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Last August, the International Olympic Committee announced a new roster of events that will be added to the 2020 games in Tokyo, including baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, climbing, and surfing. The climbing event will include three different disciplines: sport, bouldering, and speed.

Speed climbing will supplant the 100-meter dash as the fastest sport in Olympic history with winning times clocking in around 7 seconds.


For years, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) has pushed for climbing’s inclusion in the Olympic Summer Games but was passed over. The sport received a second chance for the 2020 Olympics when a new program was introduced that allows the host country to propose sports with local and international appeal.

“We are so happy that Sport Climbing will be participating in the Games of Tokyo,” said IFSC president Marco Scolaris. “The Olympics have been our dream for quite some time, and now the hard work has finally paid off. We would like to thank the IOC for extending a truly unique opportunity to our sport.”

At the 2020 Olympics, 40 climbers (20 men and 20 women) will compete over four days, and the medals will be awarded based on their overall performance across all three disciplines. Currently, the world’s fastest speed climber is Reza Alipour of Iran. The 23-year-old set a world record earlier this year by scaling a 15-meter wall in just 5.48 seconds. The previous record holder was Ukraine’s Danyil Boldyrev who scaled the wall in 5.6 seconds.

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