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French commune to host UIAA showpiece

The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) has announced that the French commune of Champagny-en-Vanoise will host its showpiece Ice Climbing World Championships in lead and speed next year.

The 2017 Championships will take place at the resort’s ice tower on February 4-5 and will be the second edition of the event. The inaugural World Championships were held in Rabenstein, Italy in 2015.

The Ice Climbing World Championship is a standalone event separated from the events which form the annual Ice Climbing World Tour. The decision by the UIAA to organise a World Championships is part of an effort to raise the profile and prestige of the sport, enabling winners to call themselves world champions for a two-year-period.

Ice climbing appeared as a demonstration event at the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi and the UIAA holds aspirations for it to play a full part in the programme for the 2022 Games in Beijing.

The International Sport Climbing Federation (ISCF) is running a separate campaign for sport climbing to be included on the programme for the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo. In September, Tokyo 2020 proposed 18 additional events from five sports to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion at their Games. The IOC will take the final decision on the proposed events during their Session in Rio de Janeiro from August 2-4.

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has proposed baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing as additional sports for its staging of the Olympic Games.