The following is a press release from Black Diamond about Kai Lightner joining their team.
We’re proud to announce that Kai Lightner is now officially a Black Diamond (BD) Athlete.
Truth be told, Kai Lightner has been part of the BD family for half a decade. That’s right, even before he was on the Today Show, NBC, and winning gold in the Youth World Championships.
Back in 2013, Jeff Pedersen—the CEO of Momentum Indoor Climbing—alerted the Black Diamond R&D team to the obvious potential of a shy 13-year-old kid from Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The BD crew got together, chatted with Kai and figured out what equipment he needed to fuel his passion for climbing.
We’ve been unofficially hooking him up ever since. Since those early days, Kai has become one of the strongest American competition climbers on the World Cup circuit and has been equally psyched to go outside and push his limits.
HEY THAT'S ME 😀 In graffiti art on the side of a new state of the art climbing gym, @memphisroxclimbing. What makes this gym special? First, it's planted in the heart of a low income minority area in TN. AND their mission includes making our sport accessible to underserved communities and transforming the mind, body, & spirit of our youth through mentorship programs and recreation activities. I look forward to opportunities to work with kids at this facility and hope that this concept catches on throughout communities across the country! Mural by @alivepaint (Swipe right to see the original photo by @chuangdesign )
He’s won the lead National Championship (2015) and climbed 5.14d outside (Era Vella, Margalef, Spain).
Now he’s training hard for the Olympics in 2020, while continuing to dominate both indoors and out.
Despite his success and international acclaim, however, Kai is still the humble kid we hooked up back in the day. That’s why we’re so stoked to make it official.