The 22-year-old climber finished fifth at the Pan American Continental Championships at the end of February in Los Angeles, Ca., in a field of 20, all vying for the last ticket to Japan in sport climbing’s Olympic debut.
“I did everything I could; for three days, I brought A-game, physically and mentally,” Frangos said.
“I had all my eggs in the basket for Pan Ams.”
She added she spent much of her time in the fall training and improving her all-round game rather than competing in other qualifying events.
Sport climbing combines the three disciplines of speed climbing, lead climbing and bouldering. It’s difficult because all three scores are combined, said Frangos, who’s strongest in lead and weakest in speed climbing.
However, after Frangos’ best ever performance in speed, finishing fourth, and then a solid showing in bouldering – another fourth – the final Olympic spot was within her grasp, and in her strongest discipline, no less.
“Once that initial feeling of excitement and nerves went away, I started thinking this could actually happen if I climbed to the best of my ability, I could get that spot,” she said.
But it ended up being a disappointing final lead route for Frangos, who was a favourite to set the high point.
She was in good shape, but she made a few inefficient moves and fumbled with a clip, wasting valuable energy as she gripped the wall. As Frangos attempted to close in the high point, she missed a hold and fell off, ending her Olympic dream this year.
“It’s a bit of bummer, I know it was in my capacity, that Olympic spot would have been mine, but I did everything I could,” she said.
“It’s a weird feeling to dedicate years to training for one event and have it be done, I felt like for a week and a bit after I was a little bit lost.”
Canada’s Alannah Yip, teammate and friend of Frangos, ended up achieving the high point in the final lead route and won first overall in the Olympic qualifier.
Knowing right away Yip booked her ticket to Tokyo, Frangos immediately met her descending teammate and hugged her with tears of joy.
“I’m so happy we were able to get a Canadian female in there,” Frangos said. “She’s the hardest worker I know … it’s a pretty amazing achievement and definitely exciting for our sport and Canadian climbing.”
The fact that her Olympic dreams are over for now is surreal, she said, but with changes coming to climbing at the 2024 Olympics, where speed climbing will be its own separate event, and the number of athletes will increase from 40 to 72, Frangos is already eyeing her next four-year journey.
“I have so much motivation now after my performance at the Pan Ams," she said. "Definitely 2024 is on top of my priority list, it’s huge goal of mine.”