Brooke Raboutou competes in the Women Lead event during Combined Women's Qualification on day eight of the IFSC Climbing World Championships at the Esforta Arena Hachioji on Aug. 18, 2019 in Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan.
Inside the Numbers presented by DeVry is a series that gives fans a peek at the numbers behind what it takes to qualify for Team USA and other incredible facts about Team USA sports.
Climbers didn’t grow up aspiring to win an Olympic gold medal. That’s because sport climbing hasn’t been included in the Olympics until now. It will make its debut on the world’s largest stage at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 this summer.
The U.S. Olympic climbing team, consisting of two men and two women, was finalized on March 1, 2020, following the 2020 IFSC Pan-American Championships. However, the athletes have had to wait more than a year to compete at the Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the Tokyo Olympics now set to begin in two months, here’s a closer look at sport climbing by the numbers presented by DeVry University.
Athletes will compete in sport climbing for the first time at the Olympic Games this summer in Tokyo. In 2016, the International Olympic Committee added the sport to the Olympics during the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro. Climbing will be among several sports to make its Olympic debut in Tokyo, including skateboarding and surfing.
In Tokyo, athletes will compete in a combined format that features all three climbing disciplines — bouldering, lead and speed. Climbers must carefully plan their moves in bouldering, which requires athletes to complete a number of fixed routes that are low to the ground. Athletes don’t use safety ropes in bouldering. Lead climbing requires athletes to clip in their safety ropes as they attempt to reach the top of a wall in six minutes. Speed climbing is a head-to-head race between two climbers to see which one is faster at scaling the wall.
The U.S. joins France and Japan as the only countries that will field a full team of two men and two women at the Olympics. The four Americans who qualified for the Olympics are Kyra Condie and Brooke Raboutou on the women’s side and Nathaniel Coleman and Colin Duffy on the men’s side.
Brooke Raboutou comes from a family of climbers. Her parents are former climbing world cup champions Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou and Didier Raboutou. She started climbing at an early age, and at 11, she became the youngest person in the world to climb a 5.14b. A 5.14b is a climbing grade that is intended for elite athletes with years of training.