UIAA and Korean Alpine Federation officials met with the Korean Olympic Committee to discuss ice climbing (Photo: KAF for UIAA)
UIAA President Frits Vrijlandt, Executive Board Member Thomas Kähr and UIAA Ice Climbing Commission President Urs Stoecker met with Korean Olympic Committee president Jung-tae Kim to discuss the demonstration of ice climbing during the Winter Olympics in Korea in 2018.
The meeting in Seoul took place after the conclusion of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour in Cheongsong, Korea along with In-Jeong Lee, president of the Korean Alpine Federation which hosted the competition.
“We had a very interesting, fruitful and very encouraging discussing with Mr. Kim who expressed a strong interest in the presence of ice climbing during the Winter Olympics,” said Vrijlandt. “We will use the coming period to discuss and define the exact form that ice climbing will be presented.”
Vrijlandt thanked Mr. Lee of the Korean Alpine Federation for arranging and making the meeting with the Korean Olympic Committee possible. Present also was Christine Pae, a member of the UIAA Management Committee
The ambition of the UIAA – International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation in 2022 to have ice climbing as part of the Winter Olympics received a huge boost when the sport was featured at Olympic Park during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Ice climbing was showcased at the Winter Olympics with the support of sponsor Sberbank and the Russian Mountaineering Federation (RMF). Participating in the two week long display of Speed and Lead ice climbing were UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup athletes from around the world.
Kit McConnell, Director of Sports for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Christian Wassmer, manager, IOC Winter Games last year complimented the UIAA with the impressive display of ice climbing at the Ice Climbing Festival held in Sochi.
More than 4000 visitors gave the climbing wall in Sochi a try, including many youngsters.
Vrijlandt said a similar presence at the PyeongChang games in South Korea for the XXIII Winter Olympics would be a huge boost to have ice climbing considered as a full-fledged event in the XXIV games in Almaty, Kazakstan or Beijing, China.
While in Korea, Vrijlandt, Kähr and Stoecker inaugurated the Climbing Academy in Cheongsong.