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Video Friday – 9/26/2014

The highest rated videos of the past week…

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More Olympic Push

The push for climbing to be an Olympic sport continues:

“I’m open to anything because I love our sport,” Dornberger said. “I love tradition, but it’s vital that we become an Olympic sport. If we have to be dragged into the 21st century to do that, I’m ok with that.”

Oh wait, this is actually an article about the sport activity of bowling, although the arguments about how Bowling needs to evolve to appeal to the Olympics are not that different from the types of arguments that are made about climbing:  move away from the core principles of the sport in an effort to appeal to the masses.

What is missing from this and most other articles like it though is why exactly sports are so concerned with joining the Olympic circus in the first place?

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“I kind of know how to climb”

Adam Ondra, in an interview with Evening Sends:

For me, however, it takes less time to adapt [to bouldering] because I have climbed many kilometers of rock in my life—on all kinds rock and different angles. I don’t want to boast, but I think I kind of know how to climb. Anywhere, anything.

Understatement of the year?  Good interview.

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Hey, What’s That Thing On Your Back?

Well-timed post over on The Stone Mind about the inevitable questions we get any time we go bouldering around normal people:

I’ve bouldered for 20 years now and have been asked this question hundreds of times, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised when yet another stranger stops to gape at my admittedly Spongebob-like form… but I am. Every time I try to answer, I feel myself getting frustrated. Invariably, the curious person’s face grows more, not less, confused as I offer my explanation 

This is a common occurrence for me as well since I’ve been spending the majority of my outdoor climbing time in Rocky Mountain National Park these days1.  Oftentimes it’s the normal people who come up with these false answers only to have a sort of “huh” moment when we explain what it is that me and my group of oftentimes shirtless, skinny dudes are actually doing up there.  Anectodally, though, I would say that the number of people who actually correctly identify the inteded use of a crash pad is noticeably higher this year than in years past.

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Alex Puccio’s 2014 Rampage Continues

More hard sends in the summer of 2014 for Alex Puccio

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Video Friday – 9/19/2014

The highest rated videos of the past week…

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Are Climbing Videos Too Tame?

Daniel Woods, in an interview by Andrew Bisharat for Without Walls:

In climbing films, I feel like there is a pattern that we all follow. The filmmakers ask us the same questions in the interview and they want us to respond in this one way. Climbing films are more serious, less attitude [than skateboarding videos]. I feel like most viewers’ reaction is like, “Do climbers go out and party at night? Do they socialize? Do they go to cool dinners? Do they hang out with friends?”

Interesting point.  In general it does seem like many climbing videos are pretty “safe” in what they depict.  A lot of this is almost certainly due to the fact that many videos featuring prominent athletes like Woods are paid for by sponsors who have an investment in portraying a family-friendly image, especially given the huge youth audience in our sport.  I don’t see this changing really, but there are certainly other outlets like Instagram where professional climbers are still free to portray themselves more freely1.

  1. Within limits of course
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U.S. Team Shines At Paraclimbing World Championship

In addition to the lead competition won by Adam Ondra and Jain Kim, the Paraclimbing World Championships also happened last weekend in Gijon, Spain.  Climbing.com has the full breakdown that includes several U.S. competitors finishing on the podium.

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