Male/Female teams from 20 countries are vying for the gold medal in the “4x4 Olympics” much of the world has never heard of.
69 male and 52 female competitors are trying to be South Africa’s team – the last slot available - for the 2008/09 G4 Challenge. They come from all walks of life: scientists, lawyers, fashion designers, yoga teachers, architects, computer programmers, even horticulturists! And they’re going to have to excel at all of the challenges the course will throw at them, including: running, rappelling, kayaking, swimming, navigation, mountain biking, and of course, driving.
To make the first cut, these adventurous athletes will be put through two days and three nights of physical and mental torture to test their skills and their characters. The top 20 (10 men, 10 women) will go through to the South Africa National selections in October 2008. That’s when the going gets really tough.
Of those, two men and two women will qualify for the International Selections in the UK in early 2009 and one man and one woman will be chosen to represent South Africa in the G4 Challenge.
The 2009 Challenge will be held in Mongolia, where teams from 18 countries will compete in a battle of mental agility and physical fitness through a combination of off-road driving, adventure sports and strategic tests. In fact, previous G4 Challenges were so tough that if competing teams hadn't helped each other nobody would have finished.
"I wasn't sure what it was all about when I entered and I went into it very blasé! There were 40 of us in the middle of South Africa and we were worked for three days doing a whole bunch of different activities involving teamwork and mental challenges - it was a really big test."
Countries entered in the 2009 Land Rover G4 Challenge include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US.
This could make the Olympics seem pretty tame, so stay tuned!
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