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Does climbing make kids smarter? 
 

Click to Enlarge PictureTwo weeks ago I read an article saying Kids skiing gets smarter. The explanation is physical activity but also learning how to concentrate and improved coordination etc. Personally I would say that possibly it also relates to all the decisions the skiing kids have to do going down the slope.

During the years I have been chatting with dozens of kids 12 - 15 years climbing very hard and almost always I have been shocked about how smart and mature they seem. It could just be that all the problem solving situation they have faced they have developed their brain making them much smarter and mentally stronger, which could be part of the reason why they climb at the same level as the adults?

Yesterday in an IFSC meeting in Lausanne, I met Charlotte Durif and we discussed the subject. In 2005, Charlotte Durif (15) was the best female onsight climber ever and she was at that time even among the best male. We sent her some questions in French and our translator Jones Belhaj, big brother to Said, told us that he had never come across a 15 year old expressing her self in such a mature and advanced way -

"He had to simplify some of her equilibristic words and sentences in order to make them understandable for everyone."

Charlotte, five times Youth World Champion, won the Euro Championship being 15 years old and she is the first female to have onsighted an 8c. In 2011, she became the second women to do a 9a. In 2017, she got her PhD and got attributed the grade of Doctor in Chemistry and Physical Chemistry of Materials! Currently she is based in Salt Lake City working as an consultant to IFSC focusing on the Olympic movement.