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Going into the final event of the Olympic qualifiers, Alannah Yip was in last place. Having made a calculated decision to conserve her energy for the first two events, Alannah had yet to show her competition what she was made of. From sixth place, Alannah took the win, securing her the only spot to represent Canada in climbing for the first time in history at the Tokyo Olympics. She did the math, and she was right.
This is how Alannah moves through life – humble, calm, and focused. She knows how easy it is to get caught up in the moment, to lean into the adrenaline of competition; immediately overwhelmed by the yelling and cheering inside the climbing gym. But Alannah’s true strength lies in how she can tune it all out.
Alannah is what you’d call “the total package.” She is strong in both body and mind. Her coach, Andrew Wilson, says that Alannah’s parents played a huge factor in her well-roundedness, raising her to value being a good person equally to being a good athlete. Outside of being an Arc’teryx athlete and an Olympic-bound, world-touring climber, Alannah is also a Woman in STEM, a mechanical engineer. After almost quitting climbing from a lack of joy, she went to university in Switzerland. While studying, she fell back in love with climbing outside, the dramatic landscape of the Swiss Alps and the rush of high-mountain air cheering her on.
Alannah’s drive is the product of brain power and fierce resolve, her ability and talent the conjunctive result of her hard work. In a search for the feeling of freedom that climbing brings a brain as systematic as Alannah’s, you could call what she is capable of talent, but it is no doubt synonymous with unwavering determination.