Sport Climbing Makes its Pan Am Games Debut

Oct 22, 2023

Santiago, Chile (October 22, 2023) – Sport climbing made it’s Pan American Games debut in Santiago, Chile this weekend with the qualifying rounds in men’s boulder & lead and the women’s speed competition taking place on Saturday, and the women’s boulder & lead qualifiers and men’s speed competition on Sunday.

Ethan Flynn-Pitcher of Saanich, BC narrowly missed the podium in men’s speed on Sunday getting out-touched by just .07 seconds in the bronze medal final by Carlos Granja of Ecuador. American climber Samuel Watson became the first Pan American Games champion in speed climbing by just beating out his teammate Noah Bratschi in the gold medal final.

Michael Finn-Henry, also of Saanich, BC, had an uncharacteristic slip in his heat and was eliminated in the 1/8 finals, while Dylan Le of Montreal, QC made it to the quarter finals where he set a new personal best time of 5.84s but was out touched by Granja.

“I came into this competition with very little expectations, I just wanted to do my best and it worked really well and I’m happy about that,” said Le who competed at both the senior and junior IFSC World Championships in 2023. “This has been an amazing experience – everything has been beyond what I could have imagined.”

Erica Velev of Montreal, QC was the only woman competing in the speed competition for Canada on Saturday and she was eliminated in the quarter finals. Kelly Piper of the USA took the first women’s Pan Am Games Championship title in speed climbing, while her teammate Emma Hunt took the silver after false starting in the final. Andrea Rojas of Ecuador captured the bronze medal.

“This is definitely one of the best events I’ve ever participated in,” said Velev who made her World Championships debut in 2023 and who is studying business administration at Concordia. “Overall, I’m super glad that I could be here, and represent Canada. I’m disappointed (in the competition). I expected to do a lot more, and to perform better, and I didn’t show what I’m capable of which is definitely disappointing, but it’s motivating to see the others, and it’s motivating for next season so I’m looking forward to that.”

Brothers Victor (Montreal, QC) and Oscar Baudrand (Salt Lake City, USA), and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Sean McColl of Vancouver, BC will be looking to step onto the podium for Canada in the men’s boulder & lead finals on Monday. McColl was the top qualifier for Canada in third, closely followed by Oscar in fourth, and Victor in sixth.

The women will take to the stage on Tuesday to wrap up the sport climbing competition in Santiago where the boulder & lead finals will feature Canadians Rebecca Frangos of Canmore, AB, Indiana Chapman of Toronto, ON, and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Alannah Yip of North Vancouver, BC who qualified in eighth, sixth, and third respectively.

For full results please visit: https://results-santiago2023.org/#/discipline/CLB/schedule/daily/2023-10-22

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It has been confirmed at the @ifsclimbing General Assembly that Climbing will be once again included in the @pan_am_games in 2027, in Lima, Peru. This event will be a Qualifier for the 2028 LA Olympics. 

As for Olympic Games, we are still waiting on IOC decisions regarding Paralympic inclusion (expected June 2024) and medal count in LA (expected in 2025).

It has been confirmed at the @ifsclimbing General Assembly that Climbing will be once again included in the @pan_am_games in 2027, in Lima, Peru. This event will be a Qualifier for the 2028 LA Olympics.

As for Olympic Games, we are still waiting on IOC decisions regarding Paralympic inclusion (expected June 2024) and medal count in LA (expected in 2025).
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