Maja Vidmar of Slovenia climbing at the Kalymnos International Climbing Festival in May 2009. Photo by Nicolas Smalios
Nominations for the 2009 Sport Climbing Oscars The nominations have been decided for the 4th edition of the Arco Rock Legends, scheduled to take place on September 4th, 2009 at Arco (Garda Trentino, Italy) on the eve of the XXIII Rock Master. The SALEWA ROCK AWARD and the LA SPORTIVA COMPETITION AWARD, the sport climbing Oscars, are up for grabs. Once again eight top climbers are in the running for the fourth edition of the Arco Rock Legends. Five athletes have been selected for the SALEWA ROCK AWARD, the prize which recognises the style and best performances on single pitch sports routes and boulder problems, while three athletes have been nominated for the LA SPORTIVA COMPETITION AWARD which is destined to the last season's best competitor. As usual a pool of 19 specialised magazines, which include some of the most important in the vertical world, has selected the eight athletes and as usual the list of the nominees for what in all effects is considered the sport climbing Oscars is truly stellar. For the rock Oscar, ie the SALEWA ROCK AWARD, the list of nominees includes the irrepressible Spaniard Dani Andrada (his second nomination), the German ace Markus Bock, the legendary 16 year old Adam Ondra from the Czech Republic, (winner in 2008), the American Chris Sharma, better known as the King of climbing (at his third nomination) and Maja Vidmar from Slovenia, winner last year of the La Sportiva Competition Award. If the candidates for the rock category are stellar, then those for the LA SPORTIVA COMPETITION AWARD are certainly nothing less, with the extraordinary Austrian dream team comprised of the young star Johanna Ernst and the “Queen” and “King” of bouldering: Anna Stöhr and Kilian Fischhuber, nominated for this award for the second year running. On Friday September 4th, on the eve of Rock Master No. 23, the winners will be announced during the special Award's Ceremony which will be attended by all the nominees. As usual the show will be conducted by Kay Rush, the TV and radio journalist and keen climber and sports woman. During the celebration there will also be time for the official presentation of the logo and film introducing the ISFC World Climbing Championship, scheduled to take place in Arco in July 2011. The event will be world class therefore! And once again the Arco Rock Legends will be the prelude to the world's most famous climbing weekend. The classic challenge which, on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September, will see the strongest athletes in the world battle it out for the trophy of trophies: the Rock Master. The dates for your diaries are 4, 5 and 6 of September: don't miss it!WINNERS ARCO ROCK LEGENDS Salewa Rock Award - Josune Bereziartu (2006), Patxi Usobiaga (2007), Adam Ondra (2008) La Sportiva Competition Award - Angela Eiter (2006), David Lama (2007), Maja Vidmar (2008)INTERNATIONAL JURYPresident: Fabrizio Miori (Arco Town Councillor for Tourism and Sport) Vice-President: Giorgio Balducci (RAI film director) The magazines: Alp (ITA), Alpin (GER), Climax (AUT), Climber (KO), Desnivel (ESP), Escalademag (FRA), Gory (POL), Grimper (FRA), Jamesak (SLK), Klettern (GER), Montana (CZE), www.8a.nu (INT), Pareti (ITA), Rivista del CAI (ITA), Rock & Ice (USA), SA Mountain Mag (SA), Summit (GBR), UP Climbing (ITA), Verticalniy Mir (RUS)SALEWA ROCK AWARD 2009 NOMINATIONS (in alphabetical order) To the climber who distinguished him/herself most on bolted sports routes and/or bouldering. Both the performance and how he/she managed to influence the style and ethics of sports climbing will be taken into account. Period: from July 2008 to June 2009Dani Andrada (1975, Spain) Nominated at the first Arco Rock Legends, the Spanish climber has never stopped what he does best: forge new routes in all of Spain, of all grades, climbing almost 300 days a year while creating a huge heritage of routes.Markus Bock (1979, Germany) The “guardian” of the Frankenjura, for years Markus has been the reference point for the hardest difficulties and development in this area. Recent trips to France and Spain have brought his undisputed abilities into the international limelight. Adam Ondra (1993, Czech Republic) The symbol of a new generation, of a new climbing which knows no limits. He dabbles with bouldering, the crag, multi-pitches and competitions and allows his imagination to unfold. Just 16 years of age (and winner of the 2008 Rock Award), Ondra is creating new standards with the simplicity of someone playing a beautiful game.Chris Sharma (1981, USA) The King, no one like Sharma has inspired the latest generations of climbers. His kingdom reigns from boulders to competitions, from routes at the crags to Deep Water Solo. For this reason he has received two nominations in past editions. Not content though, Sharma upped the ante in 2008 with a series of super ascents which include, first and foremost, his Jumbo Love.Maja Vidmar (1985, Slovenia) Athlete capable of excelling on all terrains, when she is not in competitions she makes the crags tremble. Recently she succeded in on-sighting 8b and redpointing 8c+.LA SPORTIVA COMPETITION AWARD 2009 NOMINATIONS (in alphabetical order) To the climber who distinguished him/herself in competition climbing (Lead, Boulder or Speed) during the season prior to the Award. Period: competition season 2008Johanna Ernst (1992, Austria) In her debut year, the 16 year old won practically everything there was to win. Kilian Fischhuber (1983, Austria) The undisputed king of bouldering: in 2008 he won his third World Cup. Nominated for last year's edition of the La Sportiva Competition Award.Anna Stöhr (1988, Austria) 4 victories and one 3 place in the World Cup made 2008 the perfect year for Anna Stöhr. Without a doubt one of the most positive athletes in the circuit.