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Sean McColl Shaves Head, Rocks New Olympic Denim

The Lighter Side column focuses on climbing-related stories that aren't so serious, like Sean getting a haircut. Watch a video where he teaches dynoing

Sean McColl is one of Canada’s two climbers who will be competing at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Also qualified for the Games is B.C. climber Alannah Yip. While the Olympics start on July 23, the climbing event will take place from Aug. 3 to Aug 6.

On April 18, McColl posted photos of himself wearing the new controversial Canadian Olympic uniform, which is a denim coat with a retro look. Three days prior, he posted a photo of his long hair saying it was time for a change. While some followers are stoked on the new do, others wish he kept the mop. One climber, said, “The real controversy is your hair.” And his long-time coach, Mike Doyle, said, “I like the jacket better than the haircut!!”

McColl later revealed that he donated his hair to a cancer patient. Read about it below.

McColl, 33, has been one of North America’s leading comp climbers for nearly 20 years. In 2009, he made the second ascent of Dreamcatcher 5.14d in Squamish.

He is also the first Canadian climber to be a Youth World Champion, winning five titles from 2002 to 2006. As of February 2020, McColl has won 12 open national titles. He’s also made multiple appearances on American Ninja Warrior: USA vs The World since 2014.

He is the only athlete in IFSC history to post a top-eight World Cup finish in each of the three climbing disciplines. McColl has competed in every edition of the IFSC World Championships since 2007. In his eight appearances, he has been crowned world champion in the combined event four times (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016), successfully defending his title twice at the biennial event. McColl won the bronze medal at The World Games 2017 in Wrocław, Poland. In 2018, he got silver at Chongqing, and in 2019 he grabbed bronze at the Guangzhou combined event.

At the 2019 IFSC World Championships, McColl secured a spot at Tokyo 2020 by posting a 10th place finish in the combined event. As of April 2021, McColl has earned 34 World Cup medals, most of them coming in lead climbing, with bouldering as his second-most successful discipline.

McColl, Yip and three other climbers have been told they’re allowed to compete at the Salt Lake City World Cup in May, where Canadian Pete Woods will be MC-ing, but there’s no word if the two will make the trip yet. Read more about it here.

FYI we love the new look, Sean!

McColl Talks Dynos