 hours, including Fansipan, Ky Quan San, Ngu Chi Son, PuTaleng, Nhiu Co San, and Lao Than.

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Sharing about the future, he said that life is short, he does not want to stop but continues to develop dreams and plans such as sharing faith with young people, setting a new record for himself on Everest Mount, conquering the 14 highest mountains in the world, and developing mountain climbing in Vietnam.

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Teacher Phan Thanh Nhien is currently a lecturer at the Sports Center of Van Lang University. After receiving an unexpected call from Dr. Tran Phuong Tung - Acting Director of VLU Sports Center, he accepted the invitation and he told: "With the enthusiastic support of Mr. Tung, then the welcoming and sharing of Ms. Hanh - Head of Human Resources Department, I feel love Van Lang more. In my heart, I’ve wanted to develop mountain climbing for a long time but haven’t had the opportunity and potential to do. Van Lang is a really appropriate place to start. The school also created conditions for me to arrange everything for my work. I’m very happy and honored to be a member of Van Lang."

Currently, Mr. Phan Thanh Nhien and his team are planning to set another record on Mount Everest and make a movie about the journey. He shared his desire to represent Van Lang University to bring glory to the University in particular and to Vietnam in general. The journey is still long and it is hoped that Van Lang students will soon meet Mr. Nhien in mountain climbing courses, as well as Phan Thanh Nhien’s plans to be successful as expected.

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Reporter: Gia Bao - Ha Thu

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