Watch Olympic Climber Kyra Condie Reach the Top of a Wall In Under 8 Seconds
Her sheer speed and fearlessness will blow your mind.
When the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed to 2021, it was only natural to assume some athletes would fall off their A-game. But if the U.S. Olympic Trials are any indication, the year off from sports competitions only served to fuel them more. From Allyson Felix and Quanera Hayes qualifying to run the 400-meter race as new moms to Simone Manuel powering through overtraining syndrome, Olympic athletes are proving that despite the rocky last year and a half, they're bringing the heat.
Take Olympic climber Kyra Condie, for example. The 23-year-old, Salt Lake City-based climber is headed to Tokyo as part of Team USA, and recently posted a video of her training that'll make you do a double take — if you have time, that is.
In the Instagram video she posted on June 18, Condie scales a speed wall somewhere in Europe in just 7.90 seconds, which apparently was one of her pre-Olympics training goals. "Coming into the final countdown till the Games... 😉 was too stoked not to share. One of my biggest goals before the Olympics was to get a 7 on the speed wall!! Now to get it consistent 🤘🏼🤘🏼" (Related: This Video of Brie Larson Will Inspire You to Try Indoor Rock Climbing)
FYI, climbing is making its debut as an Olympic sport at the Tokyo Games, and it's for sure going to wow you, just like it did all for the commenters on Condie's video. "I can't even go this fast on flat ground," wrote one person (relatable). And when the NBC Olympics account reposted her video on Instagram in July, someone understandably commented: "What in the Spiderwoman is this?!"
Her teammate — the only other athlete repping Team USA alongside Condie in the women's climbing division in Tokyo — 20-year-old Brooke Raboutou, also hyped her up, adding: "Sooo fast!!! ⚡️😍." (Related: These Badass Athletes Will Make You Want to Take Up Rock Climbing)
Condie and Raboutou (and the two climbers in the men's division, Nathaniel Coleman and Colin Duffy) will be competing across three different disciplines: bouldering, lead climbing, and speed climbing (what Condie is doing in the aforementioned video), and the athletes with the lowest scores will medal. (Team USA is one of just three countries to send the maximum four athletes, along with France and host country Japan.) This means each athlete must be a sort of jack-of-all-trades climber. Confused? Here's some quick climbing vocab for you:
- In bouldering, climbers scale a relatively short wall (4.5 meters) without ropes, trying to reach the top of as many fixed routes (commonly referred to as "problems") as possible in 4 minutes.
- In lead climbing, athletes attempt to climb as high as they can on a wall measuring more than 15 meters in height within 6 minutes, using ropes, a harness, and clips that they must attach to the wall as they go.
- In speed climbing, two climbers (secured with safety ropes) compete head-to-head to reach the top of a 15-meter wall before their opponent.
Despite how easy she makes it look, Condie has encountered some hurdles that could've put a stop to her climbing career. She started climbing when she was 11 years old growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, according to her website. She quickly fell in love with climbing, but then found out she had severe, idiopathic scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine). In March 2010 she had spinal fusion surgery to correct her more than 70-degree curvature and took several months to recover. In spite of the setback, she went on to win her first major competition shortly after and has since qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and become a Bouldering World Cup finalist.
Fully obsessed with climbing now? Same. Go try rock climbing for yourself, and stayed tuned August 3-6 when Condie and the other USA Climbing athletes will "send it" on more gravity-defying ascents in Tokyo. (See: All the Beginner Rock Climbing Gear You Actually Need)
You'll be able to spot Condie by her signature style, which, apparently, commentators have described as "reckless abandon." And, yep, that checks out — but in the best, gold-medal-winning way.