Olympics 2020: Nathaniel Coleman


© Eddie Fowke

Murray, USA
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IFSC World Cup Wins Podiums
Speed 0PB: 6.728s 0
Boulder 0 2
Lead 0 0
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Nathaniel Coleman (USA) Age: 24

A quiet, cerebral climber, Coleman is probably best summed up by his own answer when a journalist asked him “Who do you think is the most surprising name on the list of qualified Olympians?” and the young American replied, “Nathaniel Coleman”. It was a good line and says much about his modesty and dislike of the spotlight. Coleman is a thinker - a student of climbing and climbing movement, and a calculating, clever competitor.

Coleman burst onto the international climbing scene in 2015, picking up silver medals in Toronto and Vail in just his second and third World Cup appearances. Despite that blistering start his career then stalled somewhat on the international front and, incredibly, he is yet to make another appearance in an IFSC final since those two events five years ago. However, he’s been prolific in American competitions and between 2016 and 2018 won three consecutive Bouldering National Championships, flashing all the final boulders in the last two of those three victories. 

Qualification route

Toulouse Combined Qualifier: 5th place

Although best known (rightly) as a boulderer, Coleman is no slouch on a Lead wall and has been working hard at his Speed too. That horsepower in Boulder, mixed with dedicated training in the other two disciplines netted him a place at Toulouse and he took full advantage, making the final and punching his Olympic ticket.


Coleman is adept at logic games such as chess, Rubix cubing and kendama.

UKC prediction

On his day Coleman is a serious contender in Boulder, but given the calibre of his opposition at the Olympics, that is unlikely to be enough for him to secure a spot in the finals. We predict a mid-table finish, outside the final.

© Eddie Fowke
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