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We often hear about sports in some of the strangest way’s and this one is no different, given the fact it was mentioned to me in my backyard.

Yes the backyard, ironically by a tree climber and his two young apprentices as they were taking down one of our trees.

While chatting about covering sports that they seemed interested in the topic came up about how he became involved in climbing considering that some of the neighbour kids walking were overheard about how scary it was to be up that high.

So we chatted and he mentioned that he along with “his crew” recently competed in a pole climbing and Axe throwing event at Grouse Mountain. 

After covering the recent Americas Qualifier at Softball City for Women’s Fastpitch as a new sport in the Tokyo 2020 games we are hearing that climbing will also make its Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020. 

Climbing isn’t just about speed and involves three distinct forms of disciplines which include speed climbing, bouldering, and lead climbing  and all three will be included in a combined event, contested in that order. 

In total there will be Athletes of each gender that will see twenty compete in the qualification round. 

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As one might expect climbing as a competitive sport dates back to the 1940s when events focused on speed climbing were held in the former Soviet Union. 

In order to get a wider international focus sport climbing took four decades to grow and it wasn’t until an event in Bardonecchia Italy took place in 1985 and was called “SportRoccia.” 

It’s reported that this was the first organized climbing competition that launched sport climbing in which over 10,000 people watched the 1986 finals. 

Indoor climbing was also introduced and took place near Lyon, France 1986) and was decided that international events would be contested only on artificial walls so as to reduce any impact on the environmental. 

In 1989 the first Speed and Lead Climbing took place, but the inaugural edition of the now-biennial world championships were held two years later in Frankfurt  

Bouldering wasn’t introduced until 1989 as a climbing discipline and as one might expect the sport continues to grow and now has over 80 countries participate in climbing competitions.

In 2007 (January) the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) and was granted provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later that year. 

Definitive recognition by the IOC came in February 2010 and in 2014 sport climbing was a demonstration sport at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. 

Two short years later, it was officially added to the official sport program for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that will see six (6) competitors advance to the final round on a separate day of the competition.

Stay tuned for part two!! 


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