Sean McColl has always had an Olympic dream, but it couldn’t even become a possibility until August 2016 when sport climbing was officially added to the Olympic program for Tokyo 2020. As president of the IFSC’s athlete commission since 2012, McColl had made multiple presentations to the IOC on behalf of his sport, hoping it would lead to sport climbing’s inclusion at the Olympic Games. At the 2019 IFSC World Championships, McColl secured his own spot at Tokyo 2020 by posting a 10th place finish in the combined event.
McColl became a professional climber when he was 19 and joined the IFSC World Cup circuit before returning home to attend the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). After completing his diploma program, he returned to World Cup competitions where his results led to him to realize he had found a career calling in climbing. As of February 2020, McColl has earned 34 World Cup medals, most of them coming in lead climbing, with bouldering as his second-most successful discipline. He is the only athlete in IFSC history to post a top-eight World Cup finish in each of the three climbing disciplines.
McColl has competed in every edition of the IFSC World Championships since 2007. In his eight appearances, he has been crowned world champion in the combined event four times (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016), successfully defending his title twice at the biennial event. McColl is also the first Canadian climber to be a Youth World Champion, winning five titles from 2002 to 2006. As of February 2020, McColl has won 12 open national titles. He’s also made multiple appearances on American Ninja Warrior: USA vs The World since 2014.
A Little More About Sean
Getting into the Sport: A self-proclaimed “natural born climber”, he didn’t discover climbing was a sport until he was 10 but was competing regularly within a year… Loves the complexity of the courses and the problem-solving skills involved in the various aspects of the sport… Outside Interests: Graduated with Honours from the Computer Systems diploma program at BCIT in 2011… Athlete ambassador for Climbers Against Cancer… Enjoys running, cycling, playing computer games, reading… Odds and Ends: Takes inspiration from his coach Mike Doyle, his father Terry McColl and Austrian climber Kilian Fischhuber… Calls himself a “creature of habit” rather than superstitious; always puts his left shot on before his right… Favourite quotes: “Work hard to support your passion until your passion can support you” and “Enjoy the process”…
Notable International Results
IFSC World Championships: 2019 – 10th (combined). 5th (lead), 14th (boulder), 37th (speed); 2018 – 43rd (combined), 37th (lead), 80th (boulder), 65th (speed) ; 2016 – GOLD (combined), 6th (lead), 38th (speed); 2014 – GOLD (combined), 6th (lead), 9th (boulder), 26th (speed); 2012 – GOLD (combined), SILVER (lead), 4th (boulder), 43rd (speed); 2011 – 13th (lead), 11th (boulder), 53rd (speed); 2009 – GOLD (combined), 5th (lead), 6th (boulder), 43rd (speed); 2007 – 25th (boulder)
World Games: 2017 – BRONZE (lead), 11th (boulder)
ANOC World Beach Games: 2019 – 10th (boulder)