As I've mentioned before, my friend Chris Webb-Parsons and I have been doing the commentating for the live webfeed for IFSC.TV. In the beginning of the season we averaged about 16,000 viewers per world cup, it constantly grew throughout the season until we reached around 22,000.
If anyone had asked Chris and I how many people we thought were hearing us, I'm sure we would have guessed five thousand, tops. We had no idea so many people tuned in to watch the world cups every weekend. I guess you could say a little excitement, and also pressure, were added when we heard how many people were listening. But I think it also heightened our game as well, made us more on-the-ball with our comments. Apparently it's paying off.
Last weekend in Sheffield we made IFSC history. It was officially recorded that we exceeded 30,000 live feed viewers!! Needless to say, Chris and I were shocked! As was everyone else who heard the statistics. You could fill a football stadium with 30,000 people!
As for the actual competition, Sheffield marked the end of the world cup season for me. Holding it down for the US Team in finals were Daniel Woods in 4th and Alex Puccio in 3rd. Courtney Woods was just barely bumped out of Semi's in the devastating place of 21st. I've had my share of 7ths this year (four in a row to be precise), so I know the heartbreaking feeling of being the first one kicked out of the next round.
In some non-patriotic news, my fellow Innsbruck dweller Nicky De Leeuw of the Netherlands made his first world cup finals ever!
And my friend Katha Saurwein of Austria joined her teammate Anna Stohr in her first finals of this season. Being good friends with so many in the finals made it an extra special round to spectate and commentate for.
The grand finale will be the World Championships in Arco, Italy in a few weeks, then back to the US for the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow in Salt Lake City.
This season, like last season, had it's series of rollercoaster ups and downs, as every climber experiences sometime in their career/life.
Last year I had a goal of consistency, and with my placings jumping around from first to fifteenth, I wouldn't say I attained it.
This year I didn't set blatant expectations for myself, but I believe I came over here, if not stronger, than a more experienced world cup competitor, and I believe gained the consistency I was reaching for in my previous season.
Just over a week now until the Arco World Championships. I spontaneously decided to compete in the all-around, which includes speed and lead along with bouldering, so it's going to be a hectic and busy ten days of competition. Boat loads, or I guess "plane loads" of more Americans will be arriving in Europe to attend this event, making it the most Ami-overloaded European competition. Watch out Arco... We are coming for your pizza and gelato!
It'll be my last chance to try to make finals this season, but you can bet if I don't, you'll be hearing my voice on the live stream!