Shard climber says stunt had 'philanthropic' purpose

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A 19-year-old who scaled The Shard has apologised for any disruption he caused, but claimed the stunt had a "philanthropic" purpose.

George King, from Oxford, claimed climbing the building in the early hours of Monday morning with minimal equipment was a way to inspire people to "chase their dreams".

"Of course I take full responsibility. I do apologise if I disrupted anyone's commute time. However I would hope people see the philanthropic purpose of it," he said.

"To inspire people to chase their dreams. Not necessarily to climb The Shard, but to do something unique. That doesn't have to be climbing without a rope, to find something unique if it's music, art, craft, whatever it is, to pursue it with excellence and to have a dream."

George King posts photos from his climbs to Instagram

Mr King was spoken to by Metropolitan Police officers but not arrested, and admitted that he is lucky not to be facing criminal charges.

Seven of his friends helped him "gather intelligence" before attempting the climb, and he checked the weather forecast for two weeks before scaling the 310-metre (1,017ft) skyscraper.

The teenager said his mother had told him not to repeat the stunt.

"With one month to go I was very much in the zone, my diet changes a bit. She knew something was happening but she just didn't know what it was," he added.

"(She was) very happy that I'm ok but at the same time, 'Don't do it again'. She understands how much meaning it gives to me, how much I prepare, how much I train for it."

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