History has been made in the sport of climbing! Over the weekend at the IFSC Combined World Championship, Brooke Raboutou became one of seven athletes and the first American qualified to represent Team USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Raboutou solidified her spot in the Games after a grueling combined competition that featured all three disciplines of climbing – bouldering, lead, speed – over the course of one day. The Combined World Championships were comprised of the top 20 athletes from the discipline-specific World Championships, held just days earlier, leaving just twenty athletes to fight for 7 coveted Olympic invitations.
With four Japanese athletes in the Combined Final, Raboutou received her invitation as the next non-Japanese athlete not yet qualified for the Olympics, as a result of the max quota of 2 per gender per country. Raboutou finished 9th overall, her best finish of the season.
“After the final lead climb in the Combined Qualifier, I was very happy with my performance before I even saw the results. This achievement is just the icing on the cake for me. I could feel my hard work, determination and drive all come together on the wall, which was a magnificent feeling,” said Raboutou. “Earning a spot in the 2020 Olympics is just proof that focusing on myself and my climbing is what pushes me to the next level. I am beyond excited to embark on this new journey. It is such an honor to be able to represent the US at the Olympic level, especially as climbing makes its debut. I hope I can help the sport grow and introduce new people to the joys of climbing.”
“To have Team USA represented when climbing makes its debut in the Olympics is a testament to those who supported the organization from its roots as a small youth climbing club to one of the largest climbing organizations in the world. A special to thanks to all those who have worked countless hours in making USA Climbing what it is today. May our participation in the Olympics inspire the next generation to continue to pursue their dreams whatever they are and never stop climbing,” said Marc Norman, USA Climbing CEO. “Finally, and most importantly, on behalf of USA Climbing, its members, volunteers, and Board of Directors a huge congratulations to Brooke. We are all immensely proud of her.”