Olympics 2020: Jessica Pilz


© Eddie Fowke

Haag, Austria
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IFSC World Cup Wins Podiums
Speed 0PB: 9.564s 0
Boulder 0 1
Lead 2 17
View IFSC profile
  • World Cup Overall: 2 x Bronze (2015, Lead; 2016, Combined)
  • World Championships: Gold, 2018 (Lead); Bronze 2018 (Combined)








Jessica Pilz (AUT) Age: 24

Born in the Amstetten region of Austria, just to the south-east of the country’s third-largest city, Linz, Pilz has been successful from the first day of her competition career. She won the Lead title in three successive Youth World Championships between 2011 and 2013 and also won the European Youth Boulder Championship in 2014. That same year she picked up her first ever World Cup medal.

Pilz is a seemingly quiet character and generally keeps herself to herself at competitions, but those who know her best all concur that underneath a shy exterior lurks a forceful will. Pilz is determined, focused, strong and talented, which is a good combination in anyone’s book. She put all of those attributes to good use at the 2018 World Championships when she beat Janja Garnbret, Jain Kim and all to claim the gold medal. On her day she can beat anyone and is a consistent finalist/medallist in both Boulder and Lead.

Qualification route

Hachioji World Championships: 10th place

Pilz booked her ticket to Tokyo at the first time of asking. She didn’t make the final in Hachioji but the number of Japanese athletes ahead of her meant that she got her Olympic slot by finishing 10th.


Pilz’s hometown (Haag) is the geographical centre of Europe. Don’t ask us how that’s measured or what it means exactly, but it sounds good!

UKC prediction

Pilz is capable of making the final, but we suspect she’ll just miss out and end up in the upper part of the midfield.

2021 update: a finger injury picked up in SLC could affect Pilz's chances in Tokyo, despite her apparent good form in the first Boulder events.

© Eddie Fowke
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