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Olympics

Mia Krampl: Enjoying Every Single Second 

Janja Garnbret isn’t the only strong Slovenian taking the stage in Tokyo

This article is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2020 Olympic Games. For our full package of Olympic coverage as it happens, plus a print subscription to Climbing, join us with a membership, now available at half off. For just $2 a month you get access to all of our extensive Olympic coverage, plus a year of Climbing in print, and the bonus edition of Ascent, our annual coffee-table edition of climbing’s finest writing, art and photography. Now is the time to save, not miss out on Olympic coverage, plus get Climbing magazine in print for a year.

 

The young Slovenian climber is often obscured by the looming shadow of her well-known countrywoman, Janja Garnbret, who many see as a surefire victor in Tokyo. 

That said, Mia Krampl is an outstanding competitor in her own right. 

The 21-year-old took silver in Lead in the 2019 Hachioji World Championships (behind, you guessed it… Janja Garnbret), and also podiumed in Munich the same year, taking a bronze medal in Bouldering despite a knee injury. She’s climbed her way into countless World Cup finals over her short career (first competing on the IFSC open circuit in 2016) and has podiumed twice at the Youth World Championships. 

The 2019 season saw the Slovenian, who hails from the small town of Golnik, finish 21st in Boulder and 9th in Lead. While not outstanding, both results represented improvements over the previous year, where she took 36th and 10th place, respectively.

Krampl, who began climbing at the age of 6, told Skalolaz magazine in May of 2020 that Lead was her favorite discipline, despite her strong showings in Boulder comps as well.

“Every athlete dreams of taking a part [in the] Olympic Games … it is [an] elite and prestigious competition,” she said. “Having a ticket for Tokyo 2020 is like a dream come true for me but still I like competing because I love to climb and not just because I like competitions … for [the] OG [it] is the same.” 

“Climbing is so much more than just competing, winning and olympics,” she added. “It is about having fun! Appreciating the time spent with the best people, discovering new places and cultures and most [importantly] – enjoying every single second on the wall!”

Krampl earned her Olympic ticket via the 2019 Toulouse Combined qualifiers, where she put on an outstanding performance and placed 3rd overall, behind Japanese climber Futaba Ito (1st) and Julia Chanourdie (2nd), of France. 

“I am quite [a] powerful climber and I think that this is my best advantage,” she told Skalolaz when asked about her strengths and weaknesses. “I still have a lot of weaknesses like slabs and coordination moves.”

Krampl has competed in a handful of comps this year. She took 8th in Lead and 33rd in Speed in Villars, 25th in Boulder and 11th in Lead in Innsbruck, and 15th in Boulder in Meiringen. Aside from these three comps, however, she has not competed internationally since the 2019 Toulouse comp.

She and Garnbret are the only Slovenian climbers in the Olympic Games.