Slovenian Olympic-qualified athlete Janja Garnbret is featured in the 2021 TIME100 Next list, an expansion of the magazine's TIME100 list of the world's most influential people, which profiles 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future. Garnbret's inclusion in the list comes just weeks after USA Climbing and Tokyo-qualified athlete Kyra Condie was featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, demonstrating that the achievements and potential of Sport Climbing athletes — and of the female climbers in particular — are being recognised.
The 21-year-old is one of seventeen individuals listed under the heading 'Phenoms', alongside US inaugural poet Amanda Gorman. A diverse range of artists, leaders, innovators and advocates are also featured, from British singer Dua Lipa to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.
TIME's profile suggests that Garnbret is 'in pole position to steal the show' at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer. They're not wrong; Garnbret's track record - and our UKC Olympic prediction - supports this claim.
Garnbret has won back-to-back World Championships in Boulder and Combined in 2018 and 2019, and also reclaimed the Lead title in 2019. She is the only athlete to have won a clean-sweep of all six Bouldering World Cup events in a season (2019) — in which she also topped qualification and semi-final rounds, completing 74/78 of the boulders put in front of her — and she has won eight World Cup overall titles (across Lead, Boulder and Combined).
In 2019, she won triple titles in Lead, Boulder and Combined at the IFSC World Championships in Hachioji, where she earned her #1 seed ranking for the Tokyo Games.
"I have a responsibility to show the sport to the world, and to set a good example," Garnbret told TIME, referring to the sport's Olympic debut.
"I'm the kind of person who, if I'm not having fun, then I definitely won't get a good result," she said. "I'm going there to enjoy it, because I know if I enjoy it, everything will be O.K."