|IFSC World Cup||Wins||Podiums|
Alberto Ginés López (ESP) Age: 18
The matador! A climber since he was big enough to wear a harness, Ginés López was something of a sensation in 2019 (his first full season in senior Lead World Cups) thanks to his battling style and never-say-die attitude. He first appeared in IFSC European Youth Cups in 2016, and a by the next season was already picking up serious amounts of silverware; in 2017 alone he collected four European Youth Cup wins (two in Boulder and two in Lead), as well as the European Youth Championships in Lead. The following year the Youth wins kept coming, and Ginés López also made the final at his first ever senior Lead World Cup, in Arco.
Come 2019 Ginés López appeared (without making semis) in both the Munich and Vail Boulder World Cups and then threw himself in a full Lead season. In the 2nd event of the season (Chamonix) he made the final and delivered one of the standout moments of the entire campaign by battling to 5th place, a result earned only through sheer determination - most climbers would have been spat off long before the point where Ginés López fell, and only his extraordinary willpower kept him on the wall. Since that incredible evening beneath Mont Blanc he’s stood on 2 World Cup podiums, was 2nd only to Adam Ondra in the European Championships and qualified for the Olympics. For any climber, let alone one not yet old enough to buy a beer in a British pub, that’s a pretty decent year.
Toulouse Combined Qualifier: 7th place
After a somewhat disappointing trip to Hachioji for the IFSC World Championships (where he didn’t make semis in either Boulder or Lead) Ginés López knew that his best shot at Olympic qualification would be at the Olympic Selection event in Toulouse. He did what was required, coming 2nd in the qualification round and thereby cruising into one of the six Olympic places that were available.
Ginés López moved to Barcelona in 2016 in order to train for the Olympics as soon as it was officially announced that climbing would be going to the Games. That’s impressive forethought for a (then) 13 year old.
Ginés López was really hitting his stride in late 2019 and looked like he was closing in on a first World Cup win. The postponed Games will likely be an advantage to the young Spaniard because he’ll have a while longer for his rapid improvement to continue. Regardless, any climber who is young, hungry and basically will not let go on a Lead route is always in with a shout. We think he’ll make the final but lacks the big match experience to make the podium. A bet on him picking up a medal in Paris 2024 would not be a bad idea at all.