Just don't look down! Gulp!
Lee Thompson, photographer and co-founder of UK online travel blog The Flash Pack, got the opportunity of his life while covering this year’s World Cup in Brazil. He was given the chance to climb to the top of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue to take its first ever selfie from the top, Gawker reports.
Armed with GoPro cameras, Thompson and two high-wire workmen entered through scaffolding at the feet of the giant statue and began their climb up 12 flights of extremely narrow, rickety stairs.
The statue had recently been damaged in a severe lightning storm and was undergoing repairs, but Thompson and his colleague, Oliver Harvey, convinced authorities to let them climb to the top to take a few stomach-turning photos.
They climbed for about twenty minutes up through the statue until reaching the heart of Christ, which, according to Thompson, was made up of beautiful mosaics. The pressed on, in complete darkness until finally they reached a small compartment in the statues shoulder. From there, Thompson used a rope to pull himself along the smooth stone shoulder and into the head of the statue. He opened the hatch on the top of the head from inside and climbed out, his heart pounding with excitement.
“As I popped my head out of the hole in Jesus’ crown, I was in total and utter awe as my eyes met with a vast panorama that quite literally took my breath away,” Thompson wrote in his blog of the experience.
Though Thompson is used to taking photos of anything but himself, he says this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has taught him that “the selfie is a powerful medium through which we can share our perspectives, inspirations and personal stories with the world at large.” He says he feels it’s a way to mark the moment and say, “I was here”.
From the top of the 98-foot tall statue, Thompson could see 360 degrees of beautiful Brazil around him, and a sea of tourists below him in awe.
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