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An Interview with World Champion Jain Kim

Korea’s Jain Kim, 26, is ranked number one in the world and was recently interviewed by the IFSC. 

Kim‘s climbing life started when she was 12 years old and was heavily influenced by her parents.

“My parents enjoy hiking and climbing, and they actually met and fell in love in the mountains,” Kim said.

At 21, Kim had a debut win on the world cup stage with a gold in Brno, Czech Republic in 2009.

Jain Kim climbing in Vail in 201.  Photo Heiko Wilhelm
Jain Kim climbing in Vail in 201. Photo Heiko Wilhelm

“My two brothers are also climbers, and my older brother coaches me. It’s really helpful to have such great support from my family.”

Kim studies sport psychology and approaches competitions after physical and mental training.

“In the beginning, the technique and the power are relevant,” Kim said. “At the end of the course, the mental strength is the decisive part of winning a World Cup.

“My studies had influenced me a lot, for example with mind control. Before I started my studies, I was really nervous and worried before an event, but now I’m more confident and relaxed.

“My first thought is always: ‘This is going to be fun!’ But World Cup routes are not easy for me, I observe them and I have chats with other athletes.”

Kim has suffered from elbow and knee injuries over the past few year, but continues to stay ahead of the pack.