Roald Amundsen, the explorer who <beat Scott to the Pole>

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park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
Roald Amundsen, the explorer who beat Scott to the Pole, later attributed his own success to his team's use of sled dogs rather than ponies.
[Source: Reading for Results Ninth Edition by Laraine Flemming]
I can't know in "beat Scott to the Pole" what role "to the Pole" plays.
And so, I'd like to know what "beat Scott to the Pole" means.
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    Amundson was the first explorer to reach the South Pole, and Robert Falcon Scott was the second, a month later. Wikipedia has an article on the two expeditions here.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    No. It's comparing the Pole to the finish line in a race. They were "racing" to be the first to the Pole (to be the first to reach it, to get to it). If there were some kind of prize for getting there first, you could say they were racing for that prize.
     

    Winstanley808

    Banned
    English - U.S.
    No. It's comparing the Pole to the finish line in a race. They were "racing" to be the first to the Pole (to be the first to reach it, to get to it). If there were some kind of prize for getting there first, you could say they were racing for that prize.
    While pob is right in a literal sense, there was in fact a "prize" for getting to the South Pole first: the historical reputation and place in future history books that would go to the leader of the team that got there first. Robert Peary had already "won" the "prize" of being first to the North Pole, but the South Pole remained to be won. Scott is still remembered in the history books because he and his whole team died in the unsuccessful attempt to be first, but in a list of "firsts," he would be a footnote to Amundsen or absent entirely.

    Perhaps "the race for the [South] Pole" is a metaphor, but it's a phrase you will encounter if you read more about polar exploration.
     
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