Competition Summaries


News & Opinions



Sport Climbing Officially Added to Paris 2024 Olympics

The two climbing events will be Boulder & Lead and Speed, and the roster will expand from 40 to 68 climbers.


Livestreams: IFSC European Championships Moscow 2020 Olympic Qualifying Event

From November 21-25 athletes will compete in speed, bouldering, and lead for a place in the upcoming Olympic Games.


IFSC Cancels Remaining 2020 World Cup Events, Announces 2021 Calendar

The 2020 IFSC World Cup season has concluded after one lead competition in Briançon, France.


Recap and Photo Gallery: The First IFSC World Cup During the Pandemic

The first—and possibly-only IFSC World Cup of 2020 made for an exciting event amidst the pandemic. It was also a bit weird.


The Life of a Routesetter

While it appears a simple job, the routesetter is part architect, part designer, and part choreographer. Take a glimpse into what it takes to be the best at this demanding role.

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IFSC Golden Memories: Watch Some of the Best Performances in Recent IFSC History

Get your competition fix during the IFSC hiatus with these athlete highlights, featuring some of the most-exciting moments of the last few years.


Unique Outdoor First Ascent Competition Launched in Italy

The first person to redpoint each newly bolted route, with video evidence, wins €1,000 worth of gear.


Dr. Constance Lightner to Join USA Climbing Board of Directors

The university professor and mother to Kai Lightner will begin her role effective September 1, 2020.


IFSC to Resume Competition Season With Briançon Lead World Cup

The World Cup season will proceed with new COVID-19 measures, though the events will not count toward overall rankings due to travel restrictions.


The Climbing Q&A: Brooke Raboutou

How this unassuming college student—and pedigreed super-climber—became the first American climber to qualify for the Olympics


The Silver Lining to the Olympic Postponement

Having to wait another year for climbing to be in the Olympics is a bummer, but there are upsides to the situation.

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2020 Climbing Shoe Review: The Year of the Comp Shoe

With Olympic buzz in the air in 2019 and 2020 (and now into 2021), manufacturers are creating a new category of climbing shoe.

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2020 Comp Climbing Shoe Review: Evolv X1

“The X1 is soft enough that I can trust my feet on volumes, but not so soft that the mold of the shoe falters.”


2020 Comp Climbing Shoe Review: Butora Acro Comp

Their performance on heel hooks and toe scums is nearly perfect—the toe-scumming patch is huge and is über-grippy.


France's Anouck Jaubert and Italy's Michael Piccolruaz Added to Olympic Roster

Jaubert and Piccolruaz were awarded the IFSC's Tripartite Commission invites because no one was eligible to receive them as intended, according to the rules.

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Interview: John Burgman Discusses the Olympic Postponement

We talk to comp climbing expert John Burgman about the fallout from COVID-19 on the Olympics and World Cup season, and his new book High Drama.


Tokyo Olympics Postponed Until 2021

Climbing fans will have to wait another year to see the sport's debut at the Tokyo games.


Olympic Committee Member: 2020 Olympics Will Be Postponed

The 2020 Olympics have been in a state of uncertainty due to COVID-19. Now an IOC committee member says that they will not happen this year.

Ledet working at an IFSC event (photo by Christian J. Stewart)

Interview: Meet Olympic Climbing Judge Paul Ledet

Ledet talks about how he got involved with competition climbing, what it means to be an Olympic judge, and how he is gearing up for the historic occasion.

USA Climbing

USA Climbing Postpones 2020 Sport and Speed Open Nationals Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The decision was made " to protect the climbing community and do our part to limit the spread of the Coronavirus amongst the broader community."


Excerpt: High Drama—The Rise of Bouldering Competitions

The story behind the American Bouldering Series, which eventually evolved into USA Climbing's Open Bouldering National Championships.


IFSC Announces Coronavirus Contingency Plan for Asian Championship Olympic Qualification Spots

While the Olympic Committee will decide the fate of the 2020 Summer Games in May, the IFSC has already had to start making difficult decisions due to the coronavirus.


Coronavirus Threatens Olympics: 5 Options for the 2020 Tokyo Games

As speculation grows that the 2020 Olympics could be cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus, here are the five most-likely outcomes for the games.


Climbing in the 2020 and 2024 Olympics: How We Got Here and What the Future Holds

The inclusion of climbing in the Olympics is new, but the idea dates all the way back to 1989 with several false starts before it became a reality.

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Highs and Lows: 2020 IFSC Pan-American Championships

After an exciting competition, two more climbers have earned Olympic berths and the US team has hit its athlete quota. Here are the best and worst moments from the event.


Interview: Olympic Bouldering Chief Route-Setter Percy Bishton

Percy Bishton provides a behind-the-scenes look at the route-setting process for the Tokyo Olympics, as well as the unique challenges posed by the combined format.

