Czech Republic CZE

Sport Climbing

  • Year of Birth
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Born in the Czech Republic, Adam Ondra has built up a decorated career since his early competitions, winning his first World Championships medal in 2009 in lead climbing.

Ondra began climbing at the age of six, and by the time he was 13 he had climbed his first graded 9a route, ranking near the top end of the difficulty scale (5.14d). He also became the first person to climb 9b+ and 9c routes.

His impact on sport climbing did not go unnoticed and in 2013, at just 20-years-old, the Czech was dubbed a ‘prodigy’ and the leading climber of his generation by Rock & Ice Magazine. A flurry of gold medals followed suit as Ondra went on to demonstrate his dominance.

After winning his first medal, the World Championships would hold further success for Ondra, where he went onto win medals aplenty in every colour. He has won four World Championships titles – two in 2014, one in 2016 and more recently another in 2019. His double gold in 2014 made him the only male athlete to have won titles in both lead and bouldering disciplines in the same year.

The World Cup is another record hotbed for Ondra, where he is the only male athlete to have won the series in two different disciplines – doing so on three separate occasions. In 2009 he won titles in lead and combined, before doubling up in bouldering and combined in 2010 and then in 2015 reverting back to lead and combined. More recently, he won another title at the World Cup, collecting a lead title in 2019.

The road to Tokyo for Ondra has not been as straightforward as perhaps many anticipated for a climber of his calibre following a disqualification at the World Championships, but his fortunes changed at the IFSC Final Qualifying Event in Toulouse, setting one of the most decorated sport climbers on his way to compete for an Olympic medal.

Ondra has reigned supreme at some point in lead, bouldering, and combined, which will bode him well for in his bid for an Olympic gold (the Olympic event is in combined, featuring lead, bouldering, and speed) – but even in his success, Adam Ondra still just "lives to climb", and climbs to "feel alive".