Tag Archives | Olympics

Terje Haakonsen: Why I Still Hate The Olympics

Pro Snowboarder Terje Haakonsen is not a fan of the Olympics:

If anything I feel even more strongly about it today. When I was younger, I was just thinking about snowboarding, but now I see the bigger picture and the other stuff that goes on. The whole thing is corrupt – the IOC is run by a few people, when in reality it is something that should be owned by the whole world and to benefit sport, not just to make them money.

Considering how much of a disaster the upcoming Sochi games are from a financial, humanitarian, animal welfare and even human hygiene perspective, maybe climbers should think twice about wanting to get our sport involved in the Olympic circus in the first place.

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Wrestling Voted Back Into Olympics

In news that is about as surprising as the fact that Apple will announce a new iPhone later today, wrestling has been voted back into the Olympics:

The International Olympic Committee, recognizing the gravity of its error, reinstated wrestling to the 2020 Summer Games program.

At the same time, the IOC rejected bids to put squash and a combined effort from baseball/softball onto the show at the Tokyo 2020 Games, underscoring the fix it has put itself in as it seeks to keep the program relevant.

“This was a mistake,” the influential Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah said before the vote to reinstate wrestling, referring to the move last February by the IOC’s policy-making executive board to take it off the 2020 program.

The IOC fixed the mistake in a one-and-done vote.

The writing was on the wall for people hoping to get climbing in the Olympics as soon as wrestling was cut back in February.  With only one slot available and wrestling only really in a penalty box of sorts, climbing or any of the other short-listed sports seemingly never had a chance.  Whether climbing would have had a chance had the wrestling situation not materialized is less clear, although it still seemed like a long shot.

This is all more good news for those who are adamantly opposed to climbing becoming an Olympic sport, and I would think it would give pause to supporters of the effort when the next IOC dog and pony show gets started for 2024.

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Climbing Will Not Be In 2020 Olympics

Disappointing, but not surprising news for people excited about seeing climbing included in the 2020 Olympics in Buenos Aires:

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today recommended that baseball/softball, squash and wrestling be proposed to the 125th IOC Session for possible inclusion as an additional sport on the Olympic programme for the 2020 Olympic Games.

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Bouldering, Speed To Join Climbing’s Bid For Olympics

Insidethegames reporting on a change to the sport of climbing’s bid to be part of the 2020 Olympic Games:

The original proposal included just lead climbing, which tests the endurance of athletes as they compete to see who can get highest.

However, both speed climbing and bouldering will now also be included if climbing secures a spot at the 2020 Olympics.

…snip…

This multi-discipline format will now be championed when the IFSC gives its presentation to the IOC Executive Board in St Petersburg at the end of May.

With what’s happened with wrestling it’s hard to be optimistic about climbing’s chances of making it into the 2020 games, but this news seems like it could only help.

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ABS: Anything But Speed

Via Climbing.com comes a reminder that the IFSC announced at the recent World Championships in Paris that its bid for climbing to make the 2020 Olympic Games will focus exclusively on sport climbing:

Lead is the historical and traditional climbing discipline. It is the expression of climbing most commonly perceived by the public and a popular event among climbers and non-climbers. Lead events have also the most universal representation  and is the discipline that a majority of our national federations indicated as their favorite. Lead brings athletes beyond vertical in a continuous gravity challenge, and TV experts pointed out they need the height challenge.

I would actually argue that the most common expression of climbing “perceived by the public” is speed climbing1, which is exactly why it is important that speed climbing not be the discipline of climbing that heralds the sport’s return to the Olympics.  Speed climbing is ok in the context of larger climbing competitions, but to reinforce to a global audience the incorrect notion that speed climbing is actually something any climber does would be a mistake in my opinion.

Remember kids:  speed climbing is neither.

  1. Although Alex Honnold may be pushing free soloing into the lead with the attentions he’s been getting of late
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Climbing Shortlisted For 2020 Olympic Games

Climbing Shortlisted For 2020 Olympic Games

A year after gaining recognition by the IOC, climbing is on the shortlist of events that could be added for the 2020 Olympic Games

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Climbing One Step Closer To The Olympics?

Climbing One Step Closer To The Olympics?

Climbing clears another hurdle on the path toward becoming an Olympic sport. UPDATED

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