/ Olympics: What climbing is up against.
Very odd view and of course complete nonsense. I've seen plenty of non-climbers enjoying watching a major climbing comp live at places like Birmingham or recorded on the telly. Compared to many Olympic sports the understanding that someone needs to go higher than the last is a very immediate and easy point to understand and you can usually clearly see the struggle as they approach that point. Karate and Squash are both a bit fast and technical.
They should get rid of beach volleyball and horse dancing and then they could include all three
If I had to rank them I'd go Squash, Karate then Climbing. Squash would be top for me as its a big sport in countries that otherwise wouldn't really feature in the Olympics (Egypt, Middle East, Pakistan)
I'd say squash, with climbing a second choice for me. Though as a spectator I would personally be more interested in watching climbing than any of the others.
I can't see the point of Karate at all, if Taekwondo is still in.
Likewise Wushu, if there's already rhythmic gymnastics. ;O)
I enjoyed a couple of the first international comps I saw at Birmingham but never had the slightest desire to go again, and, after watching 10 minutes of a bouldering comp at the Outdoors show once, realised that there is nothing less interesting than watching someone else climb when you can't.
But that's just me.
Agree. Anyway, I couldn't care less whether climbing is in the Olympics, if someone wants to pull plastic in a competition that's up to them but for me climbing is about real rock and ice etc and doing it to challenge yourself rather than to be better than the next person, or just to have a good time with your mates. It's also good to be inspired by impressive outdoors ascents by the pros. As for competitions, fair play to the participants, they train hard, and I can see the attraction, but it isn't even proper climbing as it's indoors! Sorry if that sounds harsh but that's what I think. When I go to the wall, which I enjoy doing, I call it going to the wall or training, not climbing. Guess I'm a bit old school.
> there is nothing less interesting than watching someone else climb when you can't.
Spot on, apart from a good DVD of an evening!
Amen to that!!!
I'd watch it.
Unlike table tennis and badminton? And judo is just a 1 on 1 game of British Bull dogs.
I am not to fussed about climbing being an Olympic Sport. I find it a bit dull to watch.
You may well find it dull but not everyone is the same. You can get an idea of likely audience from the stuff that makes it to TV already. I simply dont see Squash and Karate getting bigger audiences than climbing comps, especially with europe as a major market.
There were a few moments of absolute brilliance, but overall I think I agree with you. I thought the paralympic judo was a bit better, as they start from a grip so you don't have to watch them circling round each other for half the bout playing pat-a-cake.
The original Olympics started as a way of selecting the best warriors. Running, jumping, throwing, archery, sword fighting. The ability to scale a cliff and so sneak up on your opponents must surely top all of the other challengers. The Olympics aren't just about the tv rights. Otherwise football and tennis woudl be Olympic sports. Oh, hang on... damn.
If the main criterion for suitability is a sport's popularity among spectators, then why aren't darts and wwf-style wrestling on the list?
I'd say that squash should be chosen - it's a mainstream global sport that many people play. It's vaguely astonishing that it's not already in, particularly given some of the recent additions.
And, at the next Olympics, golf. Golf! :-O
I'm surprised about squash given that its popular in N.Africa, Middle East and the Indian sub continent which ought to appeal to the IOC.
I was just countering the idiocy (from climbers of all people) saying it wouldnt be very watchable in comparison to those sports.
I'd also like to see Squash in.
Wwf wrestling simply isnt a sport. Darts, snooker and pools would all arguably be good choices.
I'd also like to see them keep Wind Surfing over Kite Surfing.
- Well, competition against your fellow man isn't at the heart of climbing while it is arguably at the heart of something like squash.
- It is a niche sport and non climbers (and many climbers) tend to find it rather dull to watch once the "ohh isn't it steep" phase is over. Can you imagine the commentary you'd have to endure?
- The ambivalent attitude of climbers themselves to competition - what would you rather do? spend the day watching superstar climbers grunt on plastic or go climbing?
- What it does to the sport (at the grass roots). Example: the BCU once medals became a possibility and the funding started. Can't imagine anyone wanting the BMC going that way.
> - Well, competition against your fellow man isn't at the heart of climbing while it is arguably at the heart of something like squash.
Sort of agree with that, although you could say the same about (eg) cycling - I'd guess that the majority of people who own bikes don't do any sort of competitive riding.
Not sure about that actually, particularly with bouldering. It's reasonably easy to appreciate the sort of strength and gymnastic ability that's going into it, plus it tends to be obvious whether someone succeeded or not. It's certainly no more dull than loads of other olympic sports.
Well yeah, but I'd rather go climbing than watch most olympic sports.
