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Claire Buhrfeind: Road to the Innsbruck World Championships

Friday, August 10, 2018
BD Athlete Claire Buhrfeind thrives on competition. This past March, the 19-year-old from Texas burst onto the scene, becoming the U.S. national champion in both speed and lead climbing. Now, she has her eye on the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, and is looking even further into the future at the 2020 Olympics. But for Claire, competing isn’t about going toe-to-toe with other climbers. In fact, her philosophy is more of an inward journey. Read on to learn how Claire views competition, and why climbing is so important to her.
Video: Louder Than 11

I began climbing when I was 10, with Team Texas, and my coach and mentor, Kyle Clinkscales. Our “local crag” was our gym, so naturally, we spent most of our time training. But on any school break, the team would road trip across the country to climb outside. These experiences gave me my love for the sport, and its community.

I’ll always return to the rock and explore my abilities outside, but considering climbing’s upcoming debut in the Olympics, my focus is on competing.

From the beginning, I’ve been drawn to competition. It’s about competing with myself, which is what I think most climbers would say. I’m chasing the moment when I feel everything fall into place; quieting my mind, finding my flow, and executing my training.

When I found out climbing would be included in the Olympics, it was like this dream I’d always had was suddenly right in front of me. I want to give myself the best possible chance to contend.

It’s important that I invest time in the learning process, travel on the World Cup Circuit, and figure out what it really means to be prepared across all disciplines. At this level, the little things matter so much more. It’s not just your training in the gym, but also your mental preparation—sleep, recovery, nutrition—everything that can give you an extra edge. It all needs to be dialed.

The World Championship is another test on the way to 2020. Athletes from all over the world will be in top form, looking to see how they measure up in the combined format. I am excited for the opportunity to show my best and represent the USA in Innsbruck.

—BD Athlete Claire Buhrfeind

Tickets and more information on the IFSC Climbing world championships: here.

Image: Daniel Gajda
Image: Andy Earl
Image: Bjorn Pohl

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