Duffy made the team in 2020 and will compete in the summer of 2021 games!
The last year has been a time of many firsts for Colin Duffy, a high school junior from Broomfield. Not only was he among the many teens navigating the pandemic life for the first time in generations, but he's also trailblazing the sports stage on a national, and soon-to-be global scale by heading to the Tokyo Olympics this summer as the youngest member of the USA rock climbing team.
In March 2020, Duffy qualified to be part of the USA Rock Climbing Team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Tokyo was to be the first time that sport climbing was held as an Olympic competition, featuring speed, bouldering, and lead competitions.
Duffy qualified for the team following his first full year on the adult sport climbing circuit, an impressive feat in itself. According to Tokyo2020.org, making the team was even more remarkable because he fought through a cold during the qualifying rounds of the 2020 IFSC Pan-American Championships to secure victory.
Being named as the fourth member of the team, Duffy became the youngest member of the Olympic climbing contingent at only 16 years old, joining three other USA Climbing members Nathaniel Coleman, Kyra Condie, and Brooke Raboutou (Boulder, CO).
"It’s hard to explain in words," Duffy told Tokyo2020.org of his win. "It was just so exciting and super surprising, you know I’m just honored to get this opportunity to represent my country, experience the whole Olympic shebang. It’s just really humbling and just exciting. My biggest emotion was probably shock."
When the pandemic hit, the Tokyo Games were postponed until July 23, 2021, putting a wrench in athlete's plans, but Duffy remained vigilant in his preparation.
He told Tokyo2020.org that during COVID-19 restrictions, he has been training on a climbing wall in his basement and gets in virtual workouts with his trainer and team. He is looking forward to his first Olympic games and going to focus on his performance rather than his competitors.
"I just want to climb to my potential. I really have no expectations regarding placement, especially as I have such limited experience. I’ve never competed with many of the athletes there, like in a World Cup or anything," he said. "Hopefully I’ll get that next year, but I’m really just hoping to climb to my potential and have a fun time and just enjoy the whole experience. I’m not gonna put the pressure of results on myself or anything, since it’s hopefully the first of several Olympics, being so new on the adult scene."
The postponed 2020 Summer Tokyo Olympic Games Opening Ceremony will be held on July 23, 2021. The Sport Climbing men's qualification trials will begin on August 3, with finals held on August 5. The women's qualification trials will begin on August 4, with the finals held on August 6.
Congratulations to Colin Duffy on making the Olympic team and best of luck to our home-state athlete in Tokyo! Leave a note in the comments to congratulate our young Olympic athlete.