Colin Duffy: Top facts about the rising US sport climbing star

Get to know the history making American who was USA's youngest sport climbing Olympian at the Tokyo 2020 Games

By Ash Tulloch

Get used to the name Colin Duffy in sport climbing headlines.

The 18-year-old made history at the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup in Innsbruck (26 June) by becoming the first male athlete to win both Boulder and Lead at the same World Cup event.

The American has been rising through the ranks for some time now. He was part of Team USA at Tokyo 2020 where the sport made its Olympic debut.

Duffy is touted to have a bright future in the sport, and thought capable of becoming one of America’s all-time best competition climbers.

Get to know the climber whose maiden World Cup win suggests a bright international future.

Colin Duffy: The rise

Duffy started climbing as a child, even before he went to school. He still trains at his original centre in Boulder Colorado alongside his Team USA teammate from Tokyo 2020, Brooke Raboutou.

He was a natural on the wall and persistently asked his parents to take him to practise the sport.

His dedication paid off once he began competing. Duffy was nine years old when he claimed his first youth title and won ten national youth titles and two world youth titles in total.

At 16, he topped the men's combined standings at the Pan American Sport Climbing Championships to secure his ticket to the Olympics.

Colin Duffy: Outdoors

2021 was a big year for the teen who was the youngest member on the Team USA climbing team in Tokyo, but he also gained immense credibility outside of the competition scene. He was lauded after conquering several difficult routes in four days in the Red River Gorge in Mississippi.

Duffy loves both indoor and outdoor climbing, but for the time being is more focused on indoor competitions. The results are showing.

Speaking to, Duffy said, "Outdoor climbing and competition climbing are very different for me. I enjoy both equally, but I enjoy them very differently.

"I love outdoor climbing for the time spent outside and the projecting process, which brings different joys from indoor climbing.”

Colin Duffy: Thinking fast

Problem solving is one of his favourite things to do. With that in mind, it should not surprise you that math is his favourite subject at school. Duffy also has aspirations of studying engineering at college.

From solving route problems on the wall, to problem solving with a rubik cube, Duffy is quick at both.

Colin Duffy: Animal lover

One of Duffy's other passions is animals. He has rescued a dog named Lucky and a cat called Sparky.


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