Many of the best in the world, such as the Po brothers, will not be in Tokyo by dismissing their “overcompetitive vision” of the sport. “Indoor climbing and rock climbing are two different things,” defends gold favorite Adam Ondra
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Two climbers look at the wall in front of them. They are over 12 meters tall and anyone will be impressed, but they all know the catch and only think about climbing as fast as they can. The steps are always the same, there is no time for doubt. So when the shot closes – “Ready, set, go!” – They rise like rockets and are finished in a jiffy. The world record, in fact, is 5.2 seconds; The 100 meter sprint of athletics is even longer.
This is the so-called speed climbing and is one of three categories of combined climbing at its first Olympic Games in Tokyo. The other two, lead and boulder, will descend deeper in difficulty, but no one expects you to do anything like, for example, Alex Honnold In the award-winning documentary ‘Free Solo’. Besides, no one expected to see Honnold in Japan. Olympic climbing ‘indoor’ is very different from that practiced outside, in the great mountains and, therefore, the absence of many and a certain controversy.
On the one hand, lifelong rock climbers, most of them veterans, who believe the sport will apply an increasingly “ultra-competitive approach” to climbing. ah brother standing outside Pou, Iker and Eneko, frenzied from the walls.
On the other hand, young people, who however also explore the mountains, see a way to improve their performance in the Olympics, reaching more people and, at the same time, attracting more sponsors. ah check stands out Adam Ondra, the climber of the moment, the biggest favorite of gold in the Games.
The trio presented their arguments in a conversation with The World.
“We look at climbing in a more romantic way. We like it because of the thrill, because of the exploration, because of the uncertainty. With sports we lose weight. We know that people ask for competition and that that there are more and more climbers to climb the walls, but to climb the Great Walls will be lost”, argues Pau, which explains the reasons for the rejection as, from now on, any economic project related to climbing, public or private, medals. Seek not the opening of a new road, for example. Also that the rise of sports could mean the advent of doping in their sport or that leads the federations to focus on the ‘indoor’ and forget the ‘outdoor’.
“We will support young people who come from competition and want to leap over great mountains, but we believe that every time there will be very few. In unexplored places, adventure climbing in the Great Walls will be lost”, add the Peruvian brothers , where they are exploring new vertical paths through the Cordillera Blanca.
Defense of Ondra
Adam Ondra sees it very differently. For the Czech, also a legend in classical climbing, the first to make a series of 9c tracks without moving forward, nothing will change from the Games that can happen in the mountains. “To me they are two different subjects. It is true that indoor climbing, safer and less demanding, may experience a surge in popularity later this summer, but the elite always seeks mountains. Combining the two and It would be irresponsible to compete. In the mountains. Nature, but I think it’s cool that both things exist and grow at the same time,” says Ondra, who has had mountains and climbing walls all her life. He was already the world champion at the age of 18, while pursuing adventures of high difficulty.
Now the game is your chance to push the limits of climbing and to do so you only have to overcome one obstacle: speed. Better than him in the lead and none of the best in bouldering, but the sprint modalities are a rarity that few master. While he was successfully showing it off on YouTube, Ondra has had to specially train him in recent months and that’s the only doubt his winning offer.
Win or not, yes, remain part of the debate: Does Tokyo multiply the number of climbers in the world or lock them in climbing walls to make them disappear from the planet’s great walls?