It’s hard to believe that rock climbing has been around for more than 200 years, and the Olympics just recognized it as a sport in 2020. It may not be the most well-known sport, but rock climbers are some of the toughest athletes out there!
There is an immense amount of training that goes into rock climbing before even getting to compete. It takes a lot of time and effort – and this article will show you how you can get started on your own rock climbing journey.
1. Beginnings of Rock Climbing
There are many different types of rock climbing disciplines: indoor or outdoor bouldering, sports (traditional), speed, trad/ sport mixed…and more! Read below for more information on the various styles of rock climbing.
2. Different Rock Climbing Disciplines
The rock climbing styles are broken down into three categories: bouldering, sport/tradition and speed.
Bouldering is an indoor or outdoor discipline that doesn’t require ropes, harnesses or other protective equipment. It’s done on short rock faces with a variety of different holds challenging the climber to ascend as quickly as possible without falling off the rock face – it can be done in any setting!
Sport climbing has been around for much longer than bouldering and typically requires gear such as a rope, harness and quickdraws to scale up steep rock faces while trad rock climbing uses natural features along with more gradual grades.
Speed climbers have perfected their skills scaling up walls wearing specialized shoes made out of sticky
3. Olympics and Climbing – The Beginnings
Rock climbing has been around since the 1800s and was first recognized as an Olympic sport in Tokyo, Japan in 2020. The idea of this specific style of rock climbing ( sport climbing) being a competitive event on the international level came from out of nowhere when it was proposed by Italian climber Carlo Mauri at an IOC meeting in 2006.
He also mentioned how there are 15 different disciplines that fall under sport climbing including bouldering, lead and speed competitions.
The committee considered this proposal with potential pros such as increasing viewership from around the world but they ultimately denied his idea because other sports were already being planned out by then like surfing or skateboarding which could have been more appealing.
In 2020, sport climbing was finally approved to be included alongside other sports like field hockey and softball for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games. It remains unclear what exactly swayed members’ opinions on rock climbers joining the ranks but there are many hypotheses including how sport climbing could make great television content if filmed well ( think Free Solo).
4. Sport Climbing Competitions before Olympics
Prior to the Olympics, rock climbers have always competed against one another under the only central governing body called IFSC ( International Federation of Sport Climbing). It’s not until 1988 when sport climbing got an IFSC World Championships recognized by the IOC. In 2013, IFSC had 121 member federations.
IFSC’s first competition began in 1989 and some events were able to be viewed across different countries on television while others were not.
In 1993, a film called “Cliffs Around The World” took viewers from Switzerland all the way to Hungary with different views on various climbs which could also help promote sport climbing internationally.
5. Rock Climbing Olympic Athletes
Rock climbing is one of the newest events in this year’s Olympics. The sport was officially recognized and added to the Olympic program at Tokyo 2020, which means that we can expect rock climbers to be a part of future games for decades to come.
Climbers are judged on difficulty level or height reached using a scale from 0-16+ with more difficult climbs being worth higher points than easier ones. It takes time and practice to develop these skills so many athletes participate in both local competitions as well as national contests leading up to the Olympics.
Adam Ondra, one of the sport’s newest and brightest stars is not only an Olympic athlete but also a climbing ambassador for both sport climbing in general as well as being active on social media to help spread awareness about the sport. He competes internationally where he has earned himself a place among some of rock climbing’s most accomplished athletes by becoming World Champion four times while taking home three gold medals at European Championships events.
Ondra was born September 27th, 1993 and just recently turned 28 years old which means that right now it seems like his best days are ahead of him! So far this year he has been awarded another honor – winning first place in the Male Climbing category at IFSC Asian Championship – which takes place in Nanjing, China.
Adam was also one of the five finalists chosen to compete at World Championships 2019 which will be taking place from September 27th-29th in London. This is a really big deal!
Currently, he holds the sport’s highest possible ranking – number one on Male Category Climbing Rankings and with that accomplishment comes an obligation to work hard and keep climbing because if he doesn’t maintain his high profile status by winning competitions then someone else could take over as top climber.
Rock climbing athletes are some of the sport’s newest stars but they’re not new to the sport itself since many have been competing for years now before finally making it onto the Olympics team roster this year thanks to their impressive skillset. The sport requires strength, agility, and balance as well as mental endurance so it’s not a sport for the weak-willed.
Rock climbing competitions come in many different formats – some are timed while others require climbers to achieve certain grades or difficulty levels before they can qualify to the next round. It’s important that every athlete does their research on what type of competition best suits them based on skill level because if you don’t feel confident about your abilities then chances are your performance will suffer!
The Future of Sport Climbing after the Olympics
The future of sport climbing is uncertain because it is hard for the sport to grow if no one knows about it! One thing that would help our sport grow and stay alive after 2020 is getting more younger teenagers and kids involved – a time when all sports can be seen on TV, devices or streamed online. We need kids who inspire others to get involved with the sport by what they see them doing and how much fun they seem like they’re having while competing in events around their region.
One way we could do this would be through introducing youth climbing clubs where children learn skills from qualified coaches before competing at local, regional and national competitions.
Youth climbing clubs would help sport climbers in the future to stay young because they will be able to keep climbing for many more years than if they stop now! In addition, these kids could learn about sport climbing from a younger age – meaning that there is potential for them to get involved with sport climbing as adults who are already skilled in this sport!