And a vampire shall lead them.
Well, to be fair, Alexander Skarsgard is not a vampire, he just plays one on TV, in HBO’s True Blood.
But the Swedish-born actor, who plays Norse vampire Eric Northman in Blood, has joined the American team racing against Prince Harry’s British team and British actor Dominic West’s Canadian/Australian team in a grueling trek to the South Pole this winter to showcase wounded veterans.
It’s called the Walking With The Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge, and the co-ed teams are made up of veterans with physical and/or mental injuries sustained in the line of duty. The celebs are there to help raise the profile of the effort.
Prince Harry, a captain in the British Army and a royal patron of wounded-vets charities, is probably the most famous celeb on the teams, but West, best known in the USA for beloved The Wire, is a boldfaced name, too.
Now add Skarsgard, 37, a former Swedish marine, to the training sessions in Iceland and Colorado, which themselves have been tough going. Harry even spent 24 hours recently locked in an ice chamber to prepare for the race.
Starting in mid-November and continuing four weeks into December (the summer season Down Under), the three teams are going to slog 208 miles across the Antarctic plateau toward the pole in what some polar experts are calling the largest modern-day expedition of its kind.
The idea is to raise money for walking-wounded charities in all the countries involved, to demonstrate the strength of human endurance, and to show that the walking wounded can make a difference.
“I’m honored to be working and training alongside these soldiers to raise money and awareness for this very worthy cause,” Skarsgard said in a statement issued by Walking With The Wounded.
The U.S. team was thrilled to get him. “He is a great asset and has bonded really well with all the team members during training,” added the U.S. team’s polar guide, Inge Solheim.
Each team will include experienced polar guides and medical personnel; they’re not going to let high-value actors and the fourth-in-line to the British throne, to say nothing of the veterans, set off across the icy landscape to face blizzards, treacherous crevasses, winds of up to 50 mph and temperatures way, way below zero on their own.
To learn more please visit Walking With the Wounded
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