Sport Climbing Is Olympics Bound | Athletic Business

Sport Climbing Is Olympics Bound

Source: International Federation of Sport Climbing

On August 2nd-4th, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 129th IOC Session. Today, the IOC Session in Rio officially approved the addition of Sport Climbing to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

A long, hard climb 

"We are so happy that Sport Climbing will be participating in the Games of Tokyo," says IFSC President Marco Scolaris. "The Olympics have been our dream for quite some time, and now the hard work has finally paid off. We would like to thank the IOC for extending a truly unique opportunity to our sport."

In December of 2014, the IOC unanimously approved the progressive Olympic Agenda 2020 in its entirety, which proposed additional events for Tokyo 2020. After eight events were shortlisted, the IFSC and the Japanese Mountaineering Association presented their bid in Tokyo in August of 2015. In June, the Executive Board of the IOC approved a package containing five of these events to be submitted for approval at the 129th IOC Session-baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. 

Today, the IOC Session in Rio approved all five additional events for Tokyo 2020. After much anticipation and hard work, the Olympics dream has finally come true for Sport Climbing. 

Shared Values

Sport Climbing embodies core values of the Olympics Movement. It is an exciting, healthy and affordable sport which can be practiced on all five continents. Women and youth are well represented, and persons with disabilities participate as well. The sport is growing in popularity, and many leading athletes hail from Japan, the host nation. At the heart of Sport Climbing is the spirit of the Olympics.

"We are honored to contribute the missing vertical element to the Tokyo 2020 Games, and the IFSC will continue to work with our athletes, National Federations and devoted partners to promote Sport Climbing around the world so that it is recognized as a major sport," adds Debra Gawrych, IFSC Secretary General. 

The Journey Continues

Although the road to official approval has concluded, the work is far from finished. Many steps must be taken to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The IFSC will immediately begin working on the technical aspects of the Olympic Sport Climbing competitions. The selection process will be drafted and presented on March 11, 2017, at the IFSC Plenary Assembly in Quebec City. 

The IOC Session in Rio also announced today the proposed venues for the Tokyo 2020 Additional Events. Although the IOC Executive Board will not make a final decision until December, the proposed venue for Sport Climbing competitions is in the "Aomi," Koto Ward, within the "Odaiba Area" of the Tokyo Metropolis. In the meantime, the IFSC will work closely with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organizing Committee and the IOC to finalize venue and infrastructure details, in order to offer the best of Sport Climbing in Tokyo. 

"We have reached the final hold of our unbelievable climb, but another climb awaits us. Our team is committed to preparing Sport Climbing for the Olympic Games, and over the next four years we will continue to work with the IOC to do so," concludes Scolaris. 

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