OLYMPICS

Spectators: World Cup Climbing Competition Almost Feels Normal

May 29, 2021, 7:39 AM | Updated: 8:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The fastest climbers in the world went head-to-head at the World Cup of Climbing in Salt Lake City over the weekend. Both spectators and athletes said the crowd, the cheers and the atmosphere made it feel like things are almost normal again.

If you listened close enough, or even took a little peek at what was happening downtown, you might think things were normal.

“I’m so glad it’s getting back to at least that point. I really do,” said Brian James.

James helped run a food truck in downtown Salt Lake City near the World Cup Climbing Competition.

He loved seeing the crowd and the competitors.

“They are just going up those things like it’s nothing,” he said with a laugh.

Just a few feet in front of him was a wall some of the fastest climbers in the world kept racing up.

Unlike other climbing competitions in the past year, fans were allowed to attend this one.

Most of the Condie family traveled from Minnesota to be in Salt Lake City for the competition.

Kyra Condie is on Team USA and will compete in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

“Just to be here with everybody cheering and hearing the crowd again, it’s been wonderful. It’s been great,” said Cathy Condie, Kyra’s mother.

Since the Condies can’t travel to Japan and cheer for her due to COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday’s event was basically their version of the Olympics.

“Yeah, we got our whole family here. They came along because they can’t go to the Olympics,” said Tom Condie, Kyra’s father. “Some of them had planned to go and they’re like, ‘Hey, we can come here and watch her,’ so it’s great.”

The athletes said they noticed the crowd and heard the cheering.

It’s different than what they have become used to.

“The last competition we did was in Memphis and we didn’t have a crowd. It was mid-COVID,” said Kyra. “You lack that energy and so having the crowd behind you makes a big difference.”

At this competition, though, people were eating, playing games and having fun outside.

Although masks were still required at the venue, it almost felt normal again.

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Spectators: World Cup Climbing Competition Almost Feels Normal