Kyra Condie was 10 years old when she tried climbing for the first time at a birthday party at an indoor gym in St. Paul, Minnesota.
She loved it so much that she convinced her parents to sign her up for the competition team, and in her first year she made it all the way to nationals.
She’s now 23 years old and is the second and final American woman to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Condie finished Friday's qualifying round at the IFSC Combined Qualifier in eighth place in Toulouse, France, to move into Sunday's final. The top six would earn Olympic spots in the final, but because of two-per-country maximums and the fact that two Japanese climbers made the final, Condie and five others, including the ninth-place finisher, booked their tickets for Tokyo 2020 no matter what happens on Sunday. Two Slovenian women made the final and their placements in the final will determine which one makes the Olympic team, due to Slovenia having already qualified one woman in August.
The Minneapolis area native will join Brooke Raboutou on Team USA next summer when climbing makes its Olympic debut.
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Condie’s day started with speed climbing, where she placed an impressive sixth despite not being considered a specialist at the discipline. Her strength is in bouldering, where she had two top-six world cup finishes in 2018, and she finished eighth on Friday to put her in a solid position going into lead climbing.
Condie, who had major back surgery at 12 years old in which doctors fused 10 vertebrae to correct scoliosis, reached the 36th hold before petering out and coming off the wall. She was 11th in lead with two climbers remaining but her strong finishes throughout the day kept her amongst the top overall athletes.
Condie’s qualification rounded out what’s already been a highly successful competition for the Americans. Nathaniel Coleman will compete in Saturday’s men's final but, like Condie, qualified for the Olympic Games on Thursday by virtue of finishing in the top eight alongside two Japanese climbers that cannot qualify because the country is already at its max on the men's side as well.
This week's competition in France marked the second of three Olympic qualification opportunities for U.S. climbers. The final one, where the U.S. could earn a second men's spot, will be at the Pan American championship in February in Los Angeles.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.