The rapid rise of rock climbing

Kai Ryssdal and Liz Sanchez May 9, 2019
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Akiyo Noguchi of Japan competes during a climbing competition in Wroclaw, Poland in 2017. Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images

The rapid rise of rock climbing

Kai Ryssdal and Liz Sanchez May 9, 2019
Akiyo Noguchi of Japan competes during a climbing competition in Wroclaw, Poland in 2017. Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Rock climbing, popularized on social media and the subject of many documentaries, is set to debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games — a sign that the sport has arrived, athletically and economically.

Andrew Bisharat, who’s covered climbing for National Geographic, told Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal that it’s come a long way in a short time.

“Competing on plastic holds, in an Olympic setting, has been quite a transition that’s really rapidly taken place in the last few years,” he said.

The sport can now be streamed on ESPN. Bisharat said companies “will be jockeying for that spot on the climber’s chalk bag in the Olympics, I’m sure.”

Click the audio player above to hear the conversation.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.