Climbing in The Olympics

 In September 2013, the International Olympic Committee meets for its 125th session in Buenos Aires, where they will be deciding which short listed sport- Karate, wushu, squash, roller sports, wake boarding, or sport climbing- will be included in the 2020 summer Olympics.  While the meeting is still a year away, the IOC is watching how climbing competitions are being held around the world for ideas about the inclusion into the sport.  Marco Scolaris, president of the International Federation of Sport Climbing, Scolaris noted that the IOC officials were pleasantly surprised to see athletes from different countries exchanging pointers and tips before a route. "If that isn't Olympic spirit," he asked, "what is?"

Currently, the IFSC is opting to place sport climbing in their bid for climbing in the Olympics.  Though speed climbing and bouldering have been thought of as viable options, lead climbing remains the best choice. Scolaris said in a press conference, "Lead is the historical and traditional climbing discipline. It is the expression of climbing most commonly perceived by the public and a popular event among climbers and non-climbers. Lead events have also the most universal representation and is the discipline that a majority of our national federations indicated as their favorite. Lead brings athletes beyond vertical in a continuous gravity challenge, and TV experts pointed out they need the height challenge. The choice of one discipline only is the result of the existing limit in terms of athletes. However we do not exclude the fact that one day the three disciplines will be represented at the Olympic Games!"

Rock and Ice writer Andrew Bishart wrote an interesting article Because ultimately outdoor performances—and first ascents—are what matters. Don't believe me? Consider this: No one remembers who won the World Cup in 1997, but everyone knows who did the first ascent of Action Direct."

As Touchstone moves into the bouldering series comps, remember that the local gym comps help move climbing towards a larger stage so climb well and most importantly have fun.

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