The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) was created on 27 January 2007 as a continuation of the International Council for Competition Climbing, which was created in 1997.
An international non-governmental and non-profit organisation, the IFSC's main objectives are the direction, regulation, promotion, development, and furtherance of climbing competitions around the world.
The IFSC is a member of GAISF, IWGA, ARISF, and ASOIF, and has its sport in the Olympic programme. It is also recognised by the International Paralympic Commitee.
The IFSC fosters links, networks, and friendly relations among its members, climbers, and officials, and has committed itself to undertaking the following goals:
The last two decades have been a period of spectacular growth for both Sport Climbing and the organisation. Sport Climbing has gained credibility not only as competitive sport, but also for its social values. The IFSC is a young and healthy federation founded on modern sporting principles and values, cultivating them along with sport growth and development.
Sport Climbing was officially confirmed as an additional sport in the programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 during the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro, August 2016, and was included as a medal sport in the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
Sport Climbing makes its summer Olympic debut at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Alberto Ginés López of Spain and Janja Garnbret of Slovenia become the first Olympic gold medallists for Sport Climbing.
Sport Climbing (Boulder) was included in the programme of the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar
The first Olympic medals for Sport Climbing were awarded during the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires.
Sport Climbing was confirmed as an additional sport in the programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 by the IOC Session, alongside Baseball, Softball, Karate and Surfing. Sport Climbing was also added to the programme of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
Sport Climbing was officially proposed as a new sport for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, by the Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel.
Sport Climbing was chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as part of the Sports Lab, showcasing new sports at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
Thanks to the shortlist for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IFSC benefited from major exposure worldwide, gaining international support.
The IOC Executive Board included Sport Climbing on the shortlist (with seven other sports) as a possible new event for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The first IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships were organised within the programme of the eleventh Climbing World Championships. Climbers with and without a disability were fully involved in the event from the opening ceremony until the closing ceremony. Thirty-five athletes (30 men and 5 women) from eleven countries competed. The Paraclimbing World Championships now takes place every two years, parallel to the World Championships.
On February 12th, 2010, the IOC gave definitive recognition to the IFSC, officially welcoming Sport Climbing as part of the Olympic Family.
The first IFSC Paraclimbing Cup Series was organised, with events in Ekaterinburg, (RUS), Val Daone (ITA) and Chiba (JPN). Thirty-eight athletes (26 men and 12 women) from Belarus, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, and Spain took part at the competitions.
The first IFSC Paraclimbing Cup was organised in Moscow, Russia, within the IFSC Bouldering and Speed World Cup event. Athletes with visual impairments and with physical disabilities from Belarus, Italy, Ukraine, and Russia took part in the competitions.
On January 27th, 2007, in Frankfurt, Germany 57 Federations founded the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC). The Statutes and By-laws, as well as the regulations of the new International Federation, were unanimously adopted . On April 28th, 2007, the AGFIS General Meeting accepted the IFSC as a new member. A few weeks later, the IWGA also accepted the IFSC, confirming climbing’s place in the 2009 Kaoshiung World Games.
On December 10th, 2007, the IOC granted provisional recognition to the IFSC, welcoming Sport Climbing into the Olympic Movement.
In 2006, the UIAA decided to end its governance of Competition Climbing and supported the creation of an independent International Federation to govern this sport.
The first International Paraclimbing Competition took place in Russia, Ekaterinburg, within the European Championships. Athletes with a visual impairment and with a physical disability from Belarus, Italy, Japan, and Russia took part in the competitions.
In 2005, Competition Climbing was added to events of the Duisburg World Games and the Asian Indoor Games to great fanfare.
The sport continued to grow with more than 45 countries regularly participating in official calendar events. The calendar included the World, Youth, and Continental Championships, the World Cups, the Continental circuits, as well as other high profile International competitions. It also sponsored promotional events for under-age kids (spiderkids) and amateurs. Today, more than 75 countries participate in climbing competitions held all over the world, with the World Championships and Youth Championships being the most popular events.
In 1998, Bouldering was officially introduced as a new climbing discipline. A test competition was organized dubbed the "Top Rock Challenge,” and its success leads to the creation of the World Cup in 1999.
In 1997, a new structure, the ICC - International Council for Competition Climbing - was created inside the UIAA, in order to guarantee sufficient autonomy to the sport and to provide it with the tools required for growth and development.
In 1992, the first Youth World Championship took place in Basel, Switzerland. Large participation at the event demonstrated how popular Sport Climbing had become with the younger generation. It is now an annual event.
In 1991, the first World Championship was organized in Frankfurt, Germany, an event that now occurs every two years.
In the early 90s, several large events were organized in all the main arenas of Europe, as well as in Japan and the US. During these years, it was decided that International events would be run only on artificial walls, in order to eliminate any environmental impact.
At the International level, the French Federation and Paul Brasset lead a movement to convince the UIAA to officially recognize the competitive Sport Climbing circuit, which had grown substantially with the addition of the World Series in 1988 and the first World Cup in Speed and Lead in 1989. As a result, Brasset created a new organization within the UIAA (formed by the CEC and CICE) that was responsible for training officials (judges and forerunners) and creating competition rules.
The success was repeated the following year in 1986 when Arco di Trento became host to the second SportRoccia event. The final was won by French superstar Patrick Edlinger and his compatriot Catherine Destivelle. More than 10,000 people attended the finals, including seven European television stations, as well as many media operators.
The same year, the French Federation organized the first indoor event at a gymnasium in Vaulx-en-Velin, a suburb of Lyon. The potential future for Sport Climbing became clear as all climbers began to show interest in this new branch of their sport, even those who appeared reluctant at first.
In 1985, in the Olympic town of Bardonecchia, Italy, not far from Torino, Andrea Mellano, a member of the Academic Group of CAI, and Emanuele Cassarà, a well-known Italian sport journalist, gathered a group of the best climbers for an event called "SportRoccia" held at a natural crag in Valle Stretta. It was the first organized Lead competition, launching a new era of modern Sport Climbing. Thousands of spectators were amazed by the victory of German athlete Stefan Glowacz.
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