Nives Meroi and Romano Benet "proud to receive and represent" the 2019 WOP Award
- Category: Noticias 2019
- Last Updated: Sunday, 15 December 2019 19:45
- Published: Sunday, 15 December 2019 14:18
Mountaineers Nives Meroi and Romano Benet have been the main honorees of the 12th edition. They were awarded the 2019 WOP-The Walk On Project Award at the event held in Bilbao on Saturday, December 14.
The event was guided by Juanjo San Sebastián, ambassador of the festival, great friend of the Italian couple, and award-winning WOP 2018. Nives Meroi and Romano Benet are "proud to receive and represent" this Prize, which influences the transmission of ethical and social values of mountaineering and the trajectory shown by the winners.
Nives Meroi and Romano Benet climbed all fourteen eight-thousanders without porters or oxygen bottles.
Their first expedition to an eight-thousander happened 25 years ago, and they finished conquering them all in 2017. During all these years, they were forced to stop at some point, which proves the great human value of this roped team.
Back in 2009, the couple was climbing Kanchenjunga, which was supposed to be their 12th eight-thousander. Near the top, Romano started feeling unwell. Nives was competing against Edurne Pasaban and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner in order to become the first woman to climb all 14 eight-thousanders. However, she did not think it twice: she turned around, as she was unable to leave Romano alone, who would otherwise have had to wait for her to return from the summit. After a very complicated descent, Romano was diagnosed with a very serious illness. Therefore, Nives decided she would pause their high-mountain challenge until her husband felt better. After two bone marrow transplants, Romano was fully recovered and back in the Himalayas. Together, as always, they summited the Crown of Himalaya in 2017, as they got to the top of Annapurna.
The award granted by the WOP-The Walk On Project Foundation and Mendi Film rewards the defence and transmission of mountaineering values.
In previous editions, the following have been awarded:
- Juanjo San Sebastian (2018)
- Peter Habeler (2017)
- Sir Chris Bonington (2016)
- Josep Manuel Anglada (2015)
- Jeremy Collins Drawn film (2014)