Climber Sean McColl is ready for the Olympics no matter the date
Athlete is using his time to build a climbing wall
Sean McColl has been training for the Olympics for the past four years.
Now the 32-year-old has to wait another year before he can compete on the world stage at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
But the competitive climber isn’t disappointed.
“For me, as long as the objective is there … I'm motivated,” he told CBC Kids News from his home in North Vancouver. “The competition date is just a competition date.”
Climbing was set to make its debut at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in July, but the games were postponed by one year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sean McColl competes in a lead event in 2019, one three climbing disciplines. In lead, athletes try to climb as high as possible within a specific time. (Toru Hanai/Getty Images)
At first, Canada announced that it wouldn’t send its athletes to the Games.
“I 100 per cent agreed with the choice that they made,” McColl said about the Canadian team’s decision, but he was a bit worried the Games would go on without Canada.
Within a couple of days, the International Olympic Committee postponed the Games for everyone.
“Once that announcement came out, I was fine,” he said.
McColl’s training hasn’t stopped.
He’s spending several hours a day doing cardio and strength conditioning.
He’s also learning German, doing puzzles and building his own climbing wall, since he can’t go to gyms.
“A lot of work has been going into that just because I need the wall for basically training for the Olympics,” he said. “So that'll be like basically my training grounds for the next year.”
McColl said he’s always wanted to build his own wall and “it was kick-started by COVID.”
Climber Sean McColl spends several hours a day building a climbing wall. (Submitted by Sean McColl)
Although he’s not sure when the next competition will take place, McColl’s looking on the bright side.
“I'm qualified [for the Olympics] now more than a year out,” he said. “But I consider it gives me just that extra time to kind of zone in on the training.”
McColl understands these times can be difficult for kids.
“As strange and as long as the situation feels, it will have an end,” he said. “Things will get better.”
Check out these other articles about what Olympic hopefuls are doing during COVID-19:
- How Canadian surfer Bethany Zelasko is doing during the coronavirus
- ‘Adapt and move forward:’ Skateboarder Matt Berger on delayed Olympics