American Qualifies for Olympic Climbing: Meet Brooke Raboutou

Brooke Raboutou earned a berth at the 2020 Summer Olympics with a strong performance in Japan.

Raboutou, 18, just made history as the first U.S. athlete to qualify for the first-ever climbing competition in the Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee announced it would add sport climbing as a medal sport in the 2020 Summer Olympics in 2016. Climbers at the 2020 Olympics must compete in three disciplines: bouldering, speed climbing, and lead climbing.

Raboutou qualified at the International Federation of Sports Climbing (IFSC) Combined World Championship in Hachioji, Japan. She was sixth-fastest in the speed round, seventh in lead climbing, and 10th bouldering. Her combined score put her at ninth in the combined qualification round, which punched her ticket for Tokyo 2020.

Brooke Raboutou: Climbing Since She Could Walk

“I am so honored to be able to represent the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympic Games and am excited to embark on this journey, especially during climbing’s debut,” said Raboutou.

“Climbing has been one of my greatest passions, ever since I can remember. Earning a spot in the Olympics is an achievement I have worked so hard for. I hope this opportunity helps the sport become more popular and inspires more people to try it.”

Raboutou, an Adidas global athlete since the age of 14, was raised in Boulder, Colorado, by two multiple-time climbing world cup champions as parents, Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou and Didier Raboutou.

She began climbing at age 2 and has competed in various championship events since she was 7. She was the first 9-year-old to climb V10 and the youngest person to ever climb 5.14b.

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.