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Team USA Explained

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Two Olympic Qualifying events down, one more to go! Those, and the USA Combined Invitational and Bouldering, Lead and Speed Nationals. 

So where do all of these competitions leave the 2020 USA Team? Who is already on the team and which events will qualify athletes? Here’s what you need to know.

The USA Team is comprised first and foremost of the Olympic Team, which currently includes Brooke Raboutou, Kyra Condie and Nathaniel Coleman. These athletes qualified for the Olympic team in the first and second Olympic qualifying events in Hachioji and Toulouse and they will be invited to compete in all 2020 international events. The maximum USA Olympic quota is two per gender, so the USA women’s Olympic Team has already been filled, but one more male may qualify for the Team at the upcoming Pan-American competition, taking place February 24 through March 1. 

Next on the USA Team roster is the “U.S. World Cup Elite Team.” The athletes that qualified for this team ranked in the top twenty in the 2019 season in whatever discipline they competed in. These athletes will be permitted to compete in the World Cups that match their top-twenty discipline. For example, Coleman, Alex Johnson and Condie are all on this team for Bouldering. Because Johnson is not on the Olympic Team, she may only compete at Bouldering World Cups. 

The U.S. World Cup Elite Team includes Coleman (ranked 20th), Johnson (ranked 13th) and Condie (ranked 18th) for Bouldering and Sean Bailey (ranked 9th) and Ashima Shiraishi (ranked 13th) for Lead. No athletes ranked in the top 20 for Speed.

Most international competitions cap a country’s quota at five athletes per gender. For any remaining USA spots, the top ten nationally ranked athletes in each respective discipline will qualify to compete. For example, at the first Bouldering World Cup in Meiringen, if Raboutou, Condie and Johnson decide to compete, then whoever places first and second at USA Bouldering Nationals will be given the first invitations to compete and fill the quote. If they decline, their invitations will be passed down to the next highest ranked athletes from Nationals. 

Here’s the schedule for upcoming USA Team qualifying events. More information can be found on

Bouldering Open National Championships:

  • January 31 through February 1 in Deschutes County Expo Center, Bend, Oregon

Pan-American Championships:

  • February 24 through March 1 in Sender One, Los Angeles, California

Sport and Speed Open National Championships:

  • March 13 through 14 in The Front Climbing Club, Salt Lake City, Utah

Feature Image René Oberkirch/IFSC

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