Tonight's Friday nighter is a 'TED Talk' by Sasha DiGiulian, the top American sport climber.
TED introduces the talk thus:
Sasha DiGiulian is a professional climber, world-ranking leader for Female Outdoor Sport Climbing, reigning national and world champion, US Junior and Adult National team member, and Athlete Representative for The International Federation of Sport Climbing.
Since the beginning of her career, Sasha has been extremely successful in her sport. She was the undefeated Junior Continental Champion from 2004-2010 and in 2011 she became the reigning US and Pan American Champion. Sasha entered the World Championships in 2011, and her performance in the four categories- bouldering, speed, lead, and duel-secured her spot as the Overall Female World Champion.
Her achievements in climbing include many first female ascents, including Era Vela- (9a) 5.14d, Pure Imagination-(9a) 5.14d, Cosi Fan Tutte- (8c+) 5.14c, and Lucifer-(8c+) 5.14c. She is also the only North American Woman to achieve 9a and to onsight 8b+, the third woman in the world to ascend 9a, and the youngest woman in the world to climb that grade.
Sasha has received awards and acknowledgments for her successes. At age 14, in 2007, she was named an "Outdoor Idol" by the Outdoor Industry Foundation, and in 2012 she was awarded a Gold Piton Award for "Breakaway Success". She was also a featured guest at the US embassy in Bern, Switzerland, where they held a dinner in her honor.
Sasha is highly involved in various charity organizations. She serves as an athlete ambassador for Right to Play-a non-profit organization that aids underprivileged children around the world, and for Outdoor Nation-a movement to activate youth to enjoy America's great outdoors. She is also involved with HERA, a women's cancer foundation, as the founder of "Boulder Like a Girl" climbing clinic.
Having recently graduated as a straight-A student at The Potomac School, Sasha is currently in her first semester at Columbia University in NYC.