From Vancouver 2010 to Tokyo 2020

When Vancouver hosted the 2010 Olympic Games I was in grade 10, an impressionable 16 year old trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

I was lucky enough to get to attend the Opening Ceremony with my family and I loved every single minute of it. When the athlete parade began I was transfixed. I could not keep my eyes off of the athletes, imagining how proud they must feel to be representing their respective countries. Knowing that they had made it, that this was the pinnacle of athletic competition. That single moment was so inspiring for me. I have held onto it all these years, hoping that one day I would be able to walk in an Opening Ceremony at an Olympic Games that I had qualified for.

At the time climbing was not an Olympic sport, and was nowhere close to being added to the program. In the spring of 2010 took a ski cross camp in Whistler because I thought it was a very exciting new sport and loved to ski. I quickly realized that I loved climbing too much to give it up for anything, even a chance at the Olympics. So for many years I continued to climb and put my Olympic dreams on ice.

I was exceedingly lucky that in 2016 climbing finally made it into the program for Tokyo 2020 and at that time I was just kicking off my senior international career. This was perfect timing for me and I was able to qualify for sport climbing’s first ever inclusion in the Olympic Games. A decade after watching the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremony as a fan, I was able to represent Team Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in sport climbing. However, I’m still waiting for my opportunity to walk in an Opening Ceremony.

- Alannah Yip, Tokyo 2020 Olympian in Sport Climbing

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