Climbers delighted with Olympic decision

Competitive climbing is already a popular and well supported sport in Scotland.
Competitive climbing is already a popular and well supported sport in Scotland.

Mountaineering Scotland is delighted at the news competition climbing will be included as an event in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The announcement was made by the International Olympic Committee this week at a press conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, following a campaign by the International Federation of Sports Climbing, actively backed by Mountaineering Scotland and the British Mountaineering Council.

David Gibson, CEO of Mountaineering Scotland, said: “This fantastic development will be a real boost for Scotland’s young climbers, their coaches, parents and the many dedicated volunteers who make a real difference to the sport.

“Like them, we’re proud that young Scottish climbers have regularly gained podium places in international competitions as members of the GB Team.

“We feel we’re well placed to compete internationally, due to the development of coaching and training, and our support for our members of the GB Team, over recent years.”

Hopes are set on at least one Scottish climber being chosen as one of the 20 men and 20 women who will be competing in Tokyo.

The climbing event in the Olympics will include three elements:

• Lead climbing: Where a roped climber has one attempt at a technically difficult route of 15 metres or more, success being judged by how far he or she climbs before they fall off

• Speed climbing: The 100-metres sprint of climbing. Speed climbing is done by pitting two climbers against each other on a 15-metre standard, overhanging route. Fastest to the top wins.

• Bouldering: Climbers are allowed a number of attempts on a short but extremely hard route. It may be only five metres high and the winner will be the person who completes the route, without falling, in the least number of attempts.

While most climbers specialise in one of these disciplines, Olympic hopefuls will have to display excellence in all three.

David added: “Selection for the Olympic event presents an exciting challenge for climbers and their coaches. We believe that will inspire more young people to take up this excellent sport in years to come.”