Ondra: Combined Olympic format is the great tragedy for our sport


Tuesday, 1 March

Chris Sharma has previously said that the suggested combined Olympic format is "a big shame!" Adam Ondra, the best competition climber in the last two years, is even more critical, which goes hand in hand with what 8a has stated. As for his plans for 2016, Adam will once again focus on rock but possibly do some World Cups as well. "Combined format is the great tragedy for our sport. I think that Olympics is amazing thing for climbing, but honestly, no other choice could have been worse than combined format. It is just sad to see lead climber on the speed route and speed climber on lead route. It is embarrassing for the climbers because they are on a completely different level. Athletes are going to be forced to train what they do not specialize in. The audience is interested in seeing top performance, right? But it will only see more average performance due to the format. Additionally, it shares no spirit. Competition climbing is originated in rock climbing, where the speed is not taken into consideration (well, there are few exceptions like The Nose). What you climb and in which style is what matters. Lead and boulder fit into this philosophy. Speed does not. And it does not reflect the current situation either. Nobody is interested in doing all three disciplines except Sean. Why should something, that one person in the world is interested in doing, become Olympic? I did not participate in World Championship 2014 in Gijon in speed. And because of that, I was not Combined World Champion. I did it deliberately, with full awareness, just because I did not agree with the rules. IFSC chose the combined format in order not to disappoint anyone, but at least I feel disappointed. In my opinion, going for speed only, lead only, boulder only or lead and boulder combined is much better than all three combined." It should be mentioned that the latest IFSC Plenary Assembly, was opened by Marco Scolaris, who said, "We cannot say anything about the format at this point as the decision has not been taken yet.", although the application is based on 30 + 30 athletes competing in Lead, Boulder and Speed for one set of medals.

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