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Should climbing be an Olympic sport? If so how? If not why?
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By Tradoholic
Jul 22, 2008

It seems like there has been some serious clamor from USAC about making climbing an Olympic sport, perhaps in the form of speed climbing. This www.routesetter.com story got me thinking.
www.routesetter.com/2008/07/16/us-youth-nationals-going-big->>>


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By Buff Johnson
Jul 22, 2008
smiley face

I can only imagine the impact we'd have had in the upcoming games.


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By Tom Hanson
Jul 22, 2008
Climber Drawing

Only uniquely disturbed individuals (climbers) seem to be entertained by watching others climb.
Let's face it. Watching someone else climb is about as exciting as watching paint dry.
To the average person, unless there is an accident, it is excruciatingly boring.
Climbing does not have any of the requisites to achieve status as a spectator sport.
Climbing is physical, personal, ephemeral, spiritual and very captivating, for the participant, not the observer.
They already have the basic concept of climbing in the olympics. It is reduced down to its basic core. It is called gymnastics - minus the finger contact strength.


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Jul 22, 2008

Climbing IS boring to watch. It is fun to do, but boring to watch. Mountain biking IS fun to watch, and fun to do.


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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Jul 22, 2008

No.

The more promotion climbing gets, the more money comes into it. I like the fact that climbing has not become a bloated big money pro sport.

That, and I'm not sure how many more 12 year olds on the gym team climbing circles around me I can take!!!


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By Charles Danforth
From L'ville, CO
Jul 22, 2008
Do a little dance...

No no and again no.


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By Buff Johnson
Jul 22, 2008
smiley face

I think cable climbing would have been a catchy event.


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By Daniel Trugman
From Los Alamos, NM / Stanford, CA
Jul 22, 2008
Final steps up Blanca after a snowy traverse. <br /> <br />Photo by Jason Halladay.

It might be kind of interesting to watch but the last thing we need is more attention so we can have more people interested in the sport and even more people at the crags...


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By Count Chockula
From Littleton, CO
Jul 22, 2008
Count Chockula

Any boulderers or comp freaks care to chime in?


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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
Jul 22, 2008
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, high Sierras.

No.


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By winston
From Boulder, CO
Jul 22, 2008
napping with the dog, the best damn dog on earth.

Hell NO. if you want our beloved pass time/way of life to become main stream like say.....SNOW BOARDING....then go ahead. If it were to become an Olympic sport, think of how many MORE people would be crowding your local crag every weekend, it would be like peak ski season here in Colorado. Huge lines of noobs TR'ing every possible route and punkass show-offs begging for recognition through gaudy and distasteful means. If this is what you want go ahead, but I'm moving to Alaska.


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Jul 22, 2008
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

No. Real climbing doesn't entertain. Speed climbing entertains only marginally and it bears little relation to climbing. Imagine the pernicious influence on the culture of climbing if speed climbing becomes the globally televised face of our sport...


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By John W. Knoernschild
From Wisconsin
Jul 22, 2008
Breakfast of Champions <br /> <br />Photo by: Mike Lohre

No thanks. I would hate to see this underground sport become mainstream. I climb to get away from people and the noise of everyday life. I already hate being surrounded by people crowding Devil's Lake. I just don't want to see other people while I climb. Climbing, for me, is a form of meditation. The concentration involved is relaxing and free. My mind only thinks of one thing, what move is next. The more mainstream it becomes, the more people will be at the crags, the more annoyed I will become.


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By Kai Larson
From Sandy, Utah
Jul 22, 2008
Tour Ronde North Face

John W. Knoernschild wrote:
No thanks. I would hate to see this underground sport become mainstream.




Too late. It's mainstream.


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By Eastvillage
From New York, NY
Jul 22, 2008
Me on the summit of Devil's Tower

Never! It would be a disaster, as grading would inevitably have a subjective element.
Enough with the commercialization of all sports (of everything for that matter).

The Olympics have too many border line "sports" as it is.
Stick to the classics in the Olympics and let the fringe sports live on in the peace of relative obscurity.


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By Ray Lovestead
From Boulder, CO
Jul 22, 2008
I pity the fool

I can't imagine the explosion of interest that would happen. I mean just think of all those mainstream sports that were given a boost by the Olympics. Speed Walking, Trampoline, Synchronized Swimming, Ping Pong..

Who among us can say they didn't go out and walk their silly asses off after watching the riveting speed walking competition?


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By Ryan Tuleja
Jul 22, 2008
standing on the summit

I remember practicing tae kwon do about ten years ago. One thing I saw was a huge number of people who only understood it as a points game. Many of them would get angry if you hit them with your fists because "that doesn't get as many points."

Seems like it would suck the soul out of the thing. But that's just my take, and I'm sure many would disagree with me.


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By abc
Jul 22, 2008

Provisionally it is already in the Olympics for probably 2020 would be my guess.

The following is from the IFSC website.

2007-12-12 13:06
Sport Climbing welcomed into the Olympic Movement
On December 10, the IOC Executive Board granted provisional recognition status to the IFSC.

