Ten Team Canada athletes to make history as sport climbing makes Pan American Games debut at Santiago 2023
TORONTO (August 29, 2023) – Climbing Escalade Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s sport climbing team nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
The Team Canada sport climbing team for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is:
Victor Baudrand (Montreal, Que.)
Oscar Baudrand (Salt Lake City, USA)
Indiana Chapman (Toronto, Ont.)
Michael Finn-Henry (Saanich, B.C.)
Ethan Flynn-Pitcher (Saanich, B.C.)
Rebecca Frangos (Canmore, Alta.)
Dylan Le (Montreal, Que.)
Sean McColl (Vancouver, B.C.)
Erica Velev (Montreal, Que.)
Alannah Yip (North Vancouver, B.C.)
The ten athletes qualified based on their world ranking amongst athletes from other Pan American countries. This ranking includes results from the 2023 IFSC World Championships in Bern, Switzerland where they all competed earlier this month.
Headlining the team are Tokyo 2020 Olympians, Sean McColl and Alannah Yip, who both call the Vancouver region home. McColl, who is a four-time world champion, is the first man to have competed at nine IFSC World Championships. He is Canada’s most decorated climbing athlete, the Co-President of the IFSC Athletes’ Commission, and has made multiple appearances on American Ninja Warrior: USA vs The World.
“I am very excited to compete at my very first Pan American Games, as climbing is a new sport to the program,” said McColl. “I am honoured to join the best team of athletes from Canada in Santiago. I look forward to cheering on my teammates and having a shot at qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games!”
The event holds additional significance for Paris 2024 hopefuls, as the top-ranked athlete in each event will earn direct Olympic qualification for themselves. If any of those athletes are already qualified via the 2023 IFSC World Championships, the next-ranked athlete in their event will get the spot. Points accumulated at Santiago 2023 will also be added to the Continuously Updated World Ranking (CUWR), which will determine entries for the 2024 Olympic Qualifier Series – the final opportunity for climbers to qualify for Paris 2024.
“I am thrilled to be a part of sport climbing’s first inclusion in the Pan American Games,” added Yip, who placed 14th in her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. “It’s an honour to get to represent Canada on the international stage, and this is a very special event with an Olympic spot on the line. I know our team has been training hard and I can’t wait to get the opportunity to compete!“
McColl and Yip will lend their Olympic Games experience to their eight teammates, who will all make their major-Games debuts, including brothers Oscar and Victor Baudrand and 22-year-old Ethan Flynn-Pitcher, who currently holds the Canadian men’s speed record.
“It’s indescribable. I somehow feel so calm despite knowing that this will be the most important competition of my life,” said Flynn-Pitcher. “Knowing that I could walk away from this competition with a ticket to the Olympics, all I can do now is do my best. There’s not much else to say, I’m ready.”
At both Santiago 2023 and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, there will be two events per gender – the combined event, which includes both boulder and lead, and the speed event. When sport climbing made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, all three climbing disciplines of boulder, lead, and speed were combined into one event.
“Climbing is a new and exciting sport on the Olympic program, we are thrilled to see its inclusion in the Pan Am Games,” said Christiane Marceau, Executive Director of Climbing Escalade Canada. “Our athletes are showing strength, resiliency, and adaptability, proving that they too deserve to compete at this level of excellence in sport, and we couldn’t be more proud.”
Sport Climbing will take place October 21-24 (Days 1 to 4) at the Parque Bicentenario Cerrillos.
“Team Canada’s sport climbing squad is ready to make its spectacular debut at the Pan Am Games and scale new heights of achievement,” said Christine Girard, Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission. “With a dynamic blend of seasoned Olympians and fresh talent, this team of climbers is poised to conquer challenges and look to ascend towards Paris Olympics qualification.”
Team Canada’s sport climbing coaches for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
Malek Taleb (Kingston, Ont.) – National Team Coach – Combined
Libor Hroza (Victoria, B.C.) – National Team Coach – Speed
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.
The latest Team Canada Santiago 2023 roster can be found here.
Christiane Marceau, Executive Director
Climbing Escalade Canada
Tara MacBournie, Team Canada Santiago 2023 Sport Communications Lead
Canadian Olympic Committee