The Olympic dream became reality last week for 42 sport climbing athletes from 25 different countries at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games. Behind the scenes, the adventure was made possible by a strong team-work between the IFSC (International Sport Climbing Federation), and ENTRE-PRISES, the climbing wall manufacturer.
An urban sport of the youth
Far away from its outdoor origins, sport climbing has developed a deep anchor in urban culture and is a growing attraction for youth.
Well known for mountain lovers, sport climbing has grown in the past decade as an urban sport activity with an increasing number of indoor climbing facilities around the World.
ENTRE-PRISES, the exclusive climbing wall supplier at Buenos Aires, has also been deeply involved in this trend as the company is a world pioneer in building climbing facilities for over 30 years.
From children to young adults, today’s indoor climbers practice climbing socially and climbing competitions have flourished with the initiative of the IFSC and local governing bodies like USA Climbing.
Six Youth Olympians were awarded the first medals for Sport Climbing in an Olympic context last week, a historic victory for Sport Climbing and the climax of multiple memorable moments in Buenos Aires.
In an Olympic first, an even number of male and female athletes competed in Buenos Aires, including a total of 42 Sport Climbing athletes from 25 countries and 5 continents, already game changers.
Athlete Role Models Charlotte Durif and Josh Levin also represented Sport Climbing throughout the event, and Durif presented during the 1st Olympism in Action Forum, which focused on using sport for good.
“Modern trends and challenges were discussed in my working zone with athletes and researchers from around the world of different sport backgrounds, and I was delighted to contribute the unique perspective of Sport Climbing as a young, urban, accessible sport with sustainability in its roots,” says Durif.
IFSC and ENTRE-PRISES, a strong partnership
Keita Dohi and Sandra Lettner’s power and poise in Bouldering, Vita Lukan and Shuta Tanaka’s gravity-defying ascents in Lead and Sam Avezou and Laura Lammer’s tight finishes in Speed;
none of these magical climbing moments would have been possible without the teams behind the scenes and a structural foundation.
Focusing on strict quality standards and teamwork with route setters, long-time IFSC partner ENTRE-PRISES was selected to provide all three of the Bouldering, Lead and Speed climbing walls used at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, the focal points of the Urban Park venue which immediately caught the eye as they towered beside skyscrapers and surrounding greenery.
“We are proud to be an Official Provider of Buenos Aires 2018, to have made possible the fantastic performances of the very best youth Sport Climbing athletes in the World and to have embodied the urban, youthful atmosphere of these Youth Olympic Games and shared values of our sport with our climbing walls. The Olympic journey doesn’t stop here, and we are excited to keep bringing over 30 years of experience on the climb together,” says EP CEO Eric Surdej.
A legacy for the development of sport climbing
The first Olympic climbing walls will continue to be a stage for the development of Sport Climbing in Argentina and South America. This will extend the legacy of climbing’s first Youth Olympic Games in 2018.
“It’s a gold medal for the athletes, but it’s also a gold medal for Sport Climbing and the IFSC family,” says Marco Scolaris, IFSC President. “We have long been working towards the Olympic Dream, and this end is just the beginning. The climb to Tokyo and a permanent Olympic bid is on.”
The Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires will come to an end with the Closing Ceremony today, October 18th, LIVE at ifsc-climbing.org at 19:20 GMT-3 (local time). Visit the Buenos Aires event page for more information.