Swiss professional climber Petra Klingler announced yesterday that she was retiring from her career as a competitive climber. In a few weeks she will contest her last World Cup in front of her home crowd in Bern. After that, she has one more goal: the 2024 Olympics.
Petra Klingler is probably the most successful and versatile competition climber in Switzerland. In 2016 she celebrated one of her greatest successes with the world championship title in the bouldering discipline. An important milestone in her career was taking part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and now she is about to face another highlight: The World Championships in Bern.
After the 2024 Olympics it will be over
It's not quite over after the World Cup in Bern. Klingler set herself one last big goal before ending her career: the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France. In order to be able to take part in the big event, Petra Klingler put everything back in the balance.
Short interview with Petra Klingler
What made you decide to retire from competitions?
On the one hand, of course, that I've been in the competition scene for almost 20 years. A lot has changed since then, the team is no longer the same, partly because teammates like Rebekka Stotz are no longer there. In the recent past, the feeling has arisen that now is the right moment, a moment to start something new.
Do you have concrete plans for the time after the 2024 Olympics?
Even though I will no longer compete, climbing will remain an important part. I want to step on the gas on the rock and find out where my limit lies. I would also like to pass on my experience and knowledge in the form of workshops and presentations.
Looking back, would you take the same path again?
Definitive! I wouldn't do anything else. It was a brilliant time - and still is. I'm still hooked on the sport. i love to train So it was a very difficult decision for me. But of course I'm looking forward to giving more space to outdoor climbing.
What have you taken away from your time as a competitive climber?
I could give you a very long lecture. In short: I learned a lot in terms of discipline, planning and structure. Aspects such as self-confidence and dealing with defeat have had a strong impact on me. These are all things that I can take with me in everyday working life.
Then there is dealing with other people. How do I deal with criticism? In top-class sport, you are always confronted with criticism.
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Credits: Cover picture Phil Pham