Notably the IFSC focus on youth was cited as a factor in the EB decision.

The recognition gives the IFSC an official association to the IOC, not to mention membership in the ARISF, The Association of the IOC Recognised International Sports Federations.

IFSC President Marco Scolaris commented: "We are grateful to the IOC for this reward that our athletes, our sport and our IF deserve, at the conclusion of an intense year, devoted to building up a sport focused on the youth and its needs in today's world. Being part of the Olympic Movement gives us now additional motivation to continue our work."

The IFSC was created January 27th 2007, when 48 member federations voted unanimously to create the new International Federation, which was a continuation of the International Council for Competition Climbing – in existence since 1997. Exactly three months later the IFSC was granted membership of the GAISF, The General Association of International Sports Federations.

The IFSC counts today 72 member federations in the five continents. IFSC is member of the International World Games Association and Sport Climbing premiered in The World Games in 2005 and will again feature in The World Games 2009.


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Jul 22, 2008
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

PRRose wrote:
Older MPers will no doubt recall that climbing rope (big thick ones) was part of a well-rounded elementary phys ed regimen.

...and still a staple in many gymnastic gyms and wrestling rooms.


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By Luke to Zuke
From Anchorage
Jul 22, 2008
Middle Troll

William Dacier wrote:
Climbing IS boring to watch. It is fun to do, but boring to watch. Mountain biking IS fun to watch, and fun to do.


you think climbing is boring to watch....! :o watching climbing is like porn for me ...it gets me off!


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By Greg Hand
From Golden, CO
Jul 22, 2008
Papa Smurf

To spice it up for the viewers, make the competition be a solo above a pool. Even if they reach the top, they have to drop off after ringing the bell.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jul 22, 2008
Stabby

I have 2 complete opposite opinions on this.

One, the current state of the Olympics is that is a vile, performance-enhancing-drug/roidfest that our beloved pastime needs not to be influenced by. And with all due respect and apologies to all those dedicated, fantastic athletes who dedicate their lives to their sport only to have their accomplishments defiled by positive tests of others; even perhaps in another discipline. I could really give a rats ass as to where the current leading edge is in terms of ratings, but the residual effect of this would possibly be a sudden jump to like .15C or D's all over place.

Now, on the other hand, I cannot imagine another sport that can be any more physically/psycologically intense that climbing is at its highest level; therefore there is no reason for it not to be an Olympic event. And those of us old enough to remeber Edlinger at Snowbird know that it is possible for a climbing comp to be entertaining.
Here's where they have it all screwed up. By focusing on the onsight, climbing comps are boring due to all the time spent contemplating moves and the often early falls. Instead, they should install a near the current limit difficulty rated route (say .14D) that is more reliant on sculpted texture than screwed holds, and allow the contestants maybe 3-4 practice runs on the route. The route should also include some wild shit like no-feet iron crosses and figure 4's for drama. When the finalists hit the route for the redpoint attempt, they are wired and then its a matter of intensity, speed and focus; plus we can all better evaluate how each one compares to each other. That might be worth watching. Oh yeah, and have an age limit too cause nothing could be worse than watching an 85 lb. 14 yr. old.

But overall, to answer your question, I dunno.


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By Tradoholic
Jul 23, 2008

I vote no. I think the climbing biz is throwing it's net a bit too wide. First of all real rock is a finite resource and more people actually equals less space (That point could be argued I'm sure). Second, and more importantly I think there is only a finite amount of people who actually deserve to be rock climbers because they've got their head screwed on tight, the penalty for mistakes in climbing is death and more death will equal more restrictions for the rest of us.


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By Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Jul 24, 2008
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.

William Dacier wrote:
Climbing IS boring to watch. It is fun to do, but boring to watch. Mountain biking IS fun to watch, and fun to do.


Apparently the 7,500 people that watched just the Bouldering Championships at the Teva Mountain Games this past June thought that it was boring...



www.tevamountaingames.com/flix.cfm

Or that when major Rock Climbing film tours happen they are usually greeted with packed venues: www.bigupproductions.com/#/blog/260/
www.bigupproductions.com/#/blog/19/

Just saying that it does have appeal to a wide range of people if it is properly executed; not that I necessarily think that it needs to be in the Olympics, just that it can be a very fun sport to watch.


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By Not So Famous Old Dude
From Denver, CO
Jul 24, 2008

NO!!!!!!!


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Jul 24, 2008

Andy Librande wrote:
Apparently the 7,500 people that watched just the Bouldering Championships at the Teva Mountain Games this past June thought that it was boring... www.tevamountaingames.com/flix.cfm Or that when major Rock Climbing film tours happen they are usually greeted with packed venues: www.bigupproductions.com/#/blog/260/ www.bigupproductions.com/#/blog/19/ Just saying that it does have appeal to a wide range of people if it is properly executed; not that I necessarily think that it needs to be in the Olympics, just that it can be a very fun sport to watch.


It is just my opinion that most climbing is boring to watch, and I've been to several Phoenix Bouldering Contests in the past to watch. Skiing, mountain biking, offer to me a much more exciting visual experience...


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