Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the climbing competition calendar - including the postponement of multiple IFSC events and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - the IOC has approved an appeal by the IFSC to switch Speed climbing for fingerboarding given the current explosion of the discipline and the lack of access to the homologated Speed route for athletes. The Games will now take place on the revised dates of 23 July - 8 August 2021.
IOC President Thomas Bach announced: 'We are happy to accommodate the wishes of the Sport Climbing federations in 2021. Now we can swap one unpopular discipline for a wildly overrated one.'
The Fingerboarding event is rumoured to include the 'Front Two Freestyle', 'Deep Mono Decathlon', 'Ring Finger Roulette' and the increasingly popular '#BananaLockChallenge' disciplines.
Tokyo-qualified athlete Adam Ondra told UKC: 'Finally, I no longer have to climb that bloody Speed route! But I'm worried my skin will be poor for the wood grain from all this handwashing.'
As lockdown has confined climbers to their homes, sales of fingerboards, pull-up bars and home wall construction have - quite literally, in some cases - gone through the roof.
Beastmakers CEO Ned Feehally commented: 'I'm just glad to be helping the nation's climbers in this time of crisis. If anyone important is reading this, it'd be great to be the official Olympic fingerboard supplier by the way...'
Additional selection events for the Fingerboarding event will be held via Zoom this summer in hallways, kitchens and living rooms across the globe. Mr Szlag Bored of Sheffield is hoping this will be his time to shine: 'I'm struggling with a blown A1, f*cked C3, elbow tendonitis and skin as soft as Charmin just now, but I know the IOC have been watching my #COVID2000 challenges and #LooRollLockOff with interest. Stay Home, Stay Strong, folks!'