How does Olympic Climbing Work?We'll begin by stating quickly here that climbing is a vast and diverse sport. Many climbers, professional or otherwise regularly climb 3-4 days/week and might never boulder, or speed climb. However, as a debut into the Olympic Games climbing has been spread into 3 disciples, in a combined event format (Like a traithalon...). Speed Climbing, Bouldering, Sport Climbing
Olympic climbers will race side-by-side up a 15-meter climbing wall. In order to win, a climber will have to hit a buzzer near the top of the wall before his opponent does. The route is graded about 10b and is always the same route globally. The climber who wins a given side-by-side race will advance to another round of side-by-side races, and then to another round, and so on.
The goal again is to reach the top of the wall, however, while speed plays a minor role (in the event of a tie) the goal here is difficulty. The handholds might be really far apart, or they might be really small, or they might just be weirdly shaped and angled. Often this involves very acrobatic, even dynamic (jumping) movement.
In a given bouldering round, an Olympic climber will attempt to climb three separate bouldering routes (i.e., three “boulders”). Unlike speed climbing, bouldering will not be done as a race. Instead, points will be awarded if a climber reaches the top of a boulder. And, even if a climber does not reach the top (remember, these boulders will be really difficult), partial points will be awarded if a climber reaches a de facto halfway point on the wall—known as the “zone” handhold.
The basic goal of lead climbing is to ascend the wall as high as possible. Unlike in bouldering, Olympic climbers will only get one attempt in the lead climbing discipline. The route features anywhere from 40-60 handholds and typically gets more difficult as you progress upwards. The challenge here is endurance and difficulty.
While there are many nuances, essentially, the lowest score wins. So if a climber places 5th in Speed, 4th in Bouldering, and 1st in Lead there score would be 10 (5+4+1=10)
Bouldering Premiers on Tues Aug 3rd - Fri Aug 6th @4:00am
So get to bed early and wake up for climbings Olympic debut!