Last weekend, Moscow hosted the 70th anniversary celebration of the first ever sport climbing event. The Combined event featured the format to be used at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. After almost nonstop climbing in all three disciplines, Speed world champion Anna Tsyganova and Bouldering icon Aleksei Rubtsov claimed the victories.
The first climbing competitions were organized in the former USSR in the late 1940s. These events were focused on Speed climbing and were mostly dedicated to Soviet climbers until the 1980s. The first Climbing World Cup in Moscow took place in 1994 at the Palace of Children Sport, a popular destination for many international events in the years to follow.
Russian athletes have continued to excel on the world stage, especially in Speed climbing, with countless victories and medals at all levels, especially in Bouldering and Speed. Since the inception of the IFSC in 2007, Russia has topped the national team ranking in Speed climbing every year, with numerous star athletes winning gold medals. Russia's own Iuliia Kaplina currently holds the women's Speed climbing record (7.32 seconds).
IFSC President Marco Scolaris was invited to attend the event by Dmitry Bychkov, President of the Climbing Federation of Russia, and he was welcomed by Stanislavsky Pozdnyakov, the first Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee and Assistant of Russian President for Economic Affairs Andrei Belousov. During his visit, President Scolaris also met Aleksander Gorbenko, Deputy Mayor of Moscow and Nikolai Gulyaev, chairman of the Moscow sport department, with whom he discussed the future development of sport climbing in Moscow and future events in the capital, in particular the provisional IFSC Moscow World Cup 2018.
“We all know that Russian sport is living some turbulent times," Scolaris said during his speech at the event. "But climbing is going up and sport climbing needs Russia. Let’s climb the world together and, through sport, through our sport, let’s make it a better place to live.”