Which of These Game-Changers Will Be Crowned 2014 Adventurer of the Year?

Over the past 125 years, The Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Soci­ety has fund­ed more than 10,000 sci­en­tif­ic research, con­ser­va­tion, and explo­ration projects around the globe. So when the big yel­low reveals the nom­i­nees for its pres­ti­gious Peo­ple’s Choice Adven­tur­er of the Year award, you can trust that all of them are bona fide badass­es. But there can only be one win­ner. And you get to help choose who it will be. 

Watch the above video to see this year’s nom­i­nees in action and click through the excerpts below to read The Dirt­bag Diaries cre­ator Fitz Cahal­l’s full com­pelling inter­views with each of them before vot­ing for your favorite. You can vote every day until Jan­u­ary 31, 2014. The soci­ety will announce the win­ner in February.

Meet the nominees: 

Snow­board­er Kevin Pearce
In one year, snow­board­er Kevin Pearce went from stand­ing atop podi­ums at the X Games to relearn­ing how to brush his own teeth after a trau­mat­ic brain injury. The one thing that nev­er changed was Pearce’s com­mit­ment to the snow­board­ing com­mu­ni­ty… [Read more] [Vote now]

Photo by Sébastien Montaz-Rosset
Pho­to by Sébastien Montaz-Rosset

Sky Run­ner Kil­ian Jor­net
Jor­net did not invent “sky run­ning,” a cross between moun­taineer­ing and trail run­ning that involves ascend­ing tech­ni­cal ter­rain at a runner’s pace… Jor­net has, how­ev­er, tak­en sky run­ning into the pub­lic eye with his unprece­dent­ed streak of break­ing records and win­ning races… [Read more] [Vote now]

Photo by Chris O'Connell
Pho­to by Chris O’Connell

Ski­er JP Auclair
Through ath­leti­cism, prod­uct design, film­mak­ing, and phil­an­thropy, [Auclair] has found a place among the sport’s icons and defined what it means to be an adven­tur­er… [Read more] [Vote now]

Long-Dis­tance Swim­mer Diana Nyad
On the morn­ing of August 31, 2013, long-dis­tance swim­mer Diana Nyad jumped off a rock sea­wall in Havana, Cuba, and began her 110-mile swim to Key West across the Flori­da Straits. It was the 64-year-old’s fifth attempt at the noto­ri­ous crossing—one plagued by pow­er­ful cur­rents, sharks, and box jel­ly­fish [Read more] [Vote now]

Explor­er Sarah Mar­quis
“One night, I opened my tent in the mid­dle of the night to find five horse­men squat­ting down 50 cen­time­ters away from my face,” remem­bers explor­er Sarah Mar­quis, 41, of her time in Mongolia’s vast, green steppe. “Some nights they would gal­lop by one after anoth­er try­ing to catch the top of my tent. They live in this open space. There are no rules. And, sud­den­ly, there was one white woman in the mid­dle of it…” [Read more] [Vote now]

Com­mu­ni­ty Builders Sta­cy Bare and Nick Wat­son
In 2013, Bare and Wat­son got 250 vet­er­ans involved in their expe­di­tions, train­ing pro­grams, and com­mu­ni­ty-build­ing pro­grams. Based in Den­ver, Col­orado, the orga­ni­za­tion opened chap­ters in the Pacif­ic North­west and North­east. They pad­dled and fished Alaska’s Togiak Riv­er, climbed icon­ic peaks in Wash­ing­ton State, and tra­versed New England’s clas­sic Pres­i­den­tial Range… [Read more] [Vote now]

Photo by Bernardo Gimenez
Pho­to by Bernar­do Gimenez

Climber Adam Ondra
 When sport climber Adam Ondra wres­tled his way up 55 meters of wild­ly over­hang­ing gran­ite in a cave in Fla­tanger, Nor­way, and clipped into the anchors of the route Change, on Octo­ber 4, 2012, he estab­lished a place for him­self along­side the sport’s reign­ing vision­ary, Chris Shar­ma, 32. The route, grad­ed 5.15c, marked a new lev­el of dif­fi­cul­ty for the sport of climb­ing… [Read more] [Vote now]

Photo by Fred Pompermayer
Pho­to by Fred Pompermayer

Big-Wave Surfer Greg Long
Long’s all-con­sum­ing and thought­ful prepa­ra­tion earned him gold medals at the 2003 Red Bull Big Wave Africa, at Mav­er­icks in 2008, at the 2009 Eddie Aikau event, the 2013 Big Wave World Tour, and more cat­e­go­ry wins at the Bill­abong XXL Glob­al Big Wave Awards than any oth­er surfer. It also saved his life that day at Cortes Bay—from the phys­i­cal abil­i­ties and men­tal com­po­sure he had devel­oped, to the res­cue team he had assem­bled. The same thought­ful­ness now guides the way he is pro­cess­ing the after­math of the acci­dent… [Read more] [Vote now]

Alpin­ists Raphael Slaw­in­s­ki and Ian Wel­st­ed
“Rest­ing on the sum­mit we had a clear view of Nan­ga Par­bat,” says Wel­st­ed. “We spoke about the mas­sacre, about how close Raph had come to leav­ing, and what a shame it was that Jesse hadn’t been able to join us…” [Read more] [Vote now]

Photo by Van Conrad
Pho­to by Van Conrad

Adven­ture Edu­ca­tors Amy and Dave Free­man
“It’s dif­fer­ent than watch­ing a movie. It makes it more real,” says Dave of the kids see­ing the cou­ple show up at their schools. “It makes them under­stand, Hey, these are real peo­ple that are doing these things—I could do that, too…” [Read more] [Vote now

Found­ed in 1888 and ded­i­cat­ed to inspir­ing peo­ple to care about the plan­et, The Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Soci­ety is the world’s most pro­lif­ic non-prof­it sci­en­tif­ic and edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tion. Read some cool facts about it here.

If you enjoyed the ath­lete inter­views or just dream of one day real­iz­ing the dream of liv­ing the Adven­ture life, check out The Adven­tur­ers of the Year Man­i­festo video fea­tur­ing Fitz Cahall.