Outside Edge: For Romero, the only way is down


One day I really must go abroad at Christmas and get away from it all.

Some people will go to almost any lengths to avoid the traditional family fun and frolics. Take Jordan Romero, who rang his mum Anne on Christmas Eve to tell her that he was standing on top of Mount Vinson, some 750 miles from the South Pole. He had completed the full set of summits, an ambition he had apparently held since he was nine years old. And he's only 15 now, becoming the youngest person to achieve the feat.

That sounds like a steep learning curve for a mere slip of a lad.

Quite, and with hardly a slip – except for when he ascended Everest. He became the youngest to scale the world's highest peak at 13. But on the way up he, father Paul and stepmum Karen were caught up in an avalanche that killed another climber and pulled them towards a crevasse. "We jokingly told Jordan he couldn't tell his mum about it until he was 18," said Karen.

Hilarious. They sound like they could push him right over the edge.

Romero Snr could well be the ultimate "competitive dad". The air ambulance paramedic used to make his son sleep in hypoxic tents to acclimatise him to the thin air at high altitude. On the way to Everest Base Camp, he relates: "I'd say, I don't even want to smell a bad attitude today. If that didn't work, it would be: 'OK, drop and give me 40 push-ups.' It's amazing what doing 40 push-ups does for your attitude."

Blimey, the old guy's completely lost his grip on reality, hasn't he?

He has come in for criticism in what has become a shockingly competitive field – along with the discipline of solo round-the-world sailing – but Paul hits back with lines like "We've redefined family quality time" and says at least Jordan will never get fat. Of course at this rate he may never get the chance.

These kids are reaching their peak too early. Where do they go from here?

They need to keep their feet on the ground. There's nothing they can do now, their records are just there to be broken. My money is on Sail Chapman, who two years ago finished climbing all 214 of "Wainwright's Peaks" in the Lake District aged five, having begun at the age of two. He's the next rising star.

Going round... the keeper

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo seemed to have eaten all the pies over Christmas as he played in a charity match in Sao Paulo. The 35-year-old retired in February last year, stating: "Mentally I wanted to continue but I have to acknowledge that I lost to my body." A massive waist of talent. Meanwhile another green-and-gold legend, Adriano, was accused of shooting a woman in the hand in his car in Rio last week – until Adriene Pinto admitted she did it herself. Witnesses say the 20-year-old fired the gun to attract publicity. At least she got her fingers to the shot.

Thin Edges: How not to curry favour with the ladies

As you attempt to work out exactly what happened at that party last night and try to turn over a new leaf, let's hope you didn't take a leaf out of the St Anne's and St John's rugby union team manual. The Oxford University students' Crew Date Flair Guide offers tips on how to "score" with women in a local curry house, complete with tactical diagrams. A chapter called "The Set-up" suggests: "The central 'Kill-Zone' should consist of their major social players and easiest women. Not to be neglected is the outer female on the right-hand side – should she be attractive and single, she can be cornered and chatted up, using the perfect 'opposite and next to' wingman technique. The Saints are always ready to have a try. They just don't realise when they've crossed the line.

Red card Belgrade

Serbian folk singer Svetlana Raznatovic, also known as Ceca, has been in court again to face charges that she and another person assaulted the manager of her own football team, Obilic Belgrade FC. The club used to belong to her former husband, the warlord Arkan, who died in 2000, and Ceca has been under house arrest since last May after reaching an out-of-court settlement over the illegal sale of 10 of her players, for which she was fined €1.5m (£1.3m). They were going for a song.

Out for the count

In Mexico, the Institutional Revolutionary Party have had their mayoral election victory in the Michoacan province, the home state of President Felipe Calderon, annulled after it was revealed that the boxer Juan Manuel Marquez wore their logo on his shorts during his world welterweight title fight against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas in November. The bout was on the eve of the election, thereby violating a ruling against late publicity. So much for ballot boxing.

... and you're never too old

Three old-timers are still stopping the clock in their never-ending search for sporting excellence:

Colin Lee 72, has been honoured with a Barclays Community Sports Award for his services to football in Northampton. He is the secretary of eight teams but is also believed to be the UK's oldest goalkeeper, playing every week for the last 66 years.

Arthur Gilbert 90, of Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset has been recognised as the world's oldest triathlete after completing 40 races since he first took up the multi-discipline challenge at the age of 68.

Dharmpal Gudha A farmer from Uttar Pradesh in India, claims he runs 10 marathons a year, even though he is 114 years old. And he won't stop: "I believe running keeps me alive."

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
Clarke Carlisle
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'