A Vancouver Island teenager heads to Los Angeles on Saturday for his shot at qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for climbing.
Brennan Doyle, 16, finished fourth at the bouldering national championships and says he wouldn’t be where he is without his coaches. The Tokyo Games is climbing’s Olympic debut, which features a unique format that combines all three disciplines of competitive climbing — speed, bouldering and lead.
Doyle is from Duncan but has been climbing with the Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich for 10 years. According to Kimanda Jarzebiak, chair of the gym, Doyle is the type of athlete they had in mind when designing the facility.
“We wish him all the best over the next week,” says Jarzebiak.
The Pan American Climbing Championships, held in L.A., take place from Feb. 25 to March 1. The first place male and female competitors earn a coveted spot at the 2020 Games. This is the last opportunity for Canadian athletes to qualify for the Games.
Sean McColl, a three-time combined world champion from North Vancouver, is the only Canadian climber who has qualified for the Olympics through his performance at the 2019 World Championships in Hachioji, Japan this past summer.
The Boulders Climbing Gym, located on the grounds of Stelly’s Secondary School, has a number of connections to the 2020 Olympic Games. Boulder’s head coach Libor Hroza will be there as a personal coach for a number of athletes from a variety of countries. Jarzebiak will also be at the Games, providing colour commentary for TV coverage and former Stelly’s teacher Paul Ledet will be one of the judges.