Sport Climbing Considered for 2020 Olympic Games

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7/6/11 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced a shortlist of sports that will be considered for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games, among which includes climbing.

All three competitive disciplines for climbing—bouldering, lead, and speed—will be proposed for inclusion into the Games. The other sports up for consideration include baseball, karate, roller sports, softball, squash, wakeboard, and wushu. Baseball and softwall were dropped from the Olympic line-up in 2008 and are now trying to get back on the list. There were initially 12 sports, but four were dropped: surfing, dancing, bowling, and netball.

Regarding the next steps to get climbing into the Olympics: "The IOC staff and program commission will continue to evaluate our sport, and seek information about the events, athletes, and spectators," Keith Ferguson, Executive Director of USA Climbing, says. Among others, Ferguson helped establish the Olympic Dream 2020 Bid Team, "whose role is to develop specific action plans to make sure all the reasons for which we have made the shortlist will be even more convincing in two years' time," he says.

According to the International Federation of Sport Climbing: "IFSC President Marco Maria Scolaris welcomed the decision as a step forward in the development of the sport and in the pursuit of the vision that always guided the efforts of the IFSC, which has from the outset set forth a vision for sport climbing to be an Olympic sport."

The IOC will make a decision regarding how many and which sports will be accepted into the 2020 Olympic Games in late 2013. "What we can do is present our sport in the best light, and showcase the spectacular athletes who climb," Ferguson says.