sport climbing

Luce Douady, youth world champion climber, dies after cliff accident

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Luce Douady, a youth world champion climber from France, died after a climbing accident at a cliff, France’s climbing federation said it learned Sunday. She was 16.

Douady was climbing with friends near Grenoble.

Douady won a 2019 Youth World title in bouldering, one of three disciplines that make up the climbing event that debuts at the Olympics in Tokyo next year. Douady also took third in a lead final, another of the three disciplines in the combined Olympic event.

She also debuted on the senior World Cup in 2019, placing fifth at an event in Colorado.

For the Tokyo Olympics, France previously qualified its full complement of two women in climbing: Julia Chanourdie and Anouck Jaubert. The sport remains on the Olympic program for the 2024 Paris Games.

U.S. Olympic table tennis, sport climbing teams finalized

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The six-member U.S. Olympic table tennis team is complete following the Olympic Trials this past week.

Nikhil Kumar and Zhou Xin joined the already qualified Rio Olympian Kanak Jha on the men’s team. Wang Huijing and Liu Juan joined the already qualified Olympic veteran Lily Zhang on the women’s team, according to TeamUSA.org.

The U.S. has zero Olympic table tennis medals, though Zhang and Jha earned Youth Olympic bronze medals.

Kumar, 17, became the first American born in 2003 to qualify for an Olympics. He reached the second round of the 2019 Pan American Games, where Jha earned a bronze medal.

Wang, 39, is set to become the second-oldest female U.S. Olympic table tennis player since it was added to the program in 1988. Liu is a former Chinese national team player who became a U.S. citizen in 2016, according to TeamUSA.org.

Later Sunday, 16-year-old Colin Duffy rounded out the first U.S. Olympic sport climbing team by winning the Pan Am Championships in Los Angeles. Duffy, a youth world champion in the lead discipline, joined the already qualified Nathaniel Coleman, Kyra Condie and Brooke Raboutou.

MORE: Athletes qualified for 2020 U.S. Olympic team

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Kyra Condie, decade after severe back surgery, qualifies for Olympic sport climbing

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Ten years ago, a nurse practitioner told a crying Kyra Condie that climbing wasn’t that important. Condie needed back surgery for severe idiopathic scoliosis, which could have ended her sport climbing career at age 13.

“Turns out, climbing IS pretty important to me and it was that moment that made me choose a different surgeon,” was posted on Condie’s social media.

She underwent 10-vertebrae spinal fusion surgery to correct a 70-degree curvature the following March.

“I’m lucky I did [the surgery], because his approach was to fuse less vertebrae and leave me with more mobility which has been crucial to my climbing,” was posted on Condie’s social media.

That decision led Condie on a path that, on Friday, hit a milestone marker — qualifying for the first U.S. Olympic sport climbing team. Condie earned her spot by reaching the final of an Olympic qualifier in Toulouse, France.

She is the third American to qualify for the sport’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, joining Brooke Raboutou and Nathaniel Coleman. One more man can make the U.S. team at a Pan Am qualifier in three months.

Condie is a Twin Cities native who graduated from the University of Minnesota last year and recently moved to Salt Lake City. She was 25th at the world championships in August.

Overall, 26 athletes have qualified for the U.S. Olympic team across all sports. A full roster is here. The team will eventually eclipse 500 athletes.

Olympic sport climbing will feature one set of medals per gender, the event combining three disciplines: lead, speed and bouldering.

From Tokyo 2020: Speed climbing pits two climbers against each other, both climbing a fixed route on a 15-meter wall at a 95-degree angle. Winning times are generally between five and eight seconds. In bouldering, climbers scale a number of fixed routes on a four-meter wall in a specified time without safety ropes. In lead climbing, athletes attempt to climb as high as possible on a wall measuring over 15 meters in height within a fixed time with safety ropes.

The sport debuted at the Youth Olympics in 2018 in Buenos Aires, but no Americans were entered.

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MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympic master competition schedule

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In the fall of 2009, I had a nurse practitioner tell me that I could stop crying because “climbing isn’t that important” and that “one day you’ll have a family and you’ll realize you don’t need to be sad.” Turns out, climbing IS pretty important to me and it was that moment that made me choose a different surgeon to perform my 10 vertebrae spinal fusion. I’m lucky I did, because his approach was to fuse less vertebrae and leave me with more mobility which has been crucial to my climbing. It’s now been 9 years since my surgery (March 12th, 2010) and it still amazes me how little I even notice my restricted mobility. I do tend to have trouble on certain types of moves, but there’s almost always another method to avoid twisting and sideways bending (the two motions I have trouble with). If anyone has any questions about my recovery or anything else, please don’t hesitate to ask 😁 I love talking to other people with a spinal fusion! Photo 1: pre back surgery Photo 2: post back surgery Photo 3: post back surgery rib hump (from the remaining curve in my spine) Photo 4: @greg_mionske photo from the Vail World Cup! #scoliosis #spinalfusion

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