Michael Schöpf, Sport Manager of Austria Climbing and CEO of the IFSC World Championships taking place in Innsbruck on September 6-16, began the press conference by chronicling the journey of Sport Climbing in Innsbruck, which most recently hosted the IFSC Youth World Championships in 2017. Star Sport Climbing athlete Katharina Saurwein, Head Coach of the Austrian Paraclimbing Team, noted the growth of Paraclimbing in Austria as well, which will send Paraclimbing athletes to the IFSC World Championships for the first time this year.
Kobinata Toru, IFSC Vice-President Sport/Events, and Jérôme Meyer, Head of Olympic Coordination, followed with presentations on the upcoming Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. A number of ongoing preparations will be discussed at the IFSC Plenary Assembly tomorrow, including the Qualification System for Tokyo 2020. Before welcoming questions from the local and international media attending, IFSC President Marco Scolaris summarised the upcoming opportunities for Sport Climbing in 2018 embodying IFSC and Olympic values. All the highlights from the press conference can be watched in the video below.
"The Youth Olympic Games is an event where the goal is to give all the athlete participants a larger experience than just competing. The motto is 'compete, learn and share,'" said Jérôme Meyer. "Preparations are well underway, and we are excited to deliver the best experience of Sport Climbing in Buenos Aires in October."
Amidst continental meetings in the afternoon, IFSC Secretary General Debra Gawrych and IFSC Consultant Leslie Baxter concluded the series of workshops by leading discussions on strategic planning for National Federations. The basic principles and benefits of the process were defined, as well as the universal mission to support the growth and development of Sport Climbing alongside stakeholders as a global and accessible activity: from competitive to recreational, indoors and outdoors. Three panelists from National Federations then shared their own experiences determining and executing strategies: Burgi Beste, Vice-President of Deutscher Alpenverein; Yuji Hirayama, Vice-President of the Japan Mountaineering & Sport Climbing Association; and Kynan Waggoner, CEO of USA Climbing.
In the evening, general proceedings of the IFSC Plenary Assembly began at the Austria Trend Hotel Congress in Innsbruck, with reports from the IFSC on Paraclimbing activities, media, marketing and communication outputs in 2017 and approaches for 2018, and additional updates on governance.
Stay tuned for a recap of the main proceedings of the 2018 IFSC Plenary Assembly on Saturday.