25 July 2022

Jesse Grupper IFSC conversation

IFSC has published a conversation with Jesse Grupper, who won in Briancon, and the personal story of the Mechanical Engineering graduate is just as amazing as his last results. The runner-up in the overall World Cup 2022, works part-time at a Harvard University Bio Design Laboratory helping to design exoskeletons for stroke victims as well as assisting in writing a paper from a recent study he was part of. As a matter of a fact, helping others have always been a big part of his life.

- In high school I joined this organisation called ‘Peak Potential’ which works with people, mainly children, with physical disabilities and teaches them how to climb. I feel fulfilled in climbing, but this was a chance to work with others and help them improve.

"Following a study period in Cape Town and seeing firsthand the inequity and challenges South Africa faced, Jesse was inspired to help co-found the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for his home organisation. Jesse has a chronic condition called Ulcerative Colitis which is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It has affected him in the past as he’s been weaker at competitions and avoided eating to avoid any awkward moments during competition."

- It’s a chronic thing that I need regular medication for. For example, I have to fly back to the US in between this and the next event to get an infusion.

He comes from a musical family both his parents play the guitar and his sister plays ukulele and banjolele. Jesse uses yoga and music as stress relievers which helps out with his chronic condition.

- I like the twang of a banjo and you can’t really make a song sound too sad on a banjo. As far as music goes it’s a happy instrument to play.

When it comes to rock climbing (not included in the conversation), he has done Jaws II (9a+) and Hades 9a but most impressive is a flash of Livin' Astro 8c+. His hardest boulder is Book Club (8B+). website
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