Sport Climbing’s History: Run by the International Federation of Sport Climbing, which was founded all the way back in 2007; world championships in the sport date back to 1991. Climbing has never been a competition at the Olympics, per se, but there were medals given out for mountaineering in 1924 to the the expedition that first tried to summit Everest, and for other “impressive feats” in 1932 and 1936.
Notable Stats: The IFSC represents 81 nations and 25 million climbers worldwide.
The Pitch: Unlike other candidate sports, there’s really nothing on the Olympic schedule like sport climbing, which almost perfectly optimizes the Olympic Motto of “Stronger, Higher, Faster.” It’s also spectator friendly, and young (the average of athletes age is 20) to appeal to a new audience.
The Odds: 50 to 1. Despite all the good, sport climbing – which includes speed climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering – will be a hard sell to the IOC in its first Olympic bid. It’s only really been around twenty years and doesn’t have the following or the participation to bump its status. But with the Olympics growing ever more “extreme,” don’t be surprised to see it someday. The above video shows why.