Climbing destination: the Olympic 2020 in Tokyo


In one and a half years of sport climbing Olympic. Even under the best rock climbers in the world, the Olympic Premiere is a theme – although they face competition format for the Tokyo 2020 more critical.

The currently probably the world’s best sport climber in the Rock the summer games in 2020 firmly in sight. “I always wanted to start at the Olympic Games,” says Adam Ondra of the DW. The year is 2019 he will use, as a priority, to focus on the competition Hall in Tokyo to prepare. At the world Championships in September in Innsbruck, Ondra had occupied in the “Olympic combination,” the second in the standings, behind the Austrians Jakob Schubert, the German Jan Hojer.

The 25-year-old Czech will be celebrated in the climbing scene as the “master of the Impossible”: The of Ondra in Setember 2017 climbed extremely overhanging Route “Silence” in a cave near flat elsewhere in Norway, as the most difficult ever mastered rock-climbing route in the world (difficulty level 9c on the French climbing scale).

Ondra originally belonged to the sharpest critics of the competition format for the Olympic debut of the sport climbing in the year 2020. “My critical attitude, nothing has changed,” says the climbing star. “But if I want to participate, do I have to accept the Format. Another Option is to waive the games.”

Wanted: the best all-rounder

In Tokyo, it goes to the victory in the combination of three very different disciplines: speed climbing, Lead (Lead or lead climbing) and bouldering (Climbing at jump height). The discussion of whether such a link makes sense, is reminiscent of the debate surrounding the combination of the competition in Alpine skiing. The basic question is: How compatible Speed are disciplines with “technical” disciplines? Hardly, find the critics; not, you must not say to the proponents, one of which is Martin Veith: “We hold the Olympic three-fight, a very exciting thing. It is, in principle, a new discipline, you must prepare specially. Basically, this combination calls for, of course, the complete rock climber,” says the sports Director for sports performance at the German Alpine Association (DAV) compared to the DW. “This is very interesting, because now specialists with a rather unpleasant disciplines have to deal with. This is sometimes easier than others.”

World Cup podium: Ondra, world champion Schubert, Hojer (v. l. n. r)

Adam Ondra comes originally from the climbing Competitions. He was the First world Cup overall winner in the Lead, as well as in bouldering and in 2014 for the first time in two competitions, world Championships-won Gold. The speed climbing is his weakest discipline. This also applies to Alex Megos. “Until recently, I was climbing never Speed,” says the 24-year-old German, he devoted himself as Ondra already as a teenager competitions in the hall denied before the next step is entirely up to the rock climbing. There Megos today belongs to the absolute world top. Ondra called the the German regularly as a tip for the next climber could master a Route, which is just as difficult as in Norway.

Not a good figure of the speed climbing

Since the end of 2017 Megos denies again climbing competitions – also with a view to Tokyo 2020. However, he is still not sure whether he wants to start: “I got to think: do I Want to use the next one and a half years, my deficits and to qualify for the Olympic games? Or is that to complicated for me, and I lose too much time on the Rock?”

Alex Megos in the bouldering competition of the world Cup in Innsbruck

Also, Megos to the combination of critical. “Ultimately, the 20 best Nordic combined team will travel to the Olympic Games,” says the Top climbers in the DW. “From the speed climbing aces actually, no one has – with the exception of the world champion, is automatically qualified – there is a realistic Chance to be in Tokyo to compete. The time is too short, the deficits in the other two disciplines to catch up. The Best in bouldering and Leadklettern may be, but not a particularly good figure in the speed climbing. I don’t know how that affects the viewers. Actually, it’s not the way we do our sports want to present.”

Greater Media Interest

Sport climbing in Germany, the latest Trend, regardless of Tokyo 2020. “In the climbing halls, the euphoria was actually, even before the decision for Olympia,” says DAV Director of sports Veith. Alone, of the approximately 1.2 million Alpine club members, according to a DAV-survey of about 300,000 regular indoor climbing. The number of halls has increased in recent years, currently around 500.

The DAV registered by the Olympic Premiere, a growing interest of the media. “The enthusiasm for the Climb over jumps now, more and more often, people in the sports media to consume or just a wide are interested. This is beautiful to watch,” says Veith. The Alpine club is now hope that even more people would be infected to Climb from the “feeling of life” and “more children and young people discover the topic of sports performance.”

Rock climbing “a world apart”

Ondra in the Rock

Alex Megos is expected that, through Tokyo 2020, more funding for the sport of climbing. Then, says Megos, could perhaps also make the more climbers the Sport her career: “Nowadays, it is a rarity that someone says, I’m a professional climber and can live on it.” So like himself, or Adam Ondra. The Czech sees as a possible Olympic effect, the competitive climbing “to a better Show”. “At the same time it must not climb necessarily have a negative impact on the rock. Because this is a world in itself.”