Kiwi sport climbers are today celebrating the news from Rio that the International Olympic Committee have voted to accept the inclusion of Sport Climbing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The three disciplines of sport climbing perfectly reflect the Olympic motto: Faster, Higher, Stronger,” says David Sanders, President of Climbing New Zealand. “Speed climbing is all about getting to the top fastest, lead climbing is who can climb highest on an increasingly difficult route and bouldering requires tremendous bursts of strength.”
Sport climbing is fast-growing in New Zealand especially with young people – over ninety percent of competition climbers are under the age of 20. It’s as popular with females as it is with males. It’s urban-based, affordable and accessible as the number of climbing walls in New Zealand continues to increase.
“Kids love to climb,” says Sanders, “in the school playground, up trees, on rocks. It’s a fundamental human physical movement which up to now has not been represented at the Olympics. This decision changes that and brings new heights into view for Kiwi climbers.”
Sport climbing’s new Olympic status will be a hot topic at the upcoming National Bouldering Championship to be held at the Hangdog Climbing Wall, Lower Hutt on 3rd September.