OLYMPICS

SLC climber qualifies for Paris Olympics

Oct 24, 2023, 5:56 PM | Updated: 6:04 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — After the Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile, Monday evening, a Salt Lake City athlete’s dreams are about to come true.

Because of the Pan Am results, Jesse Grupper has qualified for the Paris Olympics. He led a USA medals sweep in the men’s boulder and lead division.

With his win, Grupper claimed the last USA spot in men’s boulder and lead for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Jesse Grupper, a Salt Lake City climber qualified to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics. (Alex Cabrero, KSL TV)

Jesse Grupper, a Salt Lake City climber qualified to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics. (Alex Cabrero, KSL TV)

Grupper loved to climb when he was growing up and always dreamed about being in the Olympics. However, climbing wasn’t an Olympic sport at the time.

“It feels really unreal,” said Grupper. “This has been a dream since I was a kid watching the Olympics on my home TV. I just really, for so long, have seen this as a dream. So, I’m so glad to be able to pull it out in this competition and make it happen.”

So, he thought about following his idol Michael Phelps and get into swimming, which Grupper says would’ve made his mother happy.

It was announced that climbing would become an Olympic sport at the 2020 Tokyo Games, and Grupper figured his Olympic dream could come true, with hard work.

He is originally from New Jersey, but moved to Salt Lake City to train with the U.S. National Team, because USA Climbing is based in Salt Lake City.

KSL will have coverage of the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer and will be sending news teams to Paris to report on local athletes like Grupper who will be competing there as well.

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SLC climber qualifies for Paris Olympics