Nicklas Lautakoski, the "Swedish Viking," is a man of adventure, entrepreneurship, and positivity. Although he now could not imagine a life without tough adventures in the wild, that is not at all how his life began. As a young boy, he was very shy and introverted. He was far from athletic, and failed at athletics in school year after year.
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Why is Russia Afraid of a 300-Year-Old Ukrainian Hero?
Born and raised in America's high-five, Melissa spent most of her life in the outskirts of her hometown Fenton, Michigan. A country girl, she roamed the woods barefoot catching frogs, snakes and turtles in the creeks along her neighborhood. She learned how to fish when she was 4 years old, entering local fishing competitions and spending countless hours on the edge of her family's dock. With her passion for wildlife, Melissa entered college as a biology major and ended with an education degree. During college, she also studied multiple natural sciences, tree and plant identification, and Native American studies, developing an admiration for the ways of survival in the indigenous tribes. She became passionate about foraging wildflowers, plants, and fungi for edible and medicinal uses.
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Lord Byron, Pushkin, and Victor Hugo wrote poems about him. Liszt composed a symphonic work in his honor, Tchaikovsky devoted an opera to him, and Gericault painted him tied naked to a horse. In centuries past he was a historical superstar — a poster child for the Romantic era. The swashbuckling subject of Romantic-era adulation is once again attracting attention, this time as the subject of a dispute over history between the leaders of Russia and Ukraine. Most Russian historians have judged Mazepa a traitor. Acting under the instruction of Czar Peter, the Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated him and placed an anathema on him, and still vilifies him in annual Poltava services.
Naked and Afraid. In the most grueling challenge yet, participants strive to survive a treacherous 40 days and 40 nights on an isolated island completely detached from civilization. Arriving by boat, four teams of three begin their adventures dropped in the brutal South China Sea, forcing them to swim through shark-infested waters to sun-scorched deserted islands of jagged rock beaches and impenetrable cliffs. In addition, two all-stars embark to attempt an unprecedented 60 days surviving in the harsh equatorial wilderness. This season will push this elite duo beyond anything they've ever attempted, a whopping days surviving the elements. Launching Sunday, May 19, viewers will witness as two elite survivors battle to complete their most savage test yet.