Sport climbing is booming! In recent years, climbing has truly become a popular sport, not least because of numerous climbing gyms: more and more athletes are attracted by vertical challenges, both indoor and outdoor, and the trend continues. For a very good reason: climbing does not only train most of our 656 muscles, it challenges the mind, too.
Especially the target group of indoor climbers is growing rapidly. In Germany alone, there are more than 280 climbing gyms open to the public. In the United States there are around 600. Meanwhile over 2 million Europeans are climbing regularly; in Germany alone there are around 500,000 climbers. Twenty-five percent of the 1,1 million members of the German Alpine Club (DAV) state that they are climbing on a regular basis.
The sport also attracts many women. Around 40 percent of German climbers are female. And that is not surprising: this sport is not only about strength, but also about body control and athleticism. And it is a mindgame. Climbing has also become an international high-performance sport.
Official competitions take place in three different disciplines: lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing. The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) hosts world championships, world cups, and continental championships. The federation has 81 members on five continents and is official member of the Olympic Family since 2010.
Next summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo will see the first edition of climbing as an Olympic discipline. The demanding new discipline "Olympic Combined" consists of a overall result made up from individual competitions in lead climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering. Already this summer, athletes as well as climbing fans looked excitedly to Hachioji where this year's IFSC Climbing World Championships was held as the first ever Olympic qualifier for Tokyo2020.
Source: German Alpine Club, Handelsblatt, IFSC, RouteAlpin, Wikipedia