Google brought in a fantastic doodle to celebrate the 80th birthday of Junko Tabei, the first woman to have scaled the Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. The Japanese mountaineer was also the first woman to complete the ‘Seven Summits,’ scaling the highest peak on each of the seven continents.
The doodle shows a woman jumping across seven mountains effortlessly.
Tabei scaled the Mount Everest on 16th May 1975, becoming the first woman to do so. Interestingly, she was never comfortable with that distinction. She once told Sports Illustrated, “I was the 36th person to climb the Everest.”
It was in 1992 that she achieved the remarkable feat of scaling the Seven Summits. However, her achievements do not end there. She scaled mountaintops of in a whopping 76 different countries across the world!
Born on 22nd September in 1939 in a small town in Fukushima Prefecture, Tabei discovered her love for climbing at the age of 10, when she went on a class trip to Mount Nasu. However, because mountaineering is an expensive sport, she was not able to pursue it because of the financial constraints that her family faced.
How she overcame such constraints and defied societal norms to rise to glory is a story that is nothing short of remarkable.
She was a woman way ahead of her times, and this is evident in the fact that she founded the first Climbing Club in Japan for ladies at a time when they were expected to be homemakers, taking care of the home and raising children. The slogan of the club was “Let’s go on an overseas expedition by ourselves.”
Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and passed away at the age of 77 in 2016. However, her legacy lives on. Tabeii’s life is an inspiration for all women today!