USA Climbing

Interview: USA Climbing CEO Marc Norman Sees the Olympics as Just the Beginning

Norman discusses USA Climbing's newly released four-year Strategic Plan and provides an inside look at where the organization is headed.


USA Climbing 2020 Bouldering Open National Championship: Highs and Lows

This year's Bouldering Nationals featured breakout stars, interesting routesetting, and even some cracks. Here's the best and worst from the event.

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Where to Watch the 2020 USA Climbing Bouldering Nationals

Watch the country's best competition boulderers face off for the title of national champion.

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Documentary: Behind the Scenes With the 2019 World Championship Routesetters

Learn what went on behind the problems for the 2019 IFSC Boulder World Championships, with introspective interviews from the setting team.


USA Climbing 2020 Combined Invitational: Highs and Lows

At the second USA Climbing Combined Invitational, athletes competed for slots at the upcoming Pan-American Championships. Here's the best and worst from the event.

USA Climbing

Where to Watch the 2020 USA Climbing Combined Invitational

Based on the Olympic format, this weekend's Combined Invitational will have climbers participating in speed, bouldering, and lead events.


Operation Speed Climbing: From the Nose to the Olympics, Speed Climbing Is Making Its Mark

While many see the climbers racing up the wall as a new subset of climbing, speed climbing has been around since the earliest days of the sport.


The Olympics So Far: Adam Ondra's Rare Underdog Moment

While Adam Ondra's spot on the Olympic roster seemed, at first, like a foregone conclusion, his struggle to achieve it created a more compelling story.


Opinion: Comp Climbing Is Experiencing Its First Wave of Nostalgia

A series of recent competitions, which chose to throwback the routesetting to the pre-parkour days, suggest a reverence for a bygone era.

Russian Luliia Kaplina, and any subsequent Russian climbers who qualify for the 2020 Olympics, will have to compete with a _neutral_ national affiliation. (Photo_ Eddie Fowke-IFSC)

Russia Banned from 2020 Tokyo Olympics

A recent ruling will impact Russian climbers vying for Olympic berths—including Iuliia Kaplina, who has already qualified for the Games.


Interview: Natalia Grossman is America’s New Comp Superstar

After she won the first two National Cup events, we caught up with Natalia about her competition career, how she improved her head game, and how she avoids burnout.


Livestream: 2019 USA Climbing National Cup Series—Southern Grit

Finals for Southern Grit, the final event of the 2019 USA Climbing National Cup series, start on December 7 at 5:00 P.M. MST. Watch the live here.

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Highs and Lows: IFSC Toulouse Combined Olympic Qualifier

With the conclusion of Toulouse, we have 12 more climbers confirmed for the Olympics. Here are the best and worst moments from the event.


Olympics Lead-up: Who to Watch at the Toulouse Combined Qualifier

A look at the biggest names to watch in Toulouse, and how they might fare in the ongoing battle royal for the coveted 2020 Olympic invites.

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Opinion: The Olympic Qualification Process Has Been One Big Mess

How problems with the opaque Olympic qualification process have lead to lawsuits, angry fans, and sudden rule changes.


Opinion: From Snowbird to Tokyo—Brooke Raboutou’s Olympic Destiny

How a competition 12 years before she was born laid the foundation for Brooke Raboutou's Olympic trajectory.


IFSC World Cup 2019: End of the Season Awards

With the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup season, we look back to determine the best athletes, the best moments, the best events, and more.

17. Hiroto Shimizu

Recap and Photo Gallery: IFSC Inzai World Cup 2019—Lead

The final event of the 2019 World Cup season saw new names in finals, a comeback, and a strong finish for the US team.


Replay: IFSC World Cup 2019 Inzai—Lead

Watch a full replay of the lead competition from the Inzai event of the 2019 IFSC World Cup season.

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Recap and Photo Gallery: IFSC Xiamen World Cup 2019—Lead and Speed

The rivalry of Janja Garnbret and Chaehyun Seo continues, Ondra's flawless lead season, and US athletes reach finals.


Livestreams: IFSC World Cup 2019 Xiamen—Lead and Speed

Watch lead semi-finals and finals and speed finals live from the Xiamen event of the 2019 IFSC World Cup season.


An Inside Look at USA Climbing’s National Team Training Center

The new Salt Lake City facility is purpose-built to help American climbers compete on the international stage and prepare for the Olympics.

18. Chaehyun Seo

Recap and Photo Gallery: IFSC Kranj World Cup 2019—Lead

Adam Ondra returns following a combined championship misstep, Chaehyun Seo continues her meteoric rise, and the US starts strong but falls behind.


Livestreams: IFSC World Cup 2019 Kranj–Lead

Watch lead semi-finals and finals from the Kranj event of the 2019 IFSC World Cup season.