Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 10, 2017 - 11:22am PT
For those of you who still actually watch TV and don't just stream everything off the internet, there is a new cable channel, Eleven Sports Network, which is showing a monthly half hour program dedicated to climbing competitions, the IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) Climbing show.
The last show featured the IFSC Youth Climbing Championships from Innsbruck, Austria. Ashima Shiraishi, Margo Hayes and Brooke Raboutou were several of the Americans featured. Bouldering, speed climbing and lead climbing were the three events making up the championships.
Those of you interested in the Lingerie Football League and competitive Ultimate Frisbee will also find programming on the Eleven Sports Network.
Alot of people dissed the idea of climbing in the olympics and on TV. But this thread is timely considering the current thread about pro climbers' salaries being too little or just "internships." For better or worse, the media attention will bring money to the sport. That may in turn forever change or even kill the freedom and nature of climbing. I always liked climbing to be obscure. Only time will tell.
I don't think major league football, basketball, baseball, skiing/snowboarding ever killed the opportunity for amateurs to enjoy playing with their mates. More likely, the prodessional popularity of those sports has helped with providing the public with more access to places to play.
Growth may help improve some issues to accessing climbing areas in the U.S. Though there are other issues with access if it becomes too popular. There's the problems of territorial pissings that surfing has, which climbing lends itself to.
There are people who like to say 'I probably wouldn't climb if it wasn't dangerous'. Or 'I like it because it's counter culture'. When pressed, I envisage that many of those folks will say they also like climbing because they enjoy the effort, the feel of the movement, and the people they laugh and share bread and cheese with when doing it. Those things will remain no-matter how popular climbing becomes.
One of the biggest issues with the growth of climbing is going to be with going to the toilet at the c ags. TV shows lend themselves tp public announcements. I hope it gets adressed. As delighted as many were to participate in the once obscure culture of climbing, there are many an otherwise respected climber who shat and pissed all over El Cap and the Spanish sport crags. More public attention on the beauty of climbing, and how to respect nature, may benefit us all in the long-run.