Climbing events at the Olympic Games


CHARLOTTE, NC – Rock climbing is a new sport at the Olympics this year.

An athlete in Charlotte was too young to qualify, but has experience in all climbing events.


What would you like to know

  • Climbing at the Tokyo Olympics will include three events: bouldering, speed climbing and sport climbing
  • The winner will be judged on their performance in all three events
  • Four people are allowed to compete from each country, two women and two men

No one qualified for the US Olympic rock climbing team in North Carolina, but there is one athlete who could have it if she was older.

Julia Duffy, from Charlotte, is 16. She was 15 when qualifying for the Olympics.

Her rock climbing trainer, Cedric Colby, said a few months ago that she was on the U.S. National Climbing Sprint Team. She is currently one of the youngest athletes on the national team.

“She is a finalist at the National Youth Sprint Championships,” said Inner Peaks head climbing coach Cedric Colby. “She’s so close to the finals in youth sport. She has competed in the National Bouldering Championships six times. She has won regional and divisional championships in sport and in bouldering.

Bouldering is Duffy’s favorite type of climbing. Climbers climb the wall without a rope. It is one of the three disciplines of the Olympic Games.

“Usually the bouldering moves are a bit more strength-based and kind of feel like the heart of the park,” Duffy said.

Then comes the speed escalation. It’s different from the boulder because the holds are always the same. Climbers compete to climb the wall as fast as possible.

“Everywhere in the world where there’s a speed wall, you go up the same route,” Duffy said. “So you know what you’re getting into, but it can be unpredictable because you can slip at any time. “

Finally, there is sport climbing, which is done on a rope. Climbers hang on as they go up. Duffy is excited to watch it all at the Olympics this year.

“I think it’s really cool,” Duffy said. “I think it will open the sport up to a lot more people who might not find it otherwise.”