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Our Athletes

Michael Coyne

Boston, Massachusetts

The 2013 Icelandic Wild Heart Expedition

Expedition Outreach, a charitable organization founded in 1995 by Michael & Serenity Coyne will be setting out on expedition in August of 2013 to climb Iceland’s highest peak, dive & set the Guinness Book World Record for the fastest ‘Alpine’ face first Luge. Team Leader Michael Coyne currently holds the ‘Official’ World Record for the highest altitude Luge run in Bolivia. The team’s mission is to raise awareness of heart disease testing & raise money to save the endangered Cheetah.

Team E/O is a group of environmentally conscious explorers & athletes who educate people about the World Peace Process & other worthwhile causes by taking the publicity they receive from their ‘extreme’ sporting & mountaineering adventures, expeditions, races & events & focus it on education & awareness: From broadcasting live from the summit of a previously unclimbed peak in Alaska across the nation on ABC Television to being the first to Wakeboard the Amazon River & wreck diving in Iceberg Alley, they first capture the attention & imaginations of their audience.

A few years ago Michael had heart failure in the transition zone of a triathlon equivalent to 2 massive heart attacks that was related to an on the job assault that happened on duty as a Massachusetts State Trooper, when a man tried to kill him because of his uniform. “As a lifelong athlete I was devastated”. Michael stated but he is now retired young & training full time for Iceland, determined to come back stronger than ever: Inspiring all those who have experienced adversity in their lives.

Icelandis only the first of a series of expeditions that will take Team E/O across the globe from Costa Rica to New Zealand & Africa. The team will be filming for a documentary project about facing our fears & understanding the nature of our planet & our own hearts.

 

Below is Michael's letter to apply for the world record status:

To The Guinness Book of World Records

I’m Michael Coyne, Team Leader for Expedition Outreach, a small group of explorers from New England. www.expeditionoutreach.org On July 18th 1996 I set the Guinness Book World Record for the Highest Altitude Luge run down Mount Chacaltaya in Bolivia from 17,200 feet altitude. This record & 2 pictures were featured in the Guinness Book in 1998 Page 277.

This is Free Mountain ‘Alpine’ Luge. This form of Sledding is ancient & dates back to when humans first slid down hills & mountains for pleasure & sport. It was in fact the inspiration for the Luge & Skelton Sledding that we have today in the Olympics: Feet first sledding is known as The Luge & face first sledding is called Skeleton Sledding or Skeleton Luge. The difference between The Skeleton & Luge Sledding you see in the Olympics & Alpine Skeleton & Luge is that they use groomed tracks of ice in Olympic stadiums & we climb mountains all over the world & sled down them on snow & ice with weather, crevasse & avalanche variables & dangers to negotiate. We often train at ski resorts around the world who embrace The Alpine Luge; in Quebec I trained at Le Massif. More & more ski resorts are opening up Luge runs as there is a new interest in it. http://www.lemassif.com/en/accueil

Recently athletes been pushing limits in the Alpine Luge & Skeleton but few records would be considered official. Alpine Sledders desire to know who has sledded highest & fastest & I feel the Guinness Book is an appropriate ‘governing authority’ in a manner of speaking, where we can get our accomplishments recorded. This will draw interest among the many sledders out there who will want to break these records giving new life & energy to the sport. Back in 1998 the owners of the book agreed.

Currently Alpine Luge & Skeleton Sledders do not have any record for speed. A lot of claims are being made how fast people Alpine Sled but no one is documenting in the correct way: A way that is tangible, repeatable & accurate, a way that can be observed & recorded using the properly calibrated instruments. Altitude records are simple using a quality Altimeter as I did back in 1996 but for speed one needs to use a Radar Gun. (I was a state police officer here in the states for 17 years before getting taken down in the line of duty by a criminal & have worked with radar guns often). Today increases in technology offers us small hand held Radar units that are highly accurate. The Pocket Radar is the unit I have chosen for its reliability as it is used to record speeds in many professional sports, but there are probably other similar devices that could be used. http://pocketradar.com/

Then this claim of speed should be backed up by a GPS, there are many different GPS units that can record speed, some are on watches others carried but I have a Contour Camera with a built in GPS that records lots of data including speed, distance travelled & more with the added benefit of recording the run on high definition video. Along with an observer watching the run live, one who will fill out a notarized, signed & dated document, many others can watch the video to verify the record. http://store.contour.com/   

The sled I will use is a Hammerhead Sled, a company that is a leader on the fore front of Alpine Sledding & is in fact an Alpine Skeleton Luge Sled. http://www.hammerheadsleds.com/ In 1996 I had the US Luge Association of Lake Placid Olympic stadium view my sled & they maintained that it was in fact a Luge Sled in their opinion, not one that would be used on a track at the Olympic stadium but one that was suitable for Alpine Luge: This was something that the Guinness Book of World Records at the time made note of that recognized the difference between the Olympic style & Alpine style sledding. At the time Sandy Caligore, head of marketing for the U.S. Luge Association made me an honorary member for my promotion of the sport & the fact that I raise money for charity during my Luge Expeditions. Currently Mr. Gordy Sheer has taken his place & I have touched base with him introducing myself.

After my Bolivian expedition where I set the highest altitude world record my team was honored by the Massachusetts House of Representatives with a House Resolution for our charity work & for setting the world record, further recognizing our sport. I would like to send you picture documentation of these titles & awards if you are interested.

This is what I intend to do in Iceland this year. I will carry my Hammerhead Sled up a mountain in Iceland & after assessing for avalanche danger & marking the crevasses which then form a natural Luge run; I will set the Guinness Book World Record for the Fastest Alpine Skeleton Luge run down a mountain. It is my understanding that two New Zealanders have stated that when they see this record they might be interested in breaking it in the New Zealand Alps with their Snolo Sled. I contacted them in the spirit of friendship & competition & we are all excited that our sport would have Official Guinness Book World Records to use as a marker of the fastest & highest sled runs!