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Meet Aleksandra Miroslaw, Two-time Speed World Champion and Qualified Olympian

Despite battling a 2020 pulley injury, the Polish climber is on top of the Speed game after a 7.38 first-place finish in Salt Lake City.

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Aleksandra “Ola” Miroslaw (née Rudzińska) is the lone climber from Poland entering the Olympics this summer, and one of the top female Speed competitors in the world. There are few Speed-focused climbers entering the Olympics, but it makes sense that if any Speed specialist could snag any Olympic ticket, it would be Miroslaw. 

The 27-year-old from Lublin has swept the rankings in recent years, and as far as Women’s Speed goes, there aren’t many other competitors as consistently strong as her.

Climbing since 2007, Miroslaw broke into the top of the Speed scene in 2013 with a bronze finish at the Gijón Speed World Championships and went on to earn back-to-back World Championship golds, from Innsbruck (2018) and Hachioji (2019), respectively. She earned her Olympic ticket after reaching the Combined finals at Hachioji 2019, where she placed 4th overall. 

With that placement, Miroslaw proved to the world that although she’s first and foremost a Speed specialist, she can clearly handle herself in a Combined format, and is definitely not one to be counted out in Tokyo. 

Miroslaw at the 2021 Salt Lake City Speed World Cup. Both photos by Daniel Gajda

During the most recent IFSC event, the Speed World Cup in Salt Lake City, Miroslaw qualified with a blistering 7.20 seconds. In finals she came out strong, too, finishing at 7.38 seconds to score first place, with Emma Hunt (USA) breaking her own US Women’s Speed record at 7.53 for second place. Boulder-specialist Miho Nonaka (JPN) also came out of nowhere and scored third with 8.95. It was the latter’s first-ever Speed World Cup finals. 

Miroslaw had a lot to say about Nonaka after the event, writing on Instagram, “Today it won’t be about me, it will be about one of the most amazing person I’ve ever met. Three days ago that that girl took her first ever medal in speed climbing and probably it wouldn’t be something special, but @nonaka_miho is a boulder specialist. It was pleasure to see her in speed finals and watching how run after run she earned bronze medal with pure happiness on her face. So, so proud of you Miho!”

“Before comps I had over 1000 different screenplays in my head. Be honest I didn’t know what to expect,” she wrote on Instagram. “It was my first competitions since I get pulley injury in 2020 and of the beginning I was a little terrified, but after practice I known that I came back one the track 🔥 Past half year wasn’t easy for me. It was kind of ups and downs (mostly downs), but I’m back and I’m really proud of myself. I know that before Olympics still a lot of work to do, but I feel like I made a huge step forward.

Going into the next Speed World Cup in Villars (July 1 to July 3), the final Speed competition before Tokyo, Miroslaw is without a doubt one to watch, and among the strongest competitors clipping in.