Kai Lightner is one of America’s most promising young climbers. As he turns 18 this year, he looks forward to the 2020 Olympics.

Considered one of the country’s strongest climbers, he’s struck a balance between family, school and training.

While consistently finishing on the podium in competitions, he spends free time climbing hard routes on rock.

Lightner has been an active competition climber since the age of seven, when he attended his first Youth National championship.

Since that time he has earned nine National championship titles, three Pan American titles, and one Youth World championship title.

He won his first adult national championship title at the age of 15, the youngest age eligible to compete.

He has climbed numerous 5.14s, reaching a new milestone April 2015 with his ascent of Era Vella (5.14d) in Margalef, Spain.

“When I’m 26, I’d like to have a lot of hard climbs behind me,” said Lightner.

“Climbing will always be a big part of my life, but maybe it’ll be a bit more recreational then. I probably want to mix business with climbing.

“I’m interested in marketing, so I might like to fuse the two together. There are a lot of people to look up to.”

Watch this well produced short film on Lightner.

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