Shauna Coxsey became the 20th athlete to be selected by Team GB after being announced as GB’s first-ever climber to take part in Tokyo 2020.
Coxsey reached the qualifying standard for the Olympics in November last year and spoke exclusively to GMSW about her journey into the sport.
Coxsey first started climbing when she was four and since then has made her mark as one of the world’s best on an international stage.
Despite climbing being a “tough career path”, Coxsey is a two-time overall World Cup winner and five-time British champion.
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Last year Coxsey told GMSW that she had spent long periods of her career doubting whether competing in the Olympics was a realistic goal.
“I didn’t know if it was possible, setting a goal to qualify for the Olympics it just seemed crazy because we had to take on two new sports and it was a combined format event. It’s never been done before within our sport so no one knew what to expect.
“It still doesn’t seem real that I’ve qualified, it really doesn’t.”
The debut climbing competition of the Olympics this summer will take place from 4 to 7 August and Coxsey has expressed her excitement at being included in the team heading to Tokyo.
“I am really excited to be part of Team GB and to have the privilege of joining so many incredible athletes to represent our country and sport climbing on the world’s biggest sporting stage,” she told Team GB following the announcement.
Climbing will be introduced to the Olympic Games’ repertoire for the first time this summer and will consist of three disciplines: speed, bouldering and lead.
These three categories present unique challenges to climbers and require different skillsets to be drawn upon.
Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for the Olympics believes Shauna Coxsey could be one of Great Britain’s greatest medal prospects at the Games.
“Climbing is set to be one of the showpiece events for fans watching the Games this summer and in Shauna, we have a World Champion and a fantastic ambassador for the sport in the UK.”