Team USA's Natalia Grossman Secures Gold In Sport Climbing's Debut At Continental Games


Team USA’s Natalia Grossman Secures Gold In Sport Climbing’s Debut At Continental Games

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The conclusion of sport climbing’s continental premiere was charged with emotion, with Natalia Grossman prevailing over her close companion Brooke Raboutou in Santiago, Chile.

Natalia Grossman clinched the gold at the 2023 Pan American Games on October 24, securing a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The victory was poignant for the American athlete as she triumphed over her long-time friend and compatriot Brooke Raboutou on the climactic last day of the sport climbing’s continental premiere.

The stakes were high as both contenders vied for the coveted Olympic quota, resulting in an emotional moment when the final results were announced.

Find the full list of Team USA’s medal winners at the Pan American Games 2023 and the complete overall medal table of the Pan American Games Santiago 2023.

Describing her win as “bittersweet,” Grossman expressed mixed feelings about the achievement, acknowledging the unique circumstance of having only one qualifying spot. “Obviously if it were any other competition, we’d be so psyched to be one and two, but having only one spot, it’s a bittersweet feeling,” she shared with, standing beside her close friend Raboutou who secured the silver medal.

The gold marked the final climbing title awarded at the games, completing a clean sweep for the United States.

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Under the backdrop of the snow-capped Andes mountains, the serene afternoon sky gave way to technical difficulties as the stadium lights faltered, causing a delay in the competition. Amidst the flickering lights and audible concern from the audience, Canada’s Rebecca Frangos managed to finish her run, navigating the lead wall with determination.

Reflecting on the delay, Grossman remarked, “I think it actually helped me because I was able to refuel and rest. By the time I got on the wall, all the carbs had kicked in and I was like, let’s go.”

With precise movements and remarkable composure, she scaled the wall, coming agonizingly close to completion before eventually falling, concluding with a final score of 88.1.

Raboutou made a valiant effort to bridge the 14.9 point gap from her competitor following the boulder segment, yet even with a commendable score of 96, she couldn’t stage a comeback.

The boulder phase commenced the day with Grossman showcasing her prowess. Gliding through boulders two and three effortlessly, the 22-year-old displayed a veteran’s finesse, conquering both on her initial attempt in less than ninety seconds before acknowledging the crowd with a beaming smile.

She stood as the sole contender to conquer the first three boulders, narrowly missing the mark on the fourth, thus concluding her flawless streak.

Alejandra Contreras, a local from Santiago, secured the sixth spot in both the boulder and lead categories and garnered immense support from the audience. The spectators cheered enthusiastically, brandishing the Chilean flag and waving posters emblazoned with her name in bold red, white, and blue letters.

The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) retain exclusive authority for the selection of athletes to represent their respective delegations at the Olympic Games. Participation in the Paris Games hinges on the NOCs’ decision to include them in their roster for Paris 2024.

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