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Central Ohio climbers are thrilled as the sport makes its Olympic debut

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Sport climbing is celebrating its Olympic debut at the 2020 Games in Tokyo and local climbers at Vertical Adventures in Columbus are delighted that their sport is reaching new heights at the Games.

“It’s a very different sport and people will see that at the Olympics,” said Matt Roberts of Vertical Adventures.

It is a sport that tests an athlete’s strength, strength and mental endurance to solve problems.

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“The ethos is not climber versus climber, it’s not even team versus team, it’s the climber versus the climber, it’s the climber against the wall,” added Roberts.

This is a challenge that Vertical Adventures trainers teach their young climbers when they climb a wall with a series of hand and foot grips of various shapes and sizes.

“It’s a very collaborative sport,” said Roberts. “It’s a very mentor-based sport.”

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At Vertical Adventures, more than 200 climbers take part in all three Olympic climbing disciplines: lead climbing, speed climbing and bouldering.

“I’m so excited,” said climber Addy Rapp. “It’s great to see our sport finally come and I’m really excited to see them compete.”

Rapp started climbing four years ago and takes part in regional competitions as part of the Vertical team.

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“I love climbing because you can push yourself physically and mentally,” she added.

Now that sport climbing is officially part of the Olympics, young athletes can aim for new heights in their sport.

“I think it could be very motivating for the kids on the team, or any kids who like to climb, because it gives them something to look up to and it’s cool to have it in the back of their mind,” said Rocco Piaskowski, one Climbers at Team Vertical.

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Vertical Adventures organizers said that climbing as an Olympic sport opens up new opportunities for athletes.

“I could possibly get a college scholarship, go to the Olympics, I could have bigger ambitions than, ‘Okay, I’m 19 now, I’ve aged out of the youth circle so I’m going to climb now.” Fun ‘”, says Carrie Roccos, founder of Vertical Adventures.

While climbing a vertical wall can be fun, coaches and parents see an educational side to the sport.

“This gives them the ability to solve problems and learn something new and learn how to fail and start again so that they learn to resilience,” said Piaskowski. “It’s a really cool sport.”

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And it is now a sport that audiences around the world are seeing for the first time as an Olympic sport.

“It’s pretty awesome and I’m still really looking forward to seeing it,” said Piaskowski.

“It’s really cool because more kids can hear and learn, and it’s a lot of fun and I enjoy the whole community too,” said Rapp.

Sport climbing is slated to begin at the Olympic Games on August 3rd.

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