Spain ESP

Sport Climbing

  • Year of Birth



At just 18-years-old, Alberto Ginés López was already making waves in sport climbing before Tokyo 2020. Becoming the sport's first Olympic gold medallist sealed his reputation as one of the world’s ‘most exciting up and coming rock climbers’ - although he may now be beyond merely up-and-coming.

Such was his own disbelief in Tokyo that he didn't even celebrate victory, not quite trusting that the scoreboard was correct. He had won the speed event but finished last in the bouldering, before fourth-place in lead gave him a gold medal that took a while to sink in.

"I wasn't sure if I had won so I didn't want to make a fool of myself," he told El País afterwards.

Born in Cáceres, Spain, Lopez began climbing with his parents from a very young age and eventually, with the help of a coach, started to take it very seriously.

In 2016 at 13 years old, upon the announcement that sport climbing would be debuting at the Olympic Game, López moved to Barcelona to focus on training for it.

Dubbed a ‘premier talent’ by Forbes 30 under 30 for Sports & Games, at 15 years old he scaled a 9A grade rock face, known for being one of the most difficult in the world. He’s shown no signs of slowing down since then.

With his enthusiasm and ability in hand, he embarked on competition. In 2017, he took silver in at the IFSC Climbing World Youth Championships in lead. Gold medals soon followed, this time at the European Youth Championships in the same discipline – both in Youth B.

In 2019, López made the shift to senior climbing and look right at home scaling courses. In his lead up to the Olympic Games, he won a silver medal at the Lead Climbing European Championships in 2019.

In the same month, he finished second in the same event but at the World Cup, winning medals in two of its six events – a bronze and a silver. His rich turn of fortunes aided his qualification for Tokyo.

He qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games at the combined qualifiers in Toulouse, coming second in the qualification round – comfortably securing his place in one of the six available spots.

The rest is Olympic history. Don't bet against Lopez making more of it at Paris 2024.


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