Sylvania flag returns home

Viktor Barricklow presents Mayor Craig Stough the city of Sylvania flag, which flew over the South Pole. Barricklow asked the mayor for permission to use the flag in 2018.

Viktor Barricklow, who now calls New Zealand home, was finally able to travel after COVID to Sylvania for a long-overdue visit with his parents, Kati and Rick Barricklow. One of his must-dos while in town was to pay a return visit to Mayor Craig Stough. His previous meeting with the mayor in September 2018 was to ask permission to fly the city’s colors at the South Pole where he was heading back to work for a second winter season. Mayor Stough gave him a Sylvania flag, which Barricklow promised to fly.

True to his word, Barricklow raised that Sylvania flag on an installation in Antarctica where it flew from March through October 2019. Barricklow spent that season assisting world-class scientists who were studying the effects of the black hole. He was working with fuel and logistics operations. That winter, according to Barricklow, temperatures reached a low of -147 degrees below zero. “The warmest temperature was a mere -40 degrees below zero,” he chuckled.

After his winter season of work was complete, Barricklow found himself in New Zealand and locked down during the pandemic. It was only recently, that he was able to return the much-weathered Sylvania flag to the mayor, who plans to place it on exhibit in a showcase in the Municipal Building lobby.

The 2011 Northview graduate was bitten by the travel bug early in his life and his love of the journey continues to grow with each new stamp on his passport.

During his school years, his travel was limited to summer flights to visit his father in Sweden, his birthplace. He got his first taste of backpacking and hostel stays when he was 13 and traveled through Europe and across the United States with his dad.

Plans to attend medical school took a detour his senior year at Miami University when an elective, BIO 244: Viticulture and Enology, or, as many students have come to call it, “the wine tasting class” ignited his passion for wines. Following graduation, he worked three jobs in Sylvania during the summer to finance his way to Australia where he had procured a research position and a three-month job in a winery. However, before arriving Down Under, he stopped off in New Zealand for five-and-a-half weeks, where he learned of a job opportunity in Antarctica.

What started as a four-month summer job at an American research station was extended and Barricklow spent the winter working at the South Pole station. “This was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he related. “There was one sunrise and one sunset each lasting about one month while I was there. I saw incredible night skies, even though the temperature with wind chill could get as cold as -140 degrees. Winter certainly was a challenge but all of the people working with me were great and quite adventurous. I made some very good friends while I was there.”

That experience led to a second winter season for Barricklow when he flew the Sylvania flag.


In between those two winter season jobs, Barricklow’s travels took him to Southeast Asia, India, Scandinavia, and Europe, with visits to Sylvania on his way to South Africa and South America. Currently, Barricklow plans to return to New Zealand where he is the marketing manager for a chain of Mexican restaurants. On the way he will travel to Sweden to visit his father and other relatives. This may seem to be quite an international travel itinerary, but not for Barricklow who has traveled the world and visited all seven continents in one year.

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