October 4 - Climbing will feature one discipline if it is successful with its bid to be included on the Olympic programme in 2020, World Climbing Federation (IFSC) President Marco Scolaris has confirmed.
There are three main climbing disciplines – lead, bouldering and speed.
Lead is the most classic climbing discipline and is the one that men and women will compete in if the sport wins its bid to be included at the Olympics.
In lead, competitors climb while clipped into protection points as they traverse the route.
"Lead is the historical and traditional climbing discipline," said Scolaris.
"It is the expression of climbing most commonly perceived by the public and a popular event among climbers and non-climbers.
"Lead events have also the most universal representation and is the discipline that a majority of our national federations indicated as their favourite.
"Lead brings athletes beyond vertical in a continuous gravity challenge, and television experts pointed out they need the height challenge.
"The choice of one discipline only is the result of the existing limit in terms of athletes.
"However, we do not exclude the fact that one day the three disciplines will be represented at the Olympic Games."
Scolaris was speaking at the World Championships in Paris at the Palais de Bercy, the IFSC's main evaluation event for its bid to be included on the Olympic programme from 2020.
Climbing is one of eight sports bidding to win the race for Olympic inclusion.
In total, some 16,000 spectators turned up to watch the action in Paris, including a delegation of International Olympic Committee (IOC) observers.
All three disciplines were featured in one of the largest climbing events ever organised – where more than 500 athletes were present from 60 countries to take part.
Scolaris also emphasised climbing's Olympic credentials, saying: "The IFSC believes that the inclusion of sport climbing would benefit the Olympic Games by bringing a passionate young audience to the Games.
"Climbing speaks to young people and gets them involved in a sport they can practice for the rest of their lives.
"It also speaks to each of us: men and women, boys and girls, kids, elders and paraclimbers...all play in and on the same field.
"Climbing is also unique as it is a vertical sport which uses [both] body and mind to climb."
The IOC is inspecting a major event at each of the sports bidding to win the race to be included in the 2020 Games.
It is now assessing the joint bid from baseball and softball at the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifying event at the Armin-Wolf-Arena in Regensburg, Germany.
Among the frontrunners for 2020 are squash, karate and the joint bid from baseball and softball, who were rejected from the Olympic programme in 2005.
Climbing is a relatively young sport compared to most of its rivals, which also include wushu, wakeboard and roller blading.
The next significant step in the bidding process is a presentation to the IOC's programme commission in Lausanne this December.
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