US secures 4 medals at World Cup climbing competition in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — USA Climbing hosted a Climbing World Cup at its headquarters training facility in Salt Lake City’s Granery District last weekend.

The Paraclimbing World Cup will be held on May 7-8 at Momentum Climbing Gym.

Of the 38 Team USA athletes competing, Natalia Grossman won gold in women’s boulder, Emma Hunt won gold in women’s speed, Sam Watson won gold in men’s speed, and Noah Brataschi won silver in men’s speed.

All of the following action, climbing videos are of different USA athlete performances as described in the wording, and were taken on the first day of competition since media videos are restricted on days two and three so as not to show the placements to athletes prematurely.


Participating countries included AUS, CHN, CAN, AUT, ISR, SLO, UKR, RSA, PER, NZL, KAZ, JPN, ITA, INA, GER, GBR, ECU, FRA, SUI, ARG, ISB, CHI, BUL, NOR, BRA, MEX, RSA, and FIN.

In the boulder discipline, seven USA Climbing athletes progressed to the semi-final rounds and two progressed to the women’s final. In the speed discipline, 11 USA Climbing athletes progressed to the final rounds. In the end, the USA secured those four medals on the team’s home turf.

Grossman had a knockout performance in the final round, flashing the first three boulders. Having spent the past few months training coordination, she demonstrated her prowess on W2, swinging and jumping her way to the top.

Grossman told the IFSC, “I always love the World Cup in Salt Lake City. The crowd hyped us up. I appreciate it a lot. It is very special to have my family here, being able to sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, it’s really nice.”


Hunt claimed her first-ever World Cup gold medal, beating Poland’s Aleksandra Kalucka in her final race of the night.

Hunt told the IFSC, “I’m just so excited, Salt Lake City is kind of like a second home, so it feels like a home-turfy win, and I got to do it with Samuel which is so exciting! I have so many rituals I go through in my competition that there is no time to list them all… I can’t wait to go to Paris, can’t wait to try croissants and all the food!”

TownLift talked to Hunt about her Olympics expectations before the World Cup.

Watson claimed the men’s speed gold medal, finishing in just 4.89 seconds during his final race. The race was just one of his three sub-5 finishes throughout the day.

Here’s a video of when Townlift talked to Watson before the World Cup about his exciting international record-breaking climbs.

In the lane next to Watson for that final race was fellow USA teammate Brastchi, who claimed the silver medal. It was a promising performance from Bratschi, who will now head to Shanghai to compete in the Olympic Qualifier Series, with hopes of punching his ticket to the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Bratschi told TownLift this explainer about the evolution of the Olympic sport.

This competition was not a qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympics, as a few USA athletes have made the Games’ short list already and a few more are trying to qualify to represent the United States in two IOC-hosted inaugural multi sport international events this summer.

All photos by Michele Roepke // TownLift

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