Climbing's Inclusion In The 2020 Olympics Is Changing The Training Game For Gyms, And Even Pros

Sep 21, 2018

Technical rock climbing jumped on the U.S. scene as early as the late 1800s, but it took nearly a century before advances in ropes and climbing aids helped bring it into the mainstream. In recent years, sport climbing -- and sport climbing gyms -- have exploded in popularity, and starting in 2020, three climbing disciplines will be represented for the first time at the Olympic games.

90.5 WESA's Megan Harris spoke to professional climber and author Tommy Caldwell about the sport's evolution, as well as Paul Guarino, co-owner of the South Side-based climbing gym Ascend, which is hosting Pittsburgh's first professional climbing competition this weekend.

Elsewhere in the show, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto shares his OnePGH social package, a plan he says will curb disparities and prevent more from happening in the future. The full $4 billion initiative, which he says should be public in October, assesses the city's water and sewage infrastructure, hunger, affordable housing, transportation, access to quality pre-K education and more.

90.5 WESA arts and culture reporter Bill O’Driscoll previews Pittsburgh's Festival of Firsts, featuring 30 companies from 20 nations. The program, which starts Friday and continues through Nov. 11, showcases dance, music, drama and visual art.

And local yoga instructors are learning trauma-informed techniques that will hopefully minimize emotionally triggering situations or vulnerable yoga positions for students who've experienced abuse. WESA's Sarah Boden reports.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.