With just 193 days until the IOC makes its decision on whether climbing will be part of the 2020 Olympics, the BMC and top British climbers are gathered today (26 February) at the Westway Sports Centre in London to demonstrate what could be the next big Olympic sport.
Update: Climbing's Olympic dream is on hold. Unfortunately Sport climbing has failed to reach the final shortlist of sports being considered for the 2020 Olympics.
Sport climbing is short-listed for possible inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. It is up against seven other sports - baseball/softball, squash, karate, wakeboarding, wushu, roller sports and wrestling. The vote as to which sport will make it to the 2020 Olympic Games will take place at the 125th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Buenos Aires in September.
At the BMC's media event today at the Westway, Shauna Coxsey, Molly Thompson-Smith and Paraclimbing World Champion Fran Brown will be wowing the media with their climbing skills. After the demos, the sports journalists themselves will be having a go a climbing.
Rob Adie, BMC Competitions Officer, thinks climbing is in with a good chance. He said: "Climbing has all the excitement and adrenaline of the extreme sport that it is. Climbers make big dynamic movements on large overhangs holding on by their fingertips and can take big crowd-wowing falls. It also includes the grace and poise of gymnastics and the tension and endurance of strength sports, making it a fantastic spectacle to watch."
Dave Turnbull, BMC CEO, said: “We’re backing the IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) in its bid to see climbing in the 2020 Olympics. The GB Climbing Team is going from strength to strength. Being in the Olympics would give them the recognition and opportunities they deserve.”
The popularity of climbing is on the increase. The BMC’s growing membership is now over 75,000 and the number of public climbing walls in the UK is in excess of 300. Participation figures from Sport England’s Active People Survey indicate that the number of people Mountaineering* once a week has increased from 86,100 (2007-08) to 98,700 (2011-12).
There are three different climbing disciplines contested at World Cup and World Championship events each year: lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing. Only lead climbing, as proposed by the IFSC, is under consideration for the 2020 Olympics. A key element of gaining support for the IFSC’s Olympic bid is to increase the number of fans on its 2020 Olympics Facebook page. Please show your support - www.facebook.com/SportClimbing2020
Twitter: when tweeting about climbing's Olympic bid please use hash tag #climbing2020