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World-class climber Frangos back on the wall after 19-month layoff

Canmore's Becca Frangos, one Canada's op competitive climbers, finally returned to competition after a 19-month layoff.
Rebecca Frangos of Canada competes in the Finals at Sender One Climbing Gym during the IFSC Pan American Championships in Los Angeles (USA).

CANMORE – Becca Frangos, one of Canada's top competitive climbers, was screaming at her computer screen in the middle of the night watching the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

It was the debut of sport climbing at the Olympics this past summer, where her teammates Alannah Yip finished 14th in women and Sean McColl was 17th in the men's.

"I was stressed. I always joke with people that watching competitions is more stressful than actually competing in them," the 24-year-old Canmore native said with a laugh.

"It was super exciting and I trained with them in the months leading up to the Games in Vancouver so that was really great and really cool to see it."

A year-and-a-half earlier at the Olympic qualifiers, Frangos barely missed punching her ticket to the Games. Since then, 19 months past since she last competed due to the COVID-19 pandemic until last weekend in Richmond, B.C.

Shaking off some rust, Frangos finished fifth at the North American Cup Series (NACS) on Oct. 8 in the lead competition, which is her strongest discipline where climbers set a high point on the wall.

Disappointed by the end result, Frangos said a positive was in her cerebral approach after such a long layoff.

Not in "tip top" shape just yet – noting February is the Lead National Championships – Frangos was able to find her flow as the rounds progressed along the way.

"It's always a bit of a challenge for sure after being so long away," Frangos said. "I felt I managed it decently well. In qualifications I felt a bit shaky, a bit nervous, but I was really happy with some little mental wins and I'll be working on those leading up to February.

"Overall, it was so good to be back and to see some friends I hadn't seen in a really long time and to be back in that environment. I really missed competing so much. I guess that really affirmed my love for it."

In a quick turnaround, the skilled climber is competing at the NACS boulder competition in Ottawa this weekend, which is about five weeks out from boulder national championships in Quebec. Bouldering is a technically challenging form of climbing without the use of ropes or harnesses.

If she does well at the two national competitions, Frangos will compete for the climbing world cup in 2022.

"Those are big on the radar," said Frangos. "I'm hoping to put in good performances, so I can compete on the world cup circuit this coming year."

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

Jordan Small joined the Outlook in 2014 and covers the vast world of sports in the Bow Valley. A Barrie, Ont. native, he also wrote for RMO's Mountain Guide section and the MD of Bighorn beat.
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