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Climbing to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo Games with 2 Coloradans

Brooke Raboutou
Posted at 11:15 AM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 13:26:51-04

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — For the first time, the Summer Olympics will feature competitive climbing, and two of the four members on Team USA's climbing team call Colorado home.

In 2016, the International Olympic Committee announced that sport climbing would become a sport in the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were postponed to the summer of 2021.

Two men and two women are on Team USA's climbing team:

  • Nathaniel Coleman of Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Kyra Condie of Shoreview, Minnesota
  • Colin Duffy of Broomfield, Colorado
  • Brooke Raboutou of Boulder, Colorado

Raboutou, 20, graduated from Fairview High School in Boulder and attends the University of San Diego. She started climbing as a young child and became the youngest person in the world to climb 5.14b — a very difficult grade to achieve and reserved only for elite athletes — when she was 11 years old, according to her bio on Team USA's website.

She's also the first U.S. climber ever to qualify for an Olympic Games.

Brooke Raboutou
United States' Brooke Raboutou competes in the women's boulder finals at the climbing World Cup on Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Duffy, 17, attends Stargate Charter School in Thornton. He started climbing when he was 5 years old, according to his bio page.

Climbing’s standing as a niche sport has always been a part of its appeal.

A rock wall can be a place of solitude or of camaraderie with a small group of fellow climbers. There are no crowds, just the peacefulness of the outdoors and the task of trying to find the best route to the top.

The climbing world could be in for a change after the Tokyo Olympics.

Climbing is an Olympic sport for the first time and the spotlight will introduce a massive audience to what can be a lonely pursuit. There will be boulder, lead, and speed events.