What sports are American athletes chasing their nation’s first Olympic gold medal?

US sport climbers chasing Olympic summit

American climbers have yet to summit the podium at the Olympic Games. Nathaniel Coleman came close during the sport’s debut at Tokyo 2020, but a fall on the speed wall and a fifth place finish on the lead wall left him two points behind Olympic champion Alberto Ginés López. Nonetheless, Team USA will look to improve on his groundbreaking result at Paris 2024.

The adrenaline-inducing, nerve-wracking event of speed climbing will give American climbers even more chances to win a gold medal in Paris, The event will be contested alongside a combined event for Boulder and Lead climbing, meaning American climbers will have a total of four chances to climb on the top step of the podium.

World record holder Samuel Watson seems like the most likely candidate for a gold medal on paper, but speed climbing can be a tricky and unpredictable event. His world record time of 4.79 seconds won’t be enough to beat opponents if he falls off the wall or triggers a false start. He will need to be quick, consistent and technically sound if he wants to take a gold medal in Paris.

Likewise, Emma Hunt will be another speed climber with the gold medal in her sights heading into Paris 2024. She took the silver medal at last year’s world championships and has one world cup victory to her name this season. She’ll be amongst the top contenders for a gold medal in Paris if she can safely navigate the early knockout rounds.

Of course, American medal hopes won’t be limited to speed climbing. IFSC World Championships Bern 2023 silver medalist Colin Duffy will be a medal contender in the men’s combined, while Pan American Games champion and multiple time world cup winner Natalia Grossman will be a medal threat in the women’s combined.

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