RICHMOND, Calif. – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Mountain Hardwear under parent company Columbia Sportswear Company (Nasdaq: COLM) announces the qualification of its athlete Kyra Condie to the 2020 Olympics.
After competing in the IFSC Combined Qualifier in Toulouse, France, Mountain Hardwear athlete Kyra Condie has earned her spot in the 2020 Olympics, where she’ll represent Team USA in Sport Climbing. This is the first time in history that the sport has been included in the Games. Sport Climbing is comprised of Speed Climbing, Bouldering, and Lead Climbing and showcases the best all-around climbers.
Only 20 people total per gender can qualify for Sport Climbing in the Olympics, and with Brooke Raboutou already locked in as of August this year, the Women’s USA quota is now full. “I feel like it’s a big responsibility to do the sport proud and take it seriously for the people who didn’t make it,” Condie acknowledges. “There are tons of people who deserve to go, so to get one of those spots is a really big honor.”
In addition to her training for the Games, Condie has also been serving as an athlete on the Athlete Advisory Committee for USA Climbing, an athlete representative and floating member on the Board of Directors of USA Climbing, and a member of the Athletes Commission of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC). Now, she can add “Olympic athlete” to her already stacked professional resume.
“I’m really excited about being on Team USA,” she adds. “Being an athlete for my whole life, I’ve always really respected other top-level athletes for the work they put in, so being surrounded by all those people and having the opportunity to meet them, especially those in other sports which I haven’t interacted with much, makes me really proud.”
But the work doesn’t stop now that she’s qualified. To her, it’s only just begun. “The hardest, most stressful part is now over, but the following months leading up to the Games will be really focused on trying to give my best performance as possible.” While her training is rooted in “becoming a more level-headed lead climber [and improving] beta reading and competition style climbing,” Condie continues to focus heavily on physical therapy for a back condition she’s dealt with for over a decade.
After being diagnosed with severe idiopathic scoliosis, she underwent a spinal fusion surgery in 2010 to correct a 72-degree S-curve in her back. “The first surgeon told me climbing wasn’t important—there were going to be other things in life that are more important, and I didn’t need to worry about it,” she recalls. “The second surgeon I went to understood how much climbing meant to me and told me I should send him a picture when I’m on top of the podium…I ended up getting my surgery from the second surgeon.”
Having an entire section of her back fused together severely limits her flexibility, “So, I’ve definitely faced some challenges on some types of climbing,” she explains. “Most the time I don’t notice it all, but there’s some specific weaknesses that I have, especially when it comes to pressing or putting my hand next to my foot, that I think some extra hip mobility can really help with.”
With a long journey of hard work behind and ahead of her, Mountain Hardwear is proud to continue supporting Condie on her way to Tokyo. “I can’t think of a better climber to represent Team USA,” says Matt Burbach, Marketing Director of Content & Community. “She has always approached her passion for climbing with discipline and focus, and it shows in both her performance and voice within USA Climbing. These qualities will serve her well in this next chapter, and we’re excited to watch her lead the way.”
“Mountain Hardwear has been one of my biggest sponsors and first believers in my climbing career,” she states. “I struggled calling myself a professional climber until I was on the Mountain Hardwear team, and it really gave me a lot of confidence in my climbing to have this company believing in me.”
Reflecting on the day she qualified, she says she realized throughout the day that her chances of qualifying were getting better and better with each discipline. Hoping to close out the competition on a high note, she went into the Lead round ready to fight. “Even though I didn’t climb the route as well as I could, I knew when I came down that I had given myself a really good shot at qualifying,” she says. “It wasn’t until there were three climbers left that I was positive enough in my math that I had made it. That’s when it really hit me, and I burst into tears, and my parents ran over.”
“It still feels super surreal,” says Condie. “I worked so hard for this, and basically all year has been leading up to this event. I have to keep reading things and refreshing Instagram to remind myself that it’s real!”
ABOUT MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR
Mountain Hardwear, Inc., founded in 1993 and based in Richmond, CA, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company that distributes its products through specialty outdoor retailers in the United States and 34 countries worldwide. We build essential equipment for climbers, mountaineers, and outdoor athletes and have supported expeditions on the world’s highest peaks. This level of technical precision continues to inspire everything we do. Our designers challenge every stitch and detail to continuously improve both function and comfort. www.mountainhardwear.com
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