I'm divided on the issue. Generally, I don't think sport climbing in the Olympics such a good idea.
But what about allowing professional climbers the notoriety they deserve? Climbing competitions already exist on a global stage, why not let climbers compete on the global stage? Wouldn't it be an amazing boost for the sport and the outdoor industry? Shouldn't the world know how captivating it can be to watch a climber who truly excels at the sport?
I've done a handful of bouldering competitions, one outdoors, and find them an incredible amount of fun. It's great to be around people climbing hard, and I'm competitive by nature. It's also always fun to have a goal to train for. I love watching professional climbers compete, but a big part of that is the fact that it's still done on a relatively small level. The comps I've attended didn't draw tens of thousands of people, and it makes it easier to feel like you're really a part of the action.
|The crowd going wild during women's finals at the |
Earth Treks Roc Comp in Maryland.
|Climbers warming up for the Philadelphia Rock Gym's |
annual Winter Burn.
The second is pretty selfish, though I don't have any specific crags in mind. I don't climb outside often enough or in popular enough areas to have serious issues with overcrowded crags, but if everyone in the world sees how amazing climbing is and scrambles to get outside and try it, we'll have some serious access and overcrowding issues. An influx of people, all of whom impact outdoor and wilderness areas whether they practice Leave No Trace or not, might be too much for our climbing areas to handle. How can we ensure we're protecting the places we climb if they become even more crowded?
There. My two cents. What do you think? Climbers, I'm sure you've got something to say about this! Comment below or on our Facebook page.