Sean McColl won the Bouldering National Champoinships for the 10th time earlier this month. McColl is one of the world’s leading competition climbers, has stood on a number of international podiums and is the president of the IFSC Athletes’ Commission.
We touched base with McColl shortly after his recent win at Rock Jungle in Edmonton and time at the IFSC press conference in Quebec.
Where are you based these days? I’ve now moved back to Vancouver, where I grew up. I always knew I wanted to move back and it’s really nice to finally be back at home.
What’s been your focus over the winter? Definitely taking a break from training and climbing and scheduling my 2017 season.
How were the routes in Edmonton? I really liked all rounds of competition in Edmonton, the head setter Simon Parton has a really good grasp of what it takes to run a competition from a setting standpoint.
What was the energy like? The energy was great, I can really feel that Canadians are happy that I am present at our National championships.
Impressed by the level Canadian climbers are at these day? At the National level, it is adequate but I wouldn’t say I’m impressed. That may sound harsh, but I just see room for improvement so that Canadians can be more competitive on the World Cup circuit.
What does your comp season look like for 2017? Very very full, I can basically tell you where I’ll be every day until the beginning of December.
When’s your next comp? I am competing in Sheffield at their annual International Open competition, The CWIF.
Going for Lead, Speed and Boulder this year? You Betcha!
Have you noticed a difference in the comp scene since the Olympic announcement? Not a huge difference in the competition scene but on my end there is lots of Olympic discussion. I hope the discussion continues so that we can see funding for Canadian athletes through our National federation and also Sport Canada.
People often say, “Sean McColl is Canada’s Olympic hopeful for 2020.” Is there pressure there? What do you say to people when they ask? Inherently, yes there is pressure, but no more than I put on myself. Also being a competitor, I thrive under pressure and I love the fact that I am Canada’s Olympic hopeful.
It has been a lifelong dream to compete at the Olympics for Canada; now that Sport Climbing is an Olympic Sport, that dream can finally come true. Be sure to follow McColl on Facebook here and Instagram here.
Set my milestone, 10-time open Canadian nation champion ‼️ • Here I am with the women's champion @alannah_yip 🇨🇦 We both had perfect final rounds with 4 flashes 🏆 • The men with me in finals were definitely the best in the country, a hard battle through the round but well played by everyone. A dark horse vice-champion @jj_mah and a bronze for @seblazure