I arrived in Victoria almost 2 weeks before the World Championships for the US team camp at the competition venue. For 9 days, I trained hard during the day, and had a blast with my US teammates throughout the afternoon and evening. I discovered that my teammates were not only talented climbers, but incredible and fun people. Practical jokes, singing, dancing…… It was a perfect mix of hard work and fun. The only downside was school work! Since my school year began July 17, my teachers sent me work to complete each day. I had 4 or 5 “drill sergeants” that stayed on me daily to make sure that I got everything done. At the time, it wasn’t fun working while everyone else played, but it was worth it when I returned to school on track with my classmates.
I had two qualification routes on day 1 and day 2 of the competition. I fell on the finish hold of Q1 and flashed Q2. I went into semifinals tied for 1st place with Swiss climber Sascha Lehmann. Although I believed that I had entered the competition as prepared as possible, it was still hard to believe that I was actually strong enough to stand with the top climbers around the world.
Day 3 was a rest day for me. The speed competition took center stage this day. US speed competitors were amazing! John Brosler burned up the wall posting the lowest time for the Male Youth A category, 6.744 seconds! In the end we walked away with 2 bronze medals, Kyra Condie and John Brosler, and 2 silver medals, Kayla Lieuw and Rita Marsanova.
Semifinals and Finals were on the last day of the competition. I entered semifinals extremely nervous, yet anxious to climb my best. I was excited when I clipped the last anchor and was one of two competitors (in the entire competition) to flash my semifinals route, entering finals in first place.
Excitement and nervousness built up as I waited between my semifinals and finals climb. I had dreamed about competing at the youth world championship since the age of 10. It was hard to believe that I was actually there, and headed to finals. The finals route was challenging, both mentally and physically. I made it through some tough sequences up to the overhanging roof section of the route. After a foot pop, I finally came down off the route, ending an amazing run of climbing at the world championship. I later found out that positive movement was the difference between my 4th place finish and 2nd place! At first I was incredibly upset and it took a minute for me to forgive myself and appreciate my overall performance at my first world championship. Shortly after finals, Coach Shane spoke to me and said, “Sometimes you have to lose in order to learn to win.” I wasn’t ready to hear that at the time.
Now that it’s been a few days since the end of the competition, I have had time to reflect on the unbelievable events that I experienced. I am really lucky to have awesome US team coaches (and teammates), private coaches (Emily and Shane), sponsors (Evolv and Salewa), family and friends that believe in and support me. This competition allowed me to meet so many amazing people from all around the world. I realize that I have dreams in this sport that go far beyond winning my category at worlds, and I have a lot hard work and learning to do to get there. I’m starting to understand Coach Shane’s words. This comp has made me really hungry to continue working hard and growing within the sport. Two words that describe my feelings towards training for future events……..GAME ON!!!!