Climbing revamps bid for 2020 Olympic Games

Monday, 18 March 2013
By Tom Degun

ClimbingMarch 18 - Climbing has revamped its bid to be included on the sport programme for the 2020 Olympic Games by including all three of their competition disciplines instead of just one.

The original proposal included just lead climbing, which tests the endurance of athletes as they compete to see who can get highest.

However, both speed climbing and bouldering will now also be included if climbing secures a spot at the 2020 Olympics.

Speed climbing sees athletes race up identical routes to see who gets to the top in the fastest time while bouldering is the ultimate climbing test of strength and power as it sees athletes compete vertically without ropes.

The announcement was made by The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) President Marco Scolaris at the IFSC Plenary Assembly in Shanghai.

This decision comes on the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Technical Commission following the IOC Evaluation of the 2012 Climbing World Championships in Paris where lead, speed and bouldering competitions took place alongside one another.

"We are at a turning point in sport climbing history with sport climbing short-listed for the 2020 Olympic Games," said Scolaris.

"Each one of us must work towards the success of our bid."
 
Climbing AssemblyThe IFSC decided to include lead climbing, speed climbing, bouldering in their 2020 Olympic bid at their Plenary Assembly in Shanghai

This multi-discipline format will now be championed when the IFSC gives its presentation to the IOC Executive Board in St Petersburg at the end of May.

They will present along with the other sports bidding for Olympic status at the 2020 Games which are baseball/softball, karate, roller sport, squash, wakeboard and wushu.

They will be fighting against wrestling, which has been removed from the core programme of sports after Rio 2016 by the IOC Executive Board.

Following the presentations, the shortlist is expected to be narrowed down to three sports before the final vote by the IOC at their Session in Buenos Aires in September.

British Mountaineering Council (BMC) chief executive Dave Turnbull said he is hopeful that the new change up will give the 2020 Olympic bid a boost heading into the crucial presentations in May.

"It's exciting to hear that a combined event of all three climbing disciplines is being put forward for consideration for the 2020 Olympics," he said.

"This will make it even more impressive to watch.

"The next couple of months are crucial for climbing's bid. We're a step closer to knowing what climbing would look like at the Olympics and we're hoping it'll become a reality.

"The switch to a multi-discipline event may be just what's needed to secure a place for climbing on the shortlist in May."

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