RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA) – Rock climbing has risen to the top and will make its Olympic debut on August 3.
A sport that has been around since the dawn of time, according to Laura Bellisle, owner of Black Hills Basecamp in Rapid City.
âHumans have always climbed. Maybe not in the same way we have climbed the past 50 years. If there is a mountain there, says Bellisle, someone is trying to climb it.
There are three disciplines where every climber will be tested and scored, but they are all very different.
âIt’s kind of like asking a free swimmer who swims a 200m race to also dive and water polo just because they’re all done in a pool,â says Bellisle.
The three take on different endurances. Like lead climbing, where climbers can take several minutes to climb to the top.
Or speed climbing, where climbers rush to the finish line in seconds.
The bouldering is another of the events that will be included during the Olympics. It’s a very technical climb, where participants grab small holds with few fingers, while using elements of flexibility and strength.
Climbing isn’t the only new thing at the Olympics this year.
Skateboarding has also made its appearance.
Derrick Unrein, Director of Process Skateboard Ministry for GMP Indoor Skatepark Rapid City, is thrilled with the possibilities to inspire the youth of the world.
âSkateboarding is – it’s addicting. When you learn a trick, you just want to learn another, and you want to learn another. There is no cap. You can continue to learn, and to learn and to learn. So that’s what is so exciting, you can push yourself to levels you never thought you could reach. It’s really difficult. It takes hundreds and thousands of tries to get a trick. And so, to see skateboarding reach the level that you see at the Olympics, these kids started at such a young age, and now it just shows that if you put the time into it you can do amazing things.
Derrick made a point of teaching his children to skate.
âI tried my kickflip for about 5 years,â says Derrick’s 13-year-old son Kai. âIt took so many tries and it was just a lot of determination to pull it off. In skateboarding you can always improve yourself. Even the pros at the Olympics, they can still learn things. There is freedom with skateboarding, there are no rules. You can do it however you want. “
Kai knows firsthand that it can really humiliate you too.
âWhen you see a girl my age twisting a 12-step handrail, you have to raise it a bit,â Kai explains.
Olympic skateboarding is already underway, but rock climbing will begin in early August.
âGo to the United States team,â cries Bellisle!
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