Towering at 98 feet tall (not including the pedestal), 92 feet wide arm to arm, one of the largest statues in the world, Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue is also one of the seven wonders of the world. Attracting millions of tourists a year, the statue stands on the summit of Corcovado Mountain and overlooks the city. A lighting storm struck the iconic monument earlier this year and workers have been busy repairing it.
Photographer Lee Thompson was in Brazil to document preparations for the World Cup and found himself visiting the statue. Somehow, Thompson and his colleague Oliver Harvey convinced the Brazil tourism board to let them climb to the top of the statue – a feat that few can claim to have done. Armed with some GoPro cameras and with the help of two high-wire workmen, it took the men two hours to climb the 12 flights of rickety stairs to the shoulder of the statue. From there, they climbed a rope to the crown of Jesus’ head, where, of course, Thomspson took a selfie. The “world’s first and only selfie with Jesus.”
Thompson states, “As I popped my head out of the hole in Jesus’ crown, I was in total and utter awe as my eyes met with a vast panorama that quite literally took my breath away. Talk about a religious experience! I’ve never been afraid of heights or tight spaces, but experiencing acrophobia, claustrophobia and profound awe at the same time was something truly remarkable.”
Thompson is one of the founders of The Flash Pack, “a new breed of travel company specializing in remarkable, boundary-pushing trips around the globe.” His company focuses on experiences and adventures “not for the average tourist.” And I’m going to venture a guess that the top of the Christ the Redeemer statue is not a “typical” tourist spot.
Watch the Heart Stopping Video:
CREDITS: All photographs by Lee Thompson are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.