Climbing Walls

More Than a Moment in Time

Explore climbing as a lifestyle, as a revolution, and as a Sport

This moment in time, when climbing has made it into the Olympics, is one of those revolutionary moments for climbing. It will be a catapult forward, like John Gill’s contributions to bouldering, John Stannard contributions to preservation of climbing areas, Lynn Hill’s contributions to women in climbing, and Yvon Chouinard’s contribution to climbing gear that changes the way future generations perceive, engage, and experience climbing and its counter-culture.   

Join us on this 5.Life journey and discover where you fit into the larger history of climbing. 


Click here for more information on What is sport climbing? 

Speed climbing takes place on a standardized 15 meter wall angled at 95 degrees. Two climbers race against each other for the fastest time to the top. Men’s world record is 5.2085 seconds. The women’s world record is 6.964 seconds.

Bouldering is unroped over mats on walls roughly 4.5m high of varying angles. Bouldering problems emphasize gymnastic style strength and technique. Problems are original creations for this event and have not been seen by the athletes.

Chambers Mask Climbing

Lead climbing requires the climber to attach to a rope, clipping protection in the wall as they climb. They climb an original route on a wall roughly 15 meters tall, consisting of 40-60 holds. The goal is to reach the top.

An athletes ranking in each discipline, speed, bouldering, and lead is multiplied together to form their combined score. The lowest combined score wins the event.

Road to Tokyo

Helping you understand the qualification process and how athletes got to the Olympics

Helping you understand the qualification process and how the athletes got to the Olympics 

  • 40 climbing athletes, 20 women and 20 men 
  • In August 2019 16 climbers, eight women and eight men, qualified at the Combined World Championship in Hachioji(Tokyo), Japan.
  • In December 2019, 12 climbers, six women and six men, qualified at an Olympic qualifier in Toulouse, France.
  • In 2020, a 8 athletes, four women and four men, qualified through continental championships in Los Angeles, USA, Moscow, Russia, Cape Town, South Africa, and Sydney, Australia.
  • The final four Olympic positions were assigned based on the athletes’ rankings at the 2019 World Championships, due to the cancellation of the Asian Championships as a result of COVID-19, and the reallocation of two unused quota places after Sport Climbing received no Tripartite Commission applications.
  • Note: only two athletes of each gender can qualify from any one nation. 

This is an intricate qualification process that we tried to simplify as much as possible. For more details, grab a cup of coffee and pursue the following documents. 

IFSC Qualification PDF

March 2020 Revision


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