US Climbers at the Olympics
The 2021 Olympics are in full swing in Tokyo, Japan, and the rock climbing events are just around the corner! Only 40 climbers will be competing in the new combined format climbing event so qualification was a tough battle. Many skilled and accomplished climbers did not make it through for a variety of reasons.
A maximum of four climbers, two men, and two women may compete from one country. Fortunately, we have the maximum number of US climbers to cheer for as they compete from August 3rd through 6th. All four US climbers are young, talented athletes that had to successfully compete in all three disciplines (sport climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering) to win their spots. Let’s take a closer look at where these athletes came from and what we have to look forward to.
Age 20 Boulder, CO
To qualify for the Olympics, Brooke placed 9th in the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Hachioji, Japan in August of 2019. While the top seven men and women climbers were to qualify for the Olympic spots, four Japanese women qualified, so only the top two may compete. The IFSC World Championships were only the most recent of Brooke’s climbing accomplishments though. Brooke has been climbing strong for over ten years, so it’s no surprise to see her at the Olympics. She climbed her first V10 at the age of 9 was the youngest woman to climb 5.13b at the same age. Recently she made an ascent of the mega-classic crimp line Jade, V14 in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Age 25 Shoreview, MN Kyra qualified for her Olympic spot in the IFSC Combined Qualifier event in Toulouse, France in December of 2019. Kyra is no stranger to the podium having placed 1st in the 2019 U.S. Climbing Combined Invitational and 2018 IFSC PanAmerican Championship. But you may recognize her (and her roommate Canadian climber Allison Vest) as the Climbing Roommates from their popular TikTok account (@climbingroommates). Now based out of Salt Lake City, Kyra is an unstoppable powerhouse. She suffered from severe idiopathic scoliosis as a child and has a fused spine that limits her mobility. To overcome it, she has to be insanely strong!
Age 24 Murray, UT
Like Kyra, Nathaniel qualified for the Olympics in the IFSC Combined Qualifier event in Toulouse, France. But before that, Nathaniel was an unstoppable competitive boulderer and won three straight US Bouldering National Championships from 2016-2018. More recently he has focused on outdoor climbing and has put down some of the hardest boulders in the world including his first ascent of The Grand Illusion, V16 in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.
Age 17 Boulder, CO Colin was the youngest climber to qualify for the Olympics! He took first place in the 2020 IFSC Pan American Championships in March of 2020 to secure his spot. Colin won the IFSC Climbing World Youth Championships in 2017 and 2018 but has been climbing almost his whole life. He started climbing at the young age of 5 and went on to compete in many youth competitions. Colin and Brooke climbed on the same youth team in Boulder, Colorado.
We have a lot to look forward to when it comes to US climbers in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Be sure to tune in and cheer them on as they compete in all three disciplines from August 3rd-August 6th!