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Climbing at the Olympic Games

After lobbying for inclusion into the Olympic Games for many years, sports climbing was finally accepted onto the program for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, along with four other new sports.

What is Sport Climbing?

The sport that is being held at the Olympics is not “rock” climbing, which most people would have an idea about, but “sport climbing”, which requires similar skills, though it is performed on an artificial climbing wall.

The climbing competition at the Olympics is divided into three disciplines - lead climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering, with events for men and women. The competitors will be graded on their combined results from the three events.

  1. Speed climbing - a timed race between two athletes on a 15-meter wall.
  2. Bouldering - a graded course with multiple routes of varying difficulty to be completed in four minutes.
  3. Lead Climbing - how high a climber can go in six minutes.
indoor wall climbingindoor sport climbing

Climbing at Past Olympics

This is not the first time that climbing has been part of the Olympic Games. From 1924 to 1936, the IOC gave a gold medal for "alpinism", another word for mountaineering. See more about Alpinism at the Olympics.

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Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the Winter edition in Milan-Cortina 2026. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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