Climbing Sets Sights on 2020 Olympics
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Climbing is on the precipice of becoming an Olympic sport, raising the profile of a recreational activity that is seeing a surge in young participants.
The ascent to potential Olympic inclusion got a boost on June 1 after the International Olympic Committee executive board gave its approval to include climbing along with four other sports: baseball-softball, surfing, karate and skateboarding. The IOC will decide in August whether to add the sports to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Japanese organizers initially proposed the new sports in September and looked at climbing as a competition that could appeal to teens and young adult, an age where there is already increasing interest.
There were roughly 35 million climbers worldwide in 2015, according to the International Federation of Sport Climbing, up 40 percent from two years earlier. As of last fall, about half of the total was younger than 25.