SIXTY-EIGHT CLIMBERS, 11 COUNTRIES TO BE REPRESENTED AT SANTIAGO 2023
The 19th edition of the Pan American Games, taking place in Santiago, Chile, from 20 October to 5 November, will mark a memorable milestone in the history of Climbing, as the sport will make its debut in the programme of the multi-sport event.
Four individual titles will be awarded, with competitions spanning from 21 to 24 October, and medals being awarded in the new Boulder & Lead format, and Speed. The full schedule of Sport Climbing at Santiago 2023 is available here.
A total of 68 athletes will compete in Sport Climbing at the event, representing 11 countries – Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the USA.
Most importantly, the Pan American Games Santiago 2023 will serve as the continental qualification event for Sport Climbing, awarding a total of four Olympic quota places for Paris 2024. In the men’s Boulder & Lead, women’s Boulder & Lead, and men’s Speed events, the gold medallist will also secure the ticket to the Olympics.
Given the participation of USA’s Emma Hunt – who previously booked a spot at Paris 2024 by taking silver at the IFSC World Championships Bern 2023 – the women’s Speed event will award its Olympic slot to the highest-ranked athlete who has not secured an Olympic quota already.
Among the climbers participating in the event, two-time Boulder World Cup champion Natalia Grossman of the USA will compete in the Boulder & Lead event, with Brooke Raboutou – also representing USA – Alannah Yip of Canada, and Valentina Aguado of Argentina also in the mix.
In the men’s Boulder & Lead event, Tokyo 2020 Olympian Sean McColl of Canada will fight with multiple World Cup medal winners Sean Bailey and Jesse Grupper of the USA.
Ecuador’s Andrea Rojas will be one of the athletes to watch in the women’s Speed event, along with USA’s Piper Kelly and Canada’s Erica Velev.
Finally, current men’s Speed Pan American record holder Sam Watson of the USA will be one of the favourites in the event, battling with Carlos Granja of Ecuador, and Ethan Pitcher of Canada.
Competing on home turf, the Chilean team will be one of the most represented, with a total of 10 athletes – all carrying different levels of World Cup experience – representing the home team.
Jose Tomas Ledesma and Joaquin Tapia will represent Chile in the men’s Speed event, while Carmen Contreras and Anahí Riveros will do the same in the women’s one. Bejamin Ayala, Joaquin Urrutia, and Benjamin Vargas are going to climb for the home team in the men’s Boulder & Lead event, and the trio of Alejandra Contreras, Martina Castro, and Ignacia Mellado Quinteros is going to represent Chile in the women’s Boulder & Lead competition.
The full list of athletes competing in Sport Climbing at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023 is available here.
Changes to the list of participating athletes can be made by the respective National Olympic Committees prior to the sport entries deadline, on 29 September. Potentially, changes could also happen past that date and before the technical meeting on 20 October.
News and updates about the event will be available on the official website of Santiago 2023, the IFSC website, and on the Federation’s digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and exclusively for the Chinese audience, Douyin and Weibo.
Benjamin Ayala will be one of 10 climbers representing Chile at Santiago 2023
Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC