Olypmics 2020: Alannah Yip


© Eddie Fowke

North Vancouver, Canada
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IFSC World Cup Wins Podiums
Speed 0PB: 9.119s 0
Boulder 0 0
Lead 0 0
View IFSC profile
  • 2019 PanAmerican Championships Combined - Gold









Alannah Yip (CAN) Age: 27

North Vancouver-based Alannah Yip has been a circuit regular since her senior debut in 2011, with a full six-year apprenticeship in international junior events prior to this. Although she's never made the podium in an IFSC World Cup, Yip has considerable competition experience, having done four more or less full Lead, Speed and Boulder seasons since 2016. During a four-year competition hiatus while studying Mechanical Engineering, Yip spent some time in Switzerland as part of a study abroad scheme, where she trained with Swiss coach Urs Stöcker and some strong Swiss women including Petra Klingler. Yip's passion for competing was reawakened, and she realised the level of training required to keep up with the best competitors. 

Yip has commented in the past that she has never been the best competitor, either as a youth or at senior level internationally, but she always turns up and has been consistent and gradually improving across all three disciplines, including one Boulder World Cup final finish in Chongqing in 2017. With her compatriot Sean McColl providing inspiration from a young age, Yip's work ethic has taken her very far indeed, and at the 2019 PanAmerican Championships she proved herself capable of winning international events under considerable pressure. 

Qualification route

2019 PanAmerican Championships: 1st Place

Yip's journey to Olympic qualification was long and heartbreaking at times. Hachioji proved disappointing for Yip, where she finished 18th and far out of the top 8 places. In Toulouse, she inched closer with a 14th place, being just four places out of Olympic selection. By the arrival of the PanAmerican Championships in Los Angeles, Yip was a clear favourite and the pressure appeared to knock her off course in the initial stages of the competition.  

On the qualifying day, Yip appeared off-form and only just made it through to the final in 6th place, where she would face stiff competition from South American athletes. After a 5th place in the Speed finals, Yip showed her Boulder prowess with a win, and then it all came down to the Lead route. Yip had to beat Alejandra Contreras of Chile to win and secure herself the Olympic ticket. High tension ensued, but a valiant fight by Yip to a new highpoint and an emotional response to her win alongside commendable sportswomanship from her fellow competitors made for one of the most memorable IFSC moments of all time.


Yip was the first ever Canadian woman to make World Cup finals when she qualified in Chongqing, China, in 2017. Yip and Canadian teammate and Olympic-qualified athlete Sean McColl are childhood family friends. 

UKC prediction

While Yip isn't as dominant in any one discipline as some of her fellow competitors, her work ethic and all-round skills could earn her a top 10 or top 15 finish.

© Eddie Fowke
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