ARTICLE: Behind the Scenes of Sport Climbing's Olympic Debut

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 UKC Articles 28 Jul 2021

Working behind the scenes of Sport Climbing's debut at Tokyo 2020 is a team of IFSC officials and local volunteers who are hoping to put on a good show on the world's biggest sporting stage. From routesetters to judges to belayers and brushers, the finest in climbing event organisation are currently in Tokyo battling the heat and humidity as they prepare for the big day in one week's time. 

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In reply to UKC Articles:

Somewhat disappointing that despite one of the key principles for nomination being gender equality, 7 out of 7 route setters are men.

In reply to Jemima Churchhouse:

I was going to put the blame for this solely on the IFSC's lack of chief routesetters that are women, therefore leaving the choice of setters for the biggest event in sport climbing history as a choice from many men, plus Katja Vidmar. It didn't strike me that there was much chance for women routesetters at the games since there are so few with the experience I would assume they're looking for at the Olympics.

But having just looked into it a bit, there was certainly an obvious missed opportunity to replace KV with a woman - she was replaced with Garrett Gregor, who is a junior routesetter; of the four junior routesetters on the circuit, Helene Janicot is one. So selecting her instead of GG would have at least retained the ratio that was initially chosen (6:1, obviously still poor). There is a chance that HJ being French, and Romain Cabessut being on the team, was a part of the decision making process, but they certainly didn't try too hard to compensate for this!

This document gives a list of all chief and junior routesetters for the IFSC. There is certainly an urgent need to employ more women in competition routesetting, and I hope the IFSC is moving quickly towards correcting this.

 JRS81 02 Aug 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Does anyone know why there are a few black holds on the speed wall rather than all of them being red as usual?

 Doug 02 Aug 2021
 ducle 03 Aug 2021
In reply to JRS81:

The black holds are touch sensitive and are used to record split times... although they didn't show those on the TV.

 OrangeBob 20 Aug 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

The term 'Sport Climbing' seems to have changed it's meaning.

If my mate asks me if I fancy trad or sport at the weekend and I reply sport am I going to find myself clipped to an auto belay and expected to race up a wall?

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