In June 2023, the IFSC organised a month-long programme to accompany athletes from countries eligible for the Universality Places to a series of elite competitions, to support them in their development. Assisted by their coach and by IFSC staff and consultants, athletes traveled through Europe to high-level training facilities and to some of the most iconic IFSC events:
The selected events gave the athletes opportunities to get ranking points, which are necessary to qualify for the Olympic Qualification Series happening between April and June 2024 and which will qualify one Universality Place per gender, per discipline to the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
IFSC Consultant Toni Roy followed the group from the very first day, offering support in navigating competitions and rules, which might be hard for newcomers.
IFSC President Marco Scolaris said:
“To welcome these young athletes to our world was a great emotion. They know everything about their idols, our champions, and now they have the possibility to climb with them. The programme helps give deserving athletes and coaches from around the world a much-needed helping hand on their journey in our sport – one that may even see them competing at the Olympic Games next year. I have supported the establishment of such a programme for years and I am proud and appreciative of everyone involved in making it a reality. My special thanks to Olympic Solidarity and FASI for their integral support.”
Grecia Daniela Hernandez Guerrero of El Salvador said:
“Not many people climb at home, but the ones that do are very passionate. It’s a good experience for me to be in this programme and I can take a lot of things back to El Salvador. It’s not only a good experience about my climbing, but I can take things back, like good techniques using ropes, and teach to others.”
Matej Markov of North Macedonia said:
“I know we have a lot to learn and a long way to go, but it’s just the beginning of the journey. Even over the past few weeks I have been working on my weak points and definitely got a lot stronger and more technical.”
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