Climbing at The Olympics Games!

Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games will feature the sport we all know and love...climbing. A total of 40 climbers from around the world, equal parts men and women, will gather to represent their countries in these exciting games. Each competitor must take part in the three main climbing disciplines: Bouldering, Sport/Lead Climbing, and Speed Climbing. Climbers will be awarded the Gold, Silver or Bronze medal for their combined performance in all three disciplines. 


Competitors will be climbing along a four meter (13’) walls attempting to climb from a designated starting hold to the finish hold. Simply put, they have to climb 4 different climbs with 4 minutes per climb, which will test the athletes in multiple ways. The climbers that complete each climb with fewer attempts will rank higher than the other competitors. 

Lead Climbing

Lead climbing requires climbers to climb up to 15 meters (50’) while securing their rope through quickdraws to the anchors.Unlike bouldering, climbers are given six minutes and one attempt to send. 


Speed Climbing seems pretty simple, but it’s much more complex than just beating the other climber to the top. Climbers, attached to specially designed speed auto belays, attempt to top a 15 meter (50’) wall with a five degree overhang. Unlike the other disciplines, speed routes are standardized. There are 20 holds with 11 feet that can be found in many gyms, including your neighborhood BETA! 

* Fun Fact - World Record is held Reza Alipour with 5.63 seconds!

The first climbing qualification with take place in Tokyo this coming August. Stay tuned to the BETA Blog to see who Climbing’s first Olympic athletes will be! But as we wait, let’s hope Team USA can send everything! USA USA USA!

Enjoyed watching Alex Honnold in Free Solo? Check out his take on Speed Climbing in the video below.

Written by Kody Tolentino

Edited by Nora Maklad

Starting From The Bottom

A common myth of climbing is that you need to have a lot of upper body strength to climb hard. To a point, this is true. The stronger one is physically, the harder they could climb but, having good foot-work can take you further. 

Start from the bottom on your body. Here are a couple points to think about the next time you’re moving on the wall:

  • Each time you move your foot, look at it. Plant it with intention. Don’t shake or hesitate. Commit and go. 

  • Climb slower. It’ll be easier to assess how you’re doing and a preview of your next foot is never going to hurt. 

  • Silent feet are key. You’ll know you’re doing well when you can’t hear your feet when climbing.

  • Use the tip of your shoe to move your body. Avoid using the ball or arch of your foot because you inhibit your own upward progression on the wall.

Keeping these points in mind will get you far. #sendeverything

If you’d like more specific attention on your footwork, schedule a Movement + Technique Course or book a Private Coaching Session with one of our Instructors.   

Written by Kody Tolentino

Edited by Nora Maklad