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Sport climbing’s golden girl and Olympic champ Janja Garnbret tells Singapore fans the secrets to her success

SECRETS TO SUCCESS

Interestingly, the world’s most successful sport climber trains on an old-school setup consisting of 35-degree and 45-degree spray walls and campus boards. She doesn’t train on hangboards or does board climbing.

Just Coach Roman’s endurance routes and training plans, and her fierce determination to go harder and get stronger. When she needs to train for lead climbing, she drives four hours to Innsbruck, Austria, to climb in their mega gyms. Slovenia, according to Garnbret, only has four climbing gyms.

“I think I’ve always had strong fingers when I was younger,” she said. And might we add, very good endurance, too, for signing autographs and posing for pictures non-stop for nearly two hours. 

As for finger injuries, which are common among climbers, “you have to stop climbing”, she said. “If it hurts when you climb, you have to heal the injury first.” 

It is a lesson she learnt the hard way. She had chipped off part of the bone on her middle finger in 2013 and was still climbing a few weeks after that. “It was not good. I had to have a cast on for three weeks and then I came back to climbing again.”

Garnbret’s journey to Olympic gold is documented in the film, The Wall: Climb For Gold. “Basically when I trained for the Olympics, I trained 10 hours a day. So my life then was really just training, eating, sleeping and repeating,” she said. 

She shared that there were certainly struggles that people didn’t see because “99 per cent of what you see are competitions”. “There are hard trainings, hard conversations, crying when training because sometimes, it’s not easy,” she said.



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