Yoshiyuki Ogata made waves last June with his first bouldering World Cup win, at Vail, but the 21-year-old has been proving himself as a multi-disciplinary climber for years. In 2017, he placed first in both Lead and Bouldering at the IFSC Youth World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, and in May he set a new Japanese speed-climbing record. Ogata, of Yokohama, Japan, began bouldering at the age of 10 after seeing the sport on TV. He was quick to develop power and precision on the wall. Within three years, he was competing nationally, and at 16, he participated in his first World Cup.
“I always try not to think about results too much,” he said. “I just keep smiling and enjoy climbing. And luckily there are many strong climbers in Japan,” who provide camaraderie and motivation during training sessions.