OLYMPICS

Olympic Climbers Eye 2021 To Finally Make Debut

Jul 23, 2020, 11:41 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — If the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics had opened as scheduled Thursday, the Games would have marked the debut of competition climbing.

Instead, the two men and two women who make up Team USA have another full year to prepare to make their ascent to Olympic glory.

“I was supposed to be in Tokyo,” said Nathaniel Coleman at the team’s training center in Salt Lake City Thursday.

Coleman, who grew up in Murray, said he is now slowly and steadily preparing for next year and the sport’s eventual introduction on the world’s biggest stage.

“I train usually four times a week,” Coleman said. “Usually my sessions are between three and four hours.”

The competition climbing event involves the disciplines of speed climbing, bouldering and lead climbing.

“I had to start focusing on speed climbing and lead climbing, which I normally don’t do,” Coleman said. “That was a big adjustment—especially speed climbing. That’s something that was very out of my comfort zone.”

The postponement of the Olympics has given him an added perspective.

“Looking back now, I’m pretty grateful that it got postponed because it’s given me a chance to kind of like settle down after the excitement of qualifying,” Coleman said.

He hoped the American team would prove to be plenty competitive in the sport, which first became popular in Europe and is considered up-and-coming in Japan, and he’s looking forward to giving his all after qualifying for the team.

“It’s a historic event, right?” Coleman said. “To do that was something that I’m really proud of.”

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Olympic Climbers Eye 2021 To Finally Make Debut