The Climbing Wall Architects of the Tokyo Games
Women remain in the minority in the framework, despite an increasing number of climbers. Male setters may find it difficult to grasp the morphological difference – from the difference in height to finger size, strength, power and flexibility.
The reverse is true, and frustrating, for the couriers.
“I find a balance between my inability to accurately test some male climbs that I have established with improving the female ones,” said Katja Vidmar, a Slovenian passer.
Vidmar is one of three international passers ratified and the only one selected to follow the Tokyo route. She had to withdraw, leaving a field made up entirely of male setters in Tokyo. “Women move, think and fixate themselves differently,” she said. “I’m glad the scenes are slowly changing.”
Teams have sometimes set the bar too low, or incredibly high, for women.
Athletes only have a few minutes to get into the minds of the passer and apply their own ideas to the above. “Understanding the thought processes of the passers is extremely important in determining the movements,” said Condie.
The objective is to stagger the hurdles with each climb, aiming for the ideal of one “summit” per climb and separating the terrain. Multiple peaks are boring, just like every athlete falling at the same point. Both situations can lead to ties.
The most difficult section of an ascent is called the knot. In Tokyo, a team of seven passers will tackle the crux of their career, creating 18 climbs in five days for 40 athletes.
“The athletes had an extra year of training, but little competition,” Bishton said. “No one has ever guessed correctly. Maybe it’s the allure of work, or what makes it so terrifying, that you don’t know if you’re right until D-Day.
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