Meet Ashima Shiraishi: Badass 18-Year-Old Rock Climber and 2020 Olympic Hopeful
We're officially one year out from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and we can't wait to be glued to the TV as we watch the best athletes in the world compete. We're looking forward to watching track and field, gymnastics, and, of course, Team USA basketball, along with the return of baseball and softball. But we're also excited to see the first-ever Olmypic climbing, karate, skateboarding, and surfing competitions.
One Olympic hopeful we've got our eyes on is 18-year-old climber Ashima Shiraishi. At 14 years old, Ashima became the first girl or woman — and youngest person — ever to ascend Horizon, a V15 grade, on Mount Hiei, Japan — but that's not all. She's climbed two V15s — a grade that no other woman had ever climbed before. She's the definition of badass.
Ashima has captured national championship titles, won a gold medal at the IFSC Youth World Championships, and now, she's ready to make the Olympic team and compete for a spot on the podium.
"I'm super excited [about climbing being added to the 2020 Summer Olympics] because it's going to be introduced to so many new people . . . it's going to be huge for the climbing world," Ashima told POPSUGAR. As for pressure? Ashima isn't worried about repeating past performances. She just wants to continue to challenge herself and get better with every ascent.
To learn more about the 2020 Summer Olympics, visit teamusa.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin in one year on NBC. Keep reading to see Ashima in action.