On Thursday night, members of the Canadian National Bouldering team who are competing at this weekend’s World Cup in Hamilton were presented with their team uniform in a ceremony that took place at Joe Rockheads Climbing gym in Toronto.
At the presentation, each team member was introduced individually in front of the assembled crowd, presented with their National team uniform and given a chance to say a few words to the audience.
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The assembled team members were clearly in high spirits, excited for both the weekend of competition ahead and to see their fellow competitors, many of whom they last saw at Nationals in Edmonton nearly two months ago.
As one of the top favourites for the win and certainly the crowd favourite, Vancouver’s Sean McColl is a seasoned competitor and appears to be hitting his stride at just the right time for this weekend. McColl took his maiden Bouldering World Cup win at Log Dragomer in Slovenia in mid-May and won the French Lead National competition just last weekend. He is coming into June 1-2 weekend relaxed yet quietly confident, “Really, every time I make finals, I try to enjoy it.” He continues, “Confidence does play a big role in World Cup climbing, and this year I have it. Also combined with strength and you have to be good, you have to read the boulders, you have to be smart. But I feel like I have all those elements and I feel like I understand my climbing ability to be able to do well in World Cups.”
As far as his goals for the weekend, McColl replied, “Being in Canada, I would love to be in finals, I can start with that. Obviously once I am in finals, I would love to win. It’s one thing to win a World Cup, but it is a completely separate thing to win a World Cup in my home country, it would be a dream come true.”
Current Bouldering National Champion Miles Adamson (Vancouver) is competing at his second World Cup at the Adult level, and is taking the same mindset that brought him success at Nationals, “I am feeling a lot more relaxed, no different from nationals in how I am psyched for it.” When asked whether he feels any added pressure as the reigning National Champion, Adamson responded, “No, I don’t think anyone expects anything crazy out of me just because of the size of this competition, thankfully Sean (McColl) is here, so everybody is going to looking at Sean for the Canadians and that is taking a lot of pressure off of me.”
Women’s National Champion Kerry Briggs is similarly relaxed as she looks ahead to this weekend’s competition. Though she had competed at the Vail World Cup in 2008, she claims she has been more committed to training and competing for the past two years, and this World Cup is “the first one that means something, I think.” She said, ‘I am excited, I lost a little bit of my psyche after Nationals, didn’t train as hard as I probably could have… but I am more prepared this year, I feel like I have earned my spot on the team, caused I worked for it.” However, despite carrying the mantle, Briggs is not looking too far beyond the first round, “I don’t know what to expect because I am not too sure where I am at… I’d like to just climb the best I can… it would be cool if I can make it into semi Finals.”
Eighteen years old Marc Eveleigh will be making his World Cup debut in Hamilton, but he is no rookie, Eveleigh earned a berth to compete at Bouldering World Cups by winning the bouldering event and the overall at the Youth Pan American Championship in Santiago, Chile. Despite his success, Eveleigh maintains he has modest goals in Hamilton, “I am just looking to have fun, and hopefully learn what I can from the setting and the other competitors. Not looking for too much success at this level right now, I am just excited to be here.”
Qualification round will begin tomorrow at 9:30am, look for these and others members of team Canada as they battle the best from around the world. We’ll have full coverage over the next two days. You can follow us on twittter at @grippedmagazine, online at gripped.com or on facebook.