Tokyo 2020 Olympians Bassa Mawem (FRA) and Aleksandra 'Ola' Miroslaw (POL) have qualified for their second Olympic Games in Paris 2024 by winning the European Speed Qualifier in Rome. Great Britain's Rafe Stokes qualified for the final and finished 15th.
Firstly, it wasn't Great Britain as a team that came 15th, it was one particular guy, so mocking the achievement seems slightly mean-spirited towards that individual.
Secondly, this is speed climbing, a pursuit that almost nobody here partakes in, so I don't think we could ever expect to see great team achievements. Even an extraordinarily well-organised governing body with limitless funding* can't create many successful athletes when there's no significant base of people participating in the sport.
*And clearly the BMC/GB Climbing are neither of those things right now, but pinning this on them seems silly
So what if we are far behind the rest of the world? We've got years of work to do to catch the big speed nations - that doesn't mean we're not progressing significantly. For example...
In 2022, the British record was still held by Will Bosi with 7.07 seconds; now it's held by Rafe Stokes with 5.588 from the British champs the other day. He's taken a second and a half off the national record, in just 15 months. You still reckon there's no positive spin??
I wonder if there's some medication you could take to address the exceptionalism that leads you to think that GB should be world beaters at a sport it's only taken seriously for a couple of years.
I think you've hit the nail on the "Ed" here...Ed! "A sport the BMC have only taken seriously for acouple of years!" Cripes! When did Nadin qualify? 1989 if my memory serves me correctly. 34 years ago. In the meantime, all the other European nations have been taking competition climbingseriously .... for 34 years and that is why we are so far behind.
I'm not for one minute belittling individual achievements from our British competitors. I'm just pointing out we have a very looooonnnnnnnggggggggg way to go in terms of being on a level field with what's going on in the rest of the world.
Ian Dunn made a valid comment a few week's back when he said the training facilities for competition climbing in the UK were inadequate, with no specific 'centre of excellence'. It's also about mind-set as well. Ian Vicker's father mentioned the lack of funds and expensive costs associated with competing. Surely, this is an 'obstacle' any competitor at National Level shouldn't have to worry about... whatever their discipline be it leading, bouldering or speed climbing.. Their focus should be to concentrate on scoring points and achievement. Not where the next few quid is coming from to buy their lunch and pay their fuel to get back home!
Your posts over the last month or so have been increasingly nasty and unpleasant towards individuals, regardless of your intention that is what you are achieving.
The competitions that Simon Nadin and co participated in look nothing like the competition format used at the last Olympics (although admittedly speed has now been split off), I would be surprised if Simon Nadin came anywhere close to what our current athletes manage in Speed Climbing simply because it wasn't something that was done at the time.
The availability of funding to support athletes in competing is appalling and undermines the reputation of the BMC in other areas (how exactly can it be viewed as inclusive to prevent someone from competing in future if their parents can't stump up a grand for hire cars at short notice as per the Innsbruck incident). It's entirely possible to criticise the BMC in an effective manner without getting nasty with or targeting anyone with your vitriol.
> ... Their focus should be to concentrate on scoring points and achievement. Not where the next few quid is coming from to buy their lunch and pay their fuel to get back home!
I think you may a rose-tinted view of what it is like to be a international competitor in a minority sport (e.g., climbing, cycling). Even those who style themselves as 'professionals' generally rely on family/parental support to allow them to do what they like to do. Whether you consider that to be 'right' is another matter, but there's nothing particularly unusual about the situation for comp climbers. Like it or not, there's generally very little money in sport outside of the top tiers of football/golf/etc.,
Sorry Marek, I think you misunderstand. I was referring to the fact the competitors are not receiving the funding they need from a representative body in order to channel all their efforts into training/events.
So, someone who comes from a low-wage family could find themselves excluded or 'discouraged' from competing on an international level...purely because of the expenditure involved from place to place, entry fees, hotels etc.
> Sorry Marek, I think you misunderstand. I was referring to the fact the competitors are not receiving the funding they need from a representative body in order to channel all their efforts into training/events.
> So, someone who comes from a low-wage family could find themselves excluded or 'discouraged' from competing on an international level...purely because of the expenditure involved from place to place, entry fees, hotels etc.
But that's exactly my point. Your somewhat utopian vision of international sport doesn't actually exist. If you want to spend your life playing games (that's all it is in reality), then you/your family will have to pay. It might not be fair, but lots of more important things in life are not either. Do you think 'we*' should pay for that? Why?
> We go back here to the idea of GB Climbing being run separately from the core duties of the BMC then. A separate entity.
So how will that make any difference? Their ability to raise money (public or commercial sponsors) will still be very limited. The management will still be the same (assumption). Yes, it'll stop BMC some members grumbling (assumption), but it's not going to make the competitors' financial challenges any less.
I agree with everything your saying bar the fact that cycling is a minority sport. Cycling is the most universally done sport across the entire globe and cycling events as a whole are, probably, bigger than any other sporting event bar the Football world cup.
There is money in cycling that Climbing could only hope to achieve. Many years ago I worked on the Tour of Britain for 4 years and that's a small race in the entire yearly calendar but it was hugely wealthy so I can only dream about the amounts TDF or the Giro cost.
The top tour teams have their riders on significant salaries with all expenses paid etc. The riders are getting given bikes worth more than some comp climbers will pay in travel expenses all season!
> I agree with everything your saying bar the fact that cycling is a minority sport. Cycling is the most universally done sport across the entire globe and cycling events as a whole are, probably, bigger than any other sporting event bar the Football world cup.
"Done", yes, lots of people ride bikes. Yes, the TdF get more spectators than pretty much any other event in any other sport. Cycling may not be a minority 'activity', but it is a minority 'sport'.
> There is money in cycling that Climbing could only hope to achieve. ...
And yet most pro-cyclist (outside the top ~100 globally) get little more than expenses and some kit, many much less than that. World-class teams are struggling to get sponsorship from anywhere other than a from few rich bike-loving individuals and a few dictatorships. The ToB is bordering on insolvency. So what do we expect for climbing?
As someone who has been an international level judge for multiple years at IFSC competitions, I can categorically state that it is not normal for the top athletes in each discipline to be completely unfunded. GB Climbing athletes are the only European team with zero funding, our team support staff at even Olympic qualifying events is usually only one coach, where every other team has discipline-specific coaches, admins, and physio staff present. GB Climbing / BMC funds two items of kit per athlete per season, that is it! No travel, no accommodation, no kit at all. It is very unusual to have a team that produces athletes who regularly make finals at world cups and yet has zero funding and team support.
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