Slovenia SLO

Sport Climbing

  • Year of Birth
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Slovenian born Janja Garnbret already has a wealth of success under her belt despite only being 22 years old.

Being interested in climbing since a young age, her first national competition came at just eight years old. As a child, she would often be found scaling trees or door frames in her house, encouraging her parents to introduce her to indoor climbing.

According to CNN, though, her climbing career wasn’t always wrapped in riches. In fact, she consistently came last in competitions she would do as a child, but she loved climbing so much it never bothered her where she placed. But, the older she got and the better she got at climbing, she soon made a name for herself and became one of the ones to watch ahead of the Tokyo Games.

The first major competition of her career would come in 2013 at 14, where she won the European Youth Championships in bouldering.

In the course of the last few years leading up to the 2020 Olympic Games, Garnbret has dominated the competitions she’s entered as a senior climber. Since 2016, she has won six gold medals at the World Championships, at least once in each of the following disciplines: lead, bouldering, as well as combined. She swept the 2019 Championships, picking up a gold in each discipline.

In the same year, Garnbret made history as the first athlete to win all bouldering World Cup events in a single season; topping 74 out of 78 boulder problems overall. She has also picked up a silver medal at the 2017 World Games, and two silvers and – more recently – a gold at the European Championships in lead, bouldering and combined respectively.

Her formidable presence in sports climbing earned her the title of “Slovenian Sportswoman of the Year” in 2018, and in the same year she was awarded Athlete of the Month by the World Games Association – all while being just 19 years old at the time.

After blowing away the competition at the World Championships, Garnbret will be a name that not only fans will have their eyes on going into the games, but competitors alike.