Brooke Raboutou Makes History as the First US Athlete to Qualify for Climbing’s Debut at the Olympics

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History has been made in the sport of climbing! Over the weekend at the IFSC Combined World Championship, Brooke Raboutou became one of several athletes, and the first to represent Team USA, qualified to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Raboutou solidified her spot in the Games after a grueling combined competition that featured all three disciplines of climbing—bouldering, lead, speed—over the course of one day. The Combined World Championships were comprised of the top 20 athletes from the discipline-specific World Championships, held just days earlier, leaving just 20 athletes to fight for seven coveted Olympic invitations.

Raboutou topping a problem during the combined bouldering qualifiers.

Raboutou topping a problem during the combined bouldering qualifiers.

With four Japanese athletes in the combined final, Raboutou received her invitation as the next non-Japanese athlete not yet qualified for the Olympics, as a result of the max quota of two per gender per country. Raboutou finished 9th overall, her best finish of the season.

“After the final lead climb in the combined qualifier, I was very happy with my performance before I even saw the results. This achievement is just the icing on the cake for me. I could feel my hard work, determination and drive all come together on the wall, which was a magnificent feeling,” said Raboutou. “Earning a spot in the 2020 Olympics is just proof that focusing on myself and my climbing is what pushes me to the next level. I am beyond excited to embark on this new journey. It is such an honor to be able to represent the US at the Olympic level, especially as climbing makes its debut. I hope I can help the sport grow and introduce new people to the joys of climbing.”

“To have Team USA represented when climbing makes its debut in the Olympics is a testament to those who supported the organization from its roots as a small youth climbing club to one of the largest climbing organizations in the world. A special to thanks to all those who have worked countless hours in making USA Climbing what it is today. May our participation in the Olympics inspire the next generation to continue to pursue their dreams whatever they are and never stop climbing,” said Marc Norman, USA Climbing CEO. “Finally, and most importantly, on behalf of USA Climbing, its members, volunteers, and Board of Directors a huge congratulations to Brooke. We are all immensely proud of her.” 

About USA Climbing

USA Climbing is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of competition climbing. The organization manages the disciplines of Bouldering, Speed and Sport climbing as well as the Collegiate and Adaptive series. USA Climbing, a member federation of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), also hosts IFSC World Cup events and sends athletes to participate in the IFSC’s World Cup circuit and the World Climbing and Paraclimbing Championships.