Stories From The Olympics- Climbing for the Gold
Stories From The Olympics- Climbing For The Gold
Rock climbing has been an adventure sport for years; however, it has only recently become an Olympic event. First added to the games in 2020, 40 Olympians will battle it out in Tokyo for the gold. In fact, this will be the first Olympics for competitive climbing, which means that all eyes will be on the games this year and on those who are paving the way for new records.
At the start of 2020, USA Climbing secured a contract with ESPN to showcase climbing events from around the country and the National Climbing Championships. This move will get the sport in front of viewers and generate interest so sponsors can start investing in the talent. While the first events will be held this year in Tokyo, the 2024 games will also feature gender-separated climbing competitions as the sport evolves competitively.
How Rock Climbing Made It To The Olympics
Athletes have been pushing for the addition of rock climbing to the Olympic roster for some time. In 2016, an announcement was made that the 2020 games would feature a medal sport. The format of the climbing competition will feature lead climbing, bouldering, and of course, speed climbing. There will be a set of medals for each gender awarded to the top competitors based on a combination of scores from each format. Though speed climbing is included in the combined ranking, there is opposition from most of the climbing world due to the sport's nuances within the climbing world. For example, there are numerous runners; however, it is impossible to ask a marathon runner to sprint and expect it to be balanced. That is how most in the climbing world feel about speed climbing.
That being said, as with any "first," there will be things that need to be improved going forward. The addition of rock climbing in the Tokyo game itself is a huge step forward. Later, the decision was made to have lead climbing and bouldering as one portion and speed climbing as a separate competition.
Who Will Compete?
There will be 40 contestants that participate in the Rock Climbing portion of the Tokyo Olympics. There will be an equal number of men and women in the competition, and they will come from a variety of countries, with each country has been given a maximum allotment of two people per gender. Each climber will have qualified for the Tokyo games through a series of qualifying events.
Some of the competitors you will see in the games are well-known Olympians who have made a name for themselves for challenging rock climbs, while others will have risen to their ranks through world cup events only. Regardless of their background, all of the rock climbers attending the Tokyo games have specialized skills that will allow them to perform at a competitive level and give them a chance to claim Olympic Gold for their respective countries.
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