Yesterday we introduced you to Russia’s Rustam Galmanov as part of our coverage leading up to the Canadian World Cup IFSC Comp on June 1 and 2 in Hamilton, Ontario. Later in our coverage we’ll be taking you behind-the-scenes of route-setting, judging, updates on competitors and their strategies and how things might play out on comp weekend. Today, we continue with our athlete profiles.
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Competition climbing was born in North America at the Snowbird Utah invitational comp in 1988, and lead climbing competitions flourished for a time. Bouldering comps, however were only added to the IFSC roster in 1998. Instead, Bouldering comps grew out of a grassroots community of local comp scenes, created by competitors and organizers who wanted a competition format that was more exciting and better reflected their interest. The passion and commitment of these climbers built a national community of competitors, some of whom became the country’s top outdoor climbers.
Two familiar faces from this scene who will compete at the World Cup are 28-year-olds Stacey Weldon of Canmore and Saskatoon’s Jason Holowach.
Holowach, the owner of Saskatoon’s Grip-It gym, has been a serious competitor since his days in the youth comp scene along with Nels Rosassen. He burst onto the national stage at the second Bouldering Nationals in Toronto by coming third as a virtual unknown. Since then he has been one of the most consistent performers on the comp scene in Canada, having success at TdB locals, regionals as well as taking the crown at the 2005 Nationals. He has also performed well at US comps such as the now defunct PCA. Addtionally, Holowach has hard outdoor ticks in bouldering, sport climbing and deep water soloing in Europe and North America. He finished the recent 2012/13 season ranked sixth in Canada with a fourth at the Nationals in Edmonton in April and second at Regionals in March in Vancouver. In addition to his own competitive career, Holowach also runs a successful Junior team out of his own gym.
Stacey Weldon, along with her sister Vikki, has been a well-known and popular climber and competitor for over a decade. In that time, Stacey Weldon has become one of the best competition climbers Canada has produced, first as a Junior, later on the open adult circuit. This professional nurse is also the associate coach of the National Junior Team. Her outdoor sends include Hueco’s difficult V11, Dark Age and sport climbs up to 5.13b. In March, Weldon took second at Regionals in Edmonton and finished the season ranked sixth nationally.
We wish both of these competitors, who have inspired so many young climbers in Canada with not only their example, but mentoring, the best of luck in Hamilton.