30 June 2011

Viva España!

Last weekend I was in beautiful Barcelona for the city´s first ever Bouldering World Cup. If I had to sum up the weekend in one word it would be: HOT!

This was the first time this season that the competition was held inside, and it was like trying to climb in a sauna. The blizzard in Canmore would have been greatly appreciated compared to what we had to deal with in Barcelona, we couldn´t do a move without needing to chalk up again, it was very interrupted bouldering.

We were joined again by even more Americans representing, along with myself, Puccio, Daniel & Courtney Woods, we were joined by Matty Hong and Ian Dory, both spending time in Europe before the Arco World Championships, along with our official Barcelona team coach and physio Taylor Nystrom.
I managed to place 7th (yet again!) just kicked out of finals, but that made me available for my usual commentating job. I heard over the weekend that the IFSC World Cup live webstreaming averages 16,000 to 22,000 viewers per competition. It´s so crazy that so many people are out there listening to me talk!
I absolutely loved Barcelona, regardless of the intense heat or my ability to remain stuck just outside of finals, and on my return I´d decided I´d added another European city to my list of earthly paradises. It was a shame we only had three days in Spain and I can´t wait to go back!

23 June 2011

The Midst of the 2011 World Cup Season

We are really getting down to the wire here with the World Cup Season well under way! The two homefield events, Canmore and Vail, were both equally fun, although I missed out on finals by one place in both competitions. We also experienced entirely opposite weather, with snow in Canada and sun in Colorado. Props to Canmore on a successful first World Cup, blizzard aside, Canada has had the best setting of the season so far.

Fun @ the Teva Mountain Games photobooth

Immediately after Vail (more specifically after the Woods-Sanders wedding) I headed back to Austria to try to battle out the jetlag and prepare for the next stop in Eindhoven. Eindhoven marked the beginning of the end here, we now have a World Cup every weekend leading up to the grand finale, the World Championships in Arco, Italy, beginning on June 15. Of course this schedule adds a bit of stress and pressure, but it adds to the excitement as well. Eindhoven--Barcelona--Sheffield--Innsbruck--Arco. This next month is going to fly by!

Although my rankings this season haven't been personally exceptional compared to last season, I have been gaining a lot of experience and exposure in the media field--as Official World Cup Commentator! My Australian colleague Chris Webb-Parsons and myself have become the head speakers for the live web broadcasts watched all over the world at http://www.ifsc.tv/. We´ve recieved a lot of positive feedback, and it has been so much fun! It´s great to have something to distract us from wishing we were in the finals, and providing some listening entertainment is just the thing. Every weekend we´ve been getting better and better, we get excellent front row seats, and we get to look super important with our headsets and microphones, always a plus. After doing this at nearly every World Cup so far this year, I may have taken an interest in persuing a new career in the future!

Mr. Australia commentating in all his pre-mullet glory

It's a hard job...

Recently I have found our team growing. In the beginning it was only Puccio and myself representing the United States, and now our numbers have grown to four! Daniel and Courtney Woods have joined the ranks and we have been able to make an appearance as an actual team! Our honorary adopted team members also consist of Australian Chris Webb-Parsons and Canadian Sean McColl. We have our own little island of English-speaking misfit toys.

 Step 1...

 Step 2...

 Step 3!

 Sean McColl & Daniel Woods

Courtney Woods

My psych has been on a steady upswing lately, leading up to Barcelona this weekend. Even though tomorrow I´ll be in the beautiful land of SPAIN I´ll still be thinking about everyone back home competing in New York City! I´m looking forward to a great time this weekend!

All unmarked photos courtesy of Albert Maas at http://www.sportclimbing.hyves.nl/