From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian
In the summer of 2012, Lachezar Tsotsorkov boarded a ship at the Russian port of Murmansk and began a long, difficult journey to the top of the Earth. The ship was an icebreaker, and for a week the entire vessel shook as it cut through the Arctic ice. “If our glasses stopped vibrating,” Tsotsorkov says, “there was a slight confusion among people on board. Why was the ship not shaking? Was there any problem?” They passed islands of Franz Josef Land, abandoned polar stations, polar bears, whales, walruses, and seals, until they reached the ice-covered pole itself, where Tsotsorkov raised the flag of his Rotary club, the Rotary Club of Panagyurishte, Bulgaria.
Two and a half years later, Tsotsorkov, who chairs the Assarel-Medet JSC mining firm and has provided research funds for the Bulgarian Antarctic Commission, went to the other pole. En route, he flew over Mount Tsotsorkov, named in honor of his support of Antarctic research, before he landed at the U.S. base at the South Pole. Again, Tsotsorkov raised his Rotary club’s flag. “Unlike the North Pole, there were no animals. The South Pole is an ice desert,” he recalls. While each pole was different, Tsotsorkov came away with the feeling that “we all have to take care of our planet, to preserve its stability and balance now for future generations.”