With the World Cup season in the books and the Olympics looming on the horizon, national squads are more compelling than their individual members Author: John Burgman Publish date: Jul 1, 2019 Updated on Jul 1, 2019 At the conclusion of a recent World Cup competition in Moscow, much was made about the Slovenia team’s undeniable dominance—and rightly so. Janja Garnbret, the future champion of the bouldering season, won the women’s division by flashing all four boulders in the finals. Her teammate, 17-year-old Lucka Rakovec, placed fourth in the division and barely missed a spot on the podium. In the men’s division, Jernej Kruder—also on the Slovenian team—took top honors and spoiled what could have been back-to-back World Cup competition victories for the Czech Republic’s Adam Ondra. The fact that the Slovenian team flexed so much depth in Moscow was not surprising considering that the team finished 2018 ranked number two in … [Read more...] about Opinion: Is Competition Climbing a Team Sport?
Author: USA Climbing Publish date: Jan 17, 2019 USA Climbing is excited to announce a multi-year agreement with ESPN to present the Combined Invitational, Bouldering Open National Championships, and Sport & Speed Open National Championships. For each competition, a one-hour show will be televised on ESPN2 highlighting the excitement of competition climbing and the athletes’ journey toward National Team Selection. ESPN3 will also live stream significant portions of the qualifying rounds, as well as the semi and final rounds in their entirety. In addition to the live stream, the events will remain available on demand on ESPN3. In year two, ESPN will add Collegiate Nationals to the arrangement. “Working with ESPN is a huge step toward bringing competitive climbing into the mainstream,” said Marc Norman, CEO of USA Climbing. “As we build toward our first Olympic Games, we are excited to introduce climbing and our athletes to the American … [Read more...] about USA Climbing and ESPN Announce New Multi-Year Agreement to Televise and Livestream Events
The Japanese climber Kai Harada hung from the top hold on the last problem of the men’s bouldering finals in Innsbruck, Austria, shaking his head in disbelief. The 19-year-old’s flash had secured victory at the 2018 International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Bouldering World Championships in September. Harada hesitated to let go, as if he wasn’t ready to face his achievement. Then he dropped, placed his face in his hands, and wept as the arena’s sold-out crowd of 6,000 exploded into a standing ovation. Jump to 1:30:35 to watch Harada's victory. The event—organized by Austria Climbing and the IFSC—was held at OlympiaHalle Innsbruck and demonstrated what comp climbing could be with the budget of an NBA game, plus set a high benchmark leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Light projections danced on the walls, an overhead display showed scores and close-ups, an excited announcer followed with crimp-by-crimp commentary, and a DJ seamlessly … [Read more...] about Opinion: It’s Time to Embrace Comp Climbing and Leave the 1960s Behind
For U.S. competition climbers, getting into the Olympics is far from the biggest hurdle. When it comes to climbing, representing your country on the world stage can be an expensive proposition. American climbing athletes competing in an international world cup circuit can expect to spend between $5,000 and $10,000 of their own money on competitions every year. A lot of that goes into the travel required to make it to the events—in 2018, for example, the lead climbing and bouldering World Cups each featured seven stops, most of them in different countries. Speed climbing had eight events, likewise scattered across the world. Climbers have tried a variety of strategies to find the money required to compete. For example, Alex Puccio created a crowdfunding campaign to cover her World Cup expenses in 2015. The issue of climbing athletes funding their own competition season, however, is unique to the United States. “We receive no governmental support [for climbing], … [Read more...] about US Competition Climbing’s Funding Problem
Pro climber Nina Williams shares 4 competition climbing tips. Think excelling at comps is as simple as just trying your hardest? Think again. Competing well requires strategizing—both with your scorecard and your mental game. For professional climber Nina Williams, who will assist coach Justen Sjong in Climbing’s Climb a Grade Harder: 5.12 and Beyond course, the latter was especially important during her primary competition years, which ran from 2003 to 2015. “How do you compare your own performance unless you're measuring it against someone else?” she says of competition climbing. “How do you know where you stand?” The key, she found, was competing often enough that she developed her own assessment of her skills, and could therefore draw on her past experiences to think about how to compete better in the future. As her career became more focused on outdoor ascents, especially her love of highballs like Bishop’s Ambrosia … [Read more...] about How to Have Fun (And Climb Hard) at Comps