Lead Climbing Only For 2020 Olympic Bid

Austria's Johanna Ernst competing. Photo by Michael Schöpf

9/27/12 - The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) has announced that its bid for climbing to enter the 2020 Olympic Games will focus exclusively on lead climbing. The IFSC will pursue neither bouldering nor speed climbing for the first Olympics with modern climbing.

The announcement was made at a press conference at the conclusion of the World Championships in Paris in mid-September. The IFSC also confirmed that two International Olympic Committee representatives had attended the finals of the World Championships.

The next major step for climbing's Olympic bid comes in December, when the IFSC will make a formal presentation to the IOC Program Commission in December. The IOC will make its final decision on new sports for the 2020 Games in September 2013.

Explaining its decision to focus on lead climbing, the IFSC said it was forced to make a choice because of "the existing limit in terms of athletes" in the Olympics.

Lead climbing, the IFSC said, "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...and TV experts pointed out they need the height challenge."

However, the IFSC added, "we do not exclude the fact that one day the three disciplines will be represented at the Olympic Games!"

Source: ifsc-climbing.org



CLIMBERGIRL - 01/07/2013 1:53:13

Lead climbing? Yawn.

David - 11/28/2012 7:35:33

In all honesty it shouldnt really matter what climbing we all prefer. The fact is that the IFSC is actually recognising climbing as a sport worthy of the Olympics. This is a great moment for all climbers

Martin Grimley - 10/03/2012 5:36:54

Great to finally get the chance to compete in the most important sporting event of all. Lead climbing has some really impressive falls that the general public will find thrilling. Bouldering has no height and is less likely to be appreciated to those who don't know the sport. If we have to have only one choice..... lead climbing! Steve 10-2-12

Stephen E. Caton - 10/02/2012 5:46:49

They want to promote real climbing. Not training for real climbing.

Big Jim - 10/02/2012 9:30:09

OMG why lead?? lead is boringgg...

koziol - 10/01/2012 3:41:25

Boulder or lead doesn't matter for me. One thing that I will never understand is speed climb... To make lead climb more interesting IFSC could introduce a bit of exposure to the routes, who never got sweat hands wile watching a long run in a climb movie? That would be cool!!!

Bruno - 10/01/2012 5:24:15

This is great news

steve pearson - 09/30/2012 1:32:45

For me bouldering is the element of climbing most obviously suited to an audience. It is quick per competitor and can show more impressive feats of strength.

Neil - 09/29/2012 1:47:09

We should not delude ourselves into thinking that NBC will ever show an entire lead route. They edit everything down to a tight entertaining clip that the masses can understand and enjoy. I say if the IFSC supports the lead climbing discipline that will be our best shot at getting represented in 2020, so let put all the eggs in that basket!

Bryan - 09/28/2012 8:23:31

For me there's no comparing watching bouldering and lead, bouldering is soooo boring to watch...fun to do, but boring to watch.

Bruce - 09/28/2012 2:09:04

I actually really like watching Lead Climbing. The camera work I see could definitely be improved though. How about some really close up shots of hand work and foot work? I think the excitement of watching lead climbing is a lot like high jump or pole vaulting. The bar keeps getting raised higher, and you hold your breath to see if someone makes it. True, once a crux gets established the lead-up can be a little slow, but even then there are surprises! A good route setter won't make single move so hard that everyone gets stuck on the same move. I know that has happened in the history of the IFSC, but not often.

Andy - 09/28/2012 12:08:09

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