A Very Obvious Position Statement- Speed Climbing and it's Legitimacy Within Competitive Climbing

Hey speed fans, it's that time of year again where comps are starting up and speed is swinging back into higher visibility. With this comes the yearly round of "Speed isn't real climbing" and other useless and baseless claims. Buckle up, I'm irritated.

Speed climbing has often faced the brunt of criticism from traditional and sport climbers, who claim that it is not a "real" form of climbing. John Burgman has been doing great work to help spread the gospel of speed's legitimacy, but it often feels like fighting the tide. 

While it is true that speed climbing differs from other styles in the sport, this does not detract from its legitimacy as a competitive discipline. As I've often done before, I compare speed vs other forms of competitive climbing to sprinting vs other forms of running. Let's compare the differences between long-distance and cross-country running to the 100m dash.

Climbing, in its various forms, and running are both physically demanding activities that require dedication, strength, and skill. Whether we're talking about traditional climbing, sport climbing, bouldering, or speed climbing, each discipline calls for unique techniques and strategies, much like long-distance/ultras, cross-country, and sprinting.

Speed climbing focuses on reaching the top of a predefined route as quickly as possible. This emphasis on speed distinguishes it from traditional and sport climbing, which prioritizes different energy systems, problem solving skills and overcoming often unrehearsed difficult moves. Similarly, the 100m dash differs from long-distance and cross-country running, as it highlights explosive power and speed with well rehearsed skills (block clearance, maximal velocity mechanics, etc) over endurance and pacing strategies.

Speed climbing demands incredible athleticism, including power, agility, and coordination. It showcases the climber's ability to move explosively and precisely much like the athletes competing in the 100m dash.
Speed climbing may not require the same intricate problem-solving skills as traditional or sport climbing, but it still necessitates climbers to develop their own strategies and techniques to maximize speed while taking into mind their unique body proportions. This is similar to sprinters who must refine their starting technique, maximal velocity mechanics, and more.

Like any other sport, speed climbing offers a clear competitive structure, with climbers going head-to-head in a race against time. It is no less challenging or legitimate than other climbing disciplines or running events. Speed climbing has even earned a spot in the Olympics, further cementing its place as a respected sport.

The climbing community needs to recognize speed climbing as a legitimate and exciting branch of the sport. While it may differ from traditional and sport climbing, its emphasis on athleticism, strategy, and competition make it a worthy discipline in its own right. Much like the 100m dash stands apart from long-distance and cross-country running, speed climbing offers a unique and thrilling experience that deserves recognition and respect. 

You wouldn't make the case that the 100m dash (frequently the most watched Olympic event) isn't running. 

Stop trying to say that speed climbing isn't real climbing. It shows your ignorance of sport.

Onto other news.

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