Hmm, don't know about the BCU, but I think that if competition climbing became that big a thing then there'd be a good argument for a clear separation between the part of the BMC that handles "Team GB", organises competitions etc and the part of it that handles access, conservation etc. Because many people paying their BMC subs don't really care what happens to the olympic team, while the sports funding bodies don't really care whether we lose access to some random quarry in Lancashire, and both groups would like it to be clear where their money is going...
TBH my general feeling is that the olympics is too big a thing anyway - we'd be much better off if funding went to sports that inspire people and encourage participation whether they're in the olympics or not, and if the general public were able to pay attention to sports because of their inherent interest rather than because of the big shiny podium and the impact on the medal table. But I suspect that that horse has bolted.
If we accept that the olympics is going to keep adding sports and becoming and ever greater behemoth then squash seems like a better option to me because the competitive element is much more at the heart of it, but climbing isn't as silly idea as some people seem to think...
The thing is that subset of climbing that is competitive indoor climbing bears so little resemblance to the subsets that motivate some/most of us it's hardly even the same sport. So it's hard to care one way or the other, I don't feel any stronger about climbing being an olympic sport than any other.
That said I wouldn't say it's any duller to watch than any other sport you can't particularly relate to.
If darts gets in, it is not a slight on bar billiards. Fred Truman anyone?
On a purely selfish basis I'd vote for climbing. In reality though, I think more viewers would enjoy either karate or squash.
Going back to your link in the OP, I'd vote for the woman wake-boarding in the top photo, nomatter which sport she was in!
> The thing is that subset of climbing that is competitive indoor climbing bears so little resemblance to the subsets that motivate some/most of us it's hardly even the same sport.
I am sure you could say the same thing about sailing, track cycling, shooting, kayaking etc.
I used to be completely against climbing being an Olympic sport. Now I'm not bothered either way; my only concern would be the BMC/funding issue.
I think this is the problem I have with it. I don't particularly want climbing to be any more commercialised than it already is. I certainly don't want to see it promoted and I worry that a large increase in participation may impact negatively on the likes of access, personal insurance and legislation.
Blimey - I am only 36 and I am starting to sound like some of the old fuddy duddies!
But watching people pulling on plastic holds IS boring! Well, I think so anyway, and I'm not the only one. A good climbing DVD can be interesting to watch but even then it's not just the climbing sequences, it's stuff like the scenery, interviews and little anecdotes that make climbing films enjoyable.
> But watching people pulling on plastic holds IS boring! Well, I think so anyway, and I'm not the only one.
What indoor sports do you find interesting to watch, though? I mean, I don't spend every evening glued to sports climbing coverage, but I can't really see how you'd find climbing any less interesting than most track and field sports, swimming, weightlifting, shooting, archery or any other "people try to do progressively more difficult tasks" type sports... in fact, I'd say it's considerably more interesting because the progressively more difficult tasks are more obviously varied than eg picking up a bar with a bit more weight on than last time...
Good point, I find pretty much any sport boring to watch, but at least with something like football I can watch it and find it vaguely interesting for a bit. For me, sport is for doing, not watching.
In the discussion on the Today program this morning (c0830), climbing came across quite strongly; many positive things were said.
> Good point, I find pretty much any sport boring to watch.
All sport is, when you think too hard about, it pretty silly really. It is only saved from ridiculousness by the fact that those taking part and those watching actually, for some reason, care who wins. And the more people who care the more important it becomes in a weird but glorious self-fufilling spiral. I can get totally engrossed watching almost any sport if the stakes are high enough. Even golf. Or Clay Pigeon shooting or Dressage if an Olympic Gold is at stake - just finished watching the 15hr DVD box set of the Olympics I got for Christmas (I missed them in the summer!). Compared with many Olympic sports, climbing would make great spectating; it is easy to understand what is going on and who is the winner (compare that to fencing, say) and it is an obviously properly physical thing (compare that to shooting, say).
I watched the squash guys promoting their inclusion on the TV last night & I did symapthise, especially with the point that as a world champion, watching so many other sports being credited, but being excluded yourself must be pretty depressing! Interestingly though, the footage they showed of various championship events in exotic locations were all very, very sparsely attended, about ten people in the audience!
One part of me worries for climbing if it got included, if too many people got into it for the 'wrong' reasons (hornets nest warning!). But the obvious culprits aside, most sports are almost exclusively populated by amateur enthusiasts, and even the pros are ditto, and very approachable; usually it's quite a small 'world' and all the better for that.
The obvious downside could be massive withdrawal of funding if 'we' didn't meet the targetted medal haul. But I can't say that would affect my climbing...
cf 'horse ballet' ... swan lake, now that would be worth watching!
I think the problem here is that trying to make climbing fit the Olympics is like trying to make a square peg fit a round hole....
The Olympic motto is the hendiatris Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger".
Speed climbing, Lead climbing, Bouldering.
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