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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!”