Explore/Past Posts

Newsletter Sign Up

Breaking Down the Importance of the IFSC Pan-Ams Championships in an Olympic Year

This week, from Feb. 24–March. 1, marked the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Pan-American Championships at climbing gym Sender One in Los Angeles, California.

Kicking off the 2020 Sport Climbing season, the championships will determine the final quota of Pan-American athletes qualified to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. 

With just 40 spots total—consisting of 20 men and 20 women—open for the Olympic games, and only a handful of spots remaining (of which, only one men’s spot and one women’s spot designated specifically to Pan-Ams) it goes without saying that the pressure to perform is at an all time high. 

As far as North and South American athletes go, the Pan-Ams mark the final chance to make it to the Olympic games. What’s more, this year’s games mark a massive, historical gain for the sport of climbing being the first time in history the sport will be added to the repertoire (among fellow new sports including baseball, softball, karate, skating, and surfing.) 

As for the games, the two events—men’s and women’s—will be one, combined discipline broken down into three stages: speed climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering. The athlete that earns the best combined score across the three disciplines will take home the gold. 

But before we can get to the Olympics, take another look at Pan-Ams in LA. Women’s finals will take place all day on Saturday, Feb. 29 and men’s finals on Sunday, March 1. Want to keep up with the action? You can watch the replays here:

Leading into Pan-Ams already 28 (14 men/14 women) spots have been claimed for the Olympics.

The men’s roster so far includes (in random order): Adam Ondra (CZE), Bassa Mawem (FRA), Jan Hojer (GER), Pan Yufei (CHN), Alberto Ginés López (ESP), Nathaniel Coleman (USA), Tomoa Narasaki (JPN), Jakob Schubert (AUT), Rishat Khaibullin (KAZ), Mickaël Mawem (FRA), Alex Megos (GER), Ludovico Fossali (ITA), Sean McColl (CAN), and Kai Harada (JPN).

The women’s lineup so far includes (in random order): Julia Chanourdie (FRA), Mia Krampl (SLO), Iuliia Kaplina (RUS), Kyra Condie (USA), Laura Rogora (ITA), Song Yiling (CHN), Janja Garnbret (SLO), Akiyo Noguchi (JPN), Shauna Coxsey (GBR), Aleksandra Mirosław (POL), Petra Klingler (SUI), Brooke Raboutou (USA), Jessica Pilz (AUT), and Miho Nonaka (JPN). 

The athletes above qualified either at the IFSC Combined World Championships from Aug. 11–22 in Hachioji, Japan, or the World Olympic Qualifying Event that ran from Nov. 28–Dec. 1 in Toulouse, France. Following Pan-Ams, a total of eight spots will remain (four men/four women) which will be decided during the African, European, Oceania, and Asian Championships. A final two spots (one man/one woman) will be decided upon by the Olympic Games Tripartite Commission—a commission that allocates spots to smaller countries with a low number of qualified athletes in order to maintain better worldwide representation for each sport. These spots may be filled during any competition over the next few months, Pan-Ams included. 

Here’s how it breaks down by the numbers:

Current athletes qualified for the Olympics: 28   (14 men/14 women)

Number of athlete spots available through the Pan-Ams: 2   (one man/one woman)

Number of athlete spots available through the African Champs.: 2   (one man/one woman)

Number of athlete spots available through the European Champs.: 2   (one man/one woman)

Number of athlete spots available through the Oceania Champs.: 2   (one man/one woman)

Number of athlete spots available through the Asian Champs.: 2   (one man/one woman)

Number of spots designated via the Olympic Games Tripartite: 2   (one man/one woman)

Total number of athletes spots for the 2020 Olympics: 40 

So get ready for this weekend, because it is going to be a heated competition and a summer Olympics like you’ve never seen before.