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Why Sport is Better Than Bouldering for the Olympics

Climbing in America seems to be exploding in so many ways, and it might be another five or 10 years before we have the perspective to really understand the degree to which it, right now, is on the brink of some huge breakthrough.

Gyms are opening all over the country. Take a step back and remember that in 1993, there were fewer than five commercial climbing gyms in the U.S. Twenty years later, there are around 1,000 of them!

Mainstream media has taken a surprising interest in our little fringe sport. From the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times to 60 Minutes, dozens of in-depth articles and stories about real climbers and core climbing—not the usual Seven Summits type of gimmicky bullshit—have appeared in the last two years.

Climbing is on the shortlist for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. Whether or not this is “good” for climbing may still be a fun thing for the usual online amateurs to debate, but the question has actually become entirely irrelevant. Because it’s happening. One way or the other, now or later. Immovable old-school trad object: meet the unstoppable force that is the bone-crushing competition-bred grommet with Olympic dreams.

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2 Responses to Why Sport is Better Than Bouldering for the Olympics

  1. Nigel Bailes Oct 3, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    Amen to that! Sport climbing is the way to go, pity I might be in a Zimmer frame by 2020.

  2. Warren G Oct 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    I have been thinking about this turn of events, and to be honest i’m concerned: concessions are displays of a weak argument. although i also don’t find speed climbing particularly entertaining

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