The Pan American Games Are Here and Climbing is Making It’s Grand Entrance

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The Pan American Games taking place in Santiago, Chile are starting on the 20th of October, and climbing history is going to be made. Sixty-eight athletes from eleven countries will participate in the first-ever sport climbing discipline in these games.

At this 19th edition of the Pan American Games, medals will be awarded in rock climbing for the new Boulder & Lead format plus Speed climbing.

You can check out the full schedule of the event here.

The 68 climbers representing Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the USA will have the chance to get a spot at the Olympic Games in 2024 by securing a place on the podium at one of the two disciplines. Also, if one of the winners already has a booked place as is Emma Hunt’s example who won Silver at the IFSC World Championships in Bern this year, the “place” will go to the next competitor.

The climbing competitions will start on Saturday, October 21st, and end on Tuesday, October 24th.

The competition system will be as follows:

  • Speed climbing. The athletes will compete head to head on the standard 15-meter high wall, so nothing new here, but we’ll be waiting for some unexpected times here.
  • Boulder & Lead. Climbers will have 4.5-meter bouldering walls, which they can read before starting the competition. The best boulderer will be the one with the most tops reached and the smallest number of tries. In lead, as in the boulder stage, climbers will be able to read the route and make one flash attempt. The climber who reaches the highest spot on the 15-meter wall will be the winner.

Among the headliners of this year’s event, we have two-time Boulder World Cup champion Natalia Grossman of the USA, who will compete in the Boulder & Lead event with Brooke Raboutou, along with Alannah Yip from Canada and Valentina Aguado from Argentina.

In the men’s Boulder & Lead event, we will be able to see team Canada’s Sean McColl, a four-time world champion and the first male to have competed at nine IFSC World Championships.

It’s pretty clear that Team Canada will have something to offer for this event, considering that along with McColl and Yip, the team features young blood in Oscar and Victor Baudrand, both making their debut along with speed-climber Ethan Flynn-Pitcher, the current Canadian men’s record holder.

For all you folks who can make it to Chile, the Sport Climbing event will take place October 21-24 (Days 1 to 4) at the Parque Bicentenario Cerrillos. For the rest of us, we can always check out the IFSC web page and, of course, the Santiago2023 page.

Featured image: © Lena Drapelle/IFSC

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