It was recently announced that climbing made the short list of 8 sports to be included in the 2020 Olympic games.
You can read more about it here.
This is the closest that climbing has ever been to becoming an Olympic sport. Given the number of recent World Cup competitions in the USA it’s no surprise that climbing is finally being looked at as a significant contender. In the past three years we’ve hosted a World Cup bouldering competition in Vail, CO and this year we’ll see the first World Cup sport climbing competition since the 1980s!
Competitive climbing (bouldering, speed and sport) has positioned itself as a growing youth sport – which makes it that much more attractive to the Olympic committee.
So what can WE do to promote climbing and get it in the Olympics? Well, USA Climbing Executive Director, Keith Ferguson said that first and foremost we can attend the World Cup events hosted here in the USA, and if we are unable to attend, we should log-in, whenever possible, to watch the live feeds of climbing competitions. This can be done through the USA Climbing site and through the IFSC website. The number of viewers or hits that a live or recorded feed is used to show popularity. And those numbers are part of the equation to demonstrate how many viewers climbing can generate.
It’s going to be important to start a buzz about climbing becoming an Olympic sport. We need to support our local USA Climbing teams – like the Oklahoma Climbing Team – and those organizations that support competitive climbing – like USA Climbing.
It’s also worth mentioning, on a local level, that Rocktown Climbing Gym is positioning itself to becoming the location of a world-class venue suitable for Olympic level events and an Olympic training facility. More on this in future postings.
For the time being, let’s keep focused on elevating climbing to the level it deserves – let’s push for seeing it in the Olympics – wherever that may be – in 2020.