World Climbing Championships 2016

Whilst I was not able to compete this year, I’ll explain later, I had the opportunity to go out to Paris and watch the last two days of the competition. What a fantastic showcase of the sport it was and so close to the announcement that climbing is to be in the next Olympic’s the crowds were huge.

Mens Lead Finals

As my ParaClimbing category was dropped from the World ParaClimbing Championships because there has to be 6 competitiors from 5 different countries for the category to compete. I believe my category had only 5 competitors, I thought that I would not get to go to the most prestigious Climbing Comeptition in the World.

However, the opportunity arose and I took it travelling out to Paris for the last two days of Comeptition. The AccordHotel Arena is an impressive sight, sort of the French equivalent to the O2. Seating a capacity 20000 it dwarfed the climbing stage in the middle of the arena. This stage consisted of the Speed wall, Boulder wall and a lead wall.

Security was tight and we had to queue for sometime to get in but they anticipated about 8000 spectators a day and apparently another 150,000 joined the live streaming on YouTube. Climbing was having its day for sure.

Approx 8000 people a day attended

Approx 8000 people a day attended

The competitions were amazing to watch and the crowd noise was staggering especially when a route was topped. The most amazing was I believe the Visually impaired ParaClimbers. The whole stadium falls silent where you could hear a pin drop whilst the ParaClimber climbs and then the crowd erupts once the climber tops or falls off. The crowd roared for like countries no matter what, there are no borders in climbing.

The highlight for me personally though had to be the opportunity to join one of the best climbers in the world Sierra Blair-Coyle for a training session at the local Parisian climbing wall, an American ranked 25th in the world she is a professional climber with a large social media.

She is such a nice person and we had a great session. You can see a short video on my Facebook page or by clicking here

September 21st, 2016 by