This Saturday, the 3rd edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games opens in Buenos Aires, Argentina, welcoming to the Olympics the first ever Youth Olympians of Sport Climbing, game changers of the sport.
The Sport Climbing qualification events for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 gathered the best of the best Bouldering, Lead and Speed athletes – of the ages 16 and 17 in 2017 – at youth championships around the globe. Among hundreds of competitors, top athletes at the IFSC Youth World Championships in 2017 earned a spot in Buenos Aires, the first appearance of Sport Climbing in an Olympic context. The remaining athletes mastered their respective Youth Continental Championships in 2017 in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and PanAmerica, where youth stars qualified to compete on their home continent with Argentina native Valentina Aguado, profiled on OlympicChannel.com as a hero of the future. Finally, in September the quota for Sport Climbing expanded.
42 qualified athletes of Sport Climbing representing 25 countries, an even number of female and male athletes at the first Olympic competition with strict gender equality, have continued to be game changers on the world stage in 2018. In the IFSC World Cup series, Sandra Lettner (AUT) opened the 2018 season by solving multiple problems in Bouldering finals to place 4th in April behind IFSC World Cup season champions. Shuta Tanaka (JPN) endured among former IFSC World Cup season champions too on towering Lead walls to place 5th and 6th in July, and no female qualified athlete raced faster on the standard Speed wall than Aleksandra Kalucka (POL), who challenged Speed world record holders to place 4th and 5th. Sam Avezou (FRA), Natalia Kalucka (POL), Vita Lukan (SLO) and Laura Rogora (ITA) claimed victories at the IFSC Youth World Championships this year in August, and the Kalucka sisters and Rogora all climbed in finals among elite Sport Climbing athletes at the biannual IFSC World Championships last month. Photos of the qualified athletes competing on the climb to Buenos Aires can be found on IFSC Flickr.
Buenos Aires 2018 will measure not only performance in a single discipline but all-around success across all three disciplines of Sport Climbing. Like the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, athletes will be required to compete in Speed, Bouldering and then Lead and will be ranked according to their Combined result. More information on the Olympic Format can be found here.
The full list of qualified athletes and provisional programme for Sport Climbing can be found on the dedicated Buenos Aires event page on the IFSC website. Tune-in to the IFSC homepage October 6th-10th to watch the live streaming of the Opening Ceremony and every Combined qualification and final round provided by OlympicChannel.com, streaming round-the-clock the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. Replays, results, highlights and photos will be shared on the Buenos Aires event page, and join the chat on social media at #ClimbToBuenosAires #YOGjourney #GameChangers #YouthOlympics #BuenosAires2018