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Ultratrails, deep dives, outer space: how extraordinary personalities adapt to extreme conditions

By Benoît Bolmont, Professeur en STAPS, Université de Lorraine
Michel Nicolas, Psychologie, Université de Bourgogne – UBFC
`Kilian Jornet won the 2022 Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (distance 170 kilometres, elevation gain 10,000 metres) in 19 hours 49 minutes and 30 seconds. Stéphanie Gicquel skied 2,045 kilometres in 74 days, crossing Antarctica to reach the South Pole in temperatures as low as -50°. Thomas Pesquet completed a spacewalk lasting 6 hours and 54 minutes, 400 kilometres above the Earth.

These extreme sports athletes deploy excessive efforts to adapt to environmental conditions or exceptional solicitations. Pushing humans beyond their limits is not trivial on a behavioural or psychological level.

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