Only a few Olympic participants travel to the World Championships in Moscow. One of them is Jakob Schubert. He focuses on the competitions in bouldering (September 19) and lead (September 21). In a personal report he talks about the time after the Olympics and his goals in Moscow.
A personal report from Jakob Schubert
Almost five and a half weeks have passed since I came back to Innsbruck from Tokyo with a hoarse voice and a bronze medal around my neck, and my climbing journey is already going on - this time for the World Championships in Moscow.
While I still fondly think back to the Olympics - everyone noticed that, I am regularly asked about it, recognized on the street and asked for photos, especially of children - so much in the last few weeks it was important to gain some distance, to clear my head to replenish the energy storage.
I was very tired, both physically and mentally, after the games. You can tell that you've got everything out of your body for a long time, and the body signals that quite clearly that it doesn't feel like it. The first training sessions after Japan were very special, it felt like I hadn't been on the climbing wall for a few years.
So the two short breaks on Lake Garda without a lot of climbing but with all the more relaxation were extremely important in order to fill the energy stores; But above all, to find the motivation in your head to be able to prepare for a major event one more time.
I have to admit that the rock projects that I have planned for autumn are definitely present in my head and have come up again and again in preparation for the World Cup. I can hardly wait to finally be out and about on the rock for weeks at a time.
That's probably why I've just published a new video on my YouTube channel that takes us to the bouldering paradise of Ticino and gives me that liberating feeling of nature, difficult lines and endless possibilities while watching.
Why I like to be there so much has to do with the many ingenious granite blocks that literally invite you to boulder and have made Ticino a hotspot for climbers. The possibilities seem endless and are enormously diverse, and new bouldering blocks are constantly being found and developed. My recent impact next to the crash pad in one of my attempts at the bouldering classic Memento (8b) has the fact that you always have to be on the ball even when bouldering, climbing at jump height and - no matter how well thought you go - there is always a small residual risk. shown in the Silvretta.
Jakob Schubert inspecting Anam Cara and Memento
I'm sure I was very lucky. If I land there on the tailbone or directly on the back, it can turn out a lot worse. So I landed on the backside and the glutes caught most of it, after a few days it was fine again.
If you see the video, you are probably wondering why there was no crash pad at this point. This has the following background: In order to successfully climb a boulder, there should be no contact with the ground, even touching a crash pad with the climbing shoe is not flawless. This is exactly what happened to me before that boulder. I had actually managed the entire boulder including pulling the keys, but I brushed my feet on the pad and didn't want to complete the boulder because I would not have been 100% satisfied for myself.
For the next attempt, I placed the pad so that I wouldn't touch it under any circumstances. I was relatively certain that I would not fall on this move and if I did, it would not be exactly at this point. In doing so, I took a certain risk that I had assessed as very low. Even if I would classify bouldering as generally harmless, you inevitably sometimes take risks. This time it went in my pants and I was lucky!
My trip to the World Cup has less to do with luck and I definitely take it more seriously. When I go to a competition, I want to deliver too. Mentally it's a little different, I don't feel nervousness and pressure like in the past. As already mentioned, the World Cup is not the only topic on my mind. But that also makes it interesting and different to go into such a competition with more freedom.
I know I'm in a good mood. During the preparation I squeezed everything out and believe that I will be among the medal contenders, especially in the lead, when I can do almost what I have shown at the Olympics.
With Adam Ondra and Alex Megos, two big favorites are missing, with whom I always matched for the medals at the previous world championships. Olympic champion Alberto Ginés is also not there. On the other hand, there is a whole battery of young athletes who were not at the Olympics. The highlight of the season is this World Cup and the entire training course was geared towards this. There are some hot irons in the fire!
For me, the big challenge right now is to keep the tension going after achieving such a big goal as the Olympic medal and to deliver it a second time.
In 2019 I had a similar constellation - at that time the World Cup in Hachioji was my focus and I was able to 'scoop' three medals; shortly after that I had to settle for seventh place at the European championships.
With the bronze medal, my biggest career goal so far has already been achieved this year, but I don't mind adding another incredible moment. In Moscow, my greater focus is on leading - as we know, anything can happen in bouldering - and I know that I have a very good chance of becoming world champion and that is also my goal.
I am happy if you keep your fingers crossed on Sunday (boulder) and Tuesday (lead climb)!
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Credits: Image material Elias Holzknecht, Sebastian Marko, ÖOC / GEPA Pictures (cover picture)