The International Olympic Committee said earlier this week that eight sports, including sport climbing, will compete for a spot in the 2020 Olympics.
The Executive Board agreed on a shortlist of sports that will be considered for inclusion in the sports programme of the 2020 Olympiad. The sports are: baseball, karate, roller sports, softball, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu, one of which could be added to the 2020 sports programme to be voted on by the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires in 2013.
According to a report from Reuters, baseball and softball, the two sports removed after the 2008 Games, as well as wakeboard, squash, sport climbing, rollersports, karate and the martial art of wushu, will be evaluated and possibly reduced further in early 2013, IOC President Jacques Rogge told reporters.
“Twelve sports were considered, eight were retained,” Rogge said. Surfing, dancing, bowling and netball missed out.
Rogge said a final list would be put to the vote in late 2013 at the IOC session in Buenos Aires for one spot.
Rogge also said the IOC had decided to include men’s and women’s ski slopestyle and snowboard parallel special slalom in the Sochi 2014 winter Games programme.
“Such events provide great entertainment for the spectators and add further youthful appeal,” he said.
The IOC in April introduced six new events for Sochi, including women’s ski jumping, team events for figure skating and luge, ski halfpipe for men and women and biathlon mixed relay.
So although there’s still a long way to go before we know whether climbing will actually be selected for 2020, the thought of a Maltese climber making it to that event is tantalising and should perhaps serve as an incentive for our young climbers to start training to reach the stratospheric level of strength and climbing technique required to compete at that level.
Will 9a be good enough for gold? By 2020, probably not..Adam Ondra will still be just 27 years old and then there’s climbers like Enzo Oddo who was climbing 9a at the age of 14 and will only be 25! Not to mention all the other up and coming rock athletes who are steadily ticking off the hardest routes in the world in an effort to make a name for themselves.
Malta has traditionally done well on an international level at some individual sports like snooker, billiards, and yes, even table football! So it is not impossible to conceive of a Maltese youngster, given the right training resources and support, succeeding in at least qualifying for the Olympics – or perhaps doing even better. The talent is surely there – it just needs to be discovered and cultivated!