kyra condie

COMPETITIVE CLIMBER
Kyra is a competitive climber and will be representing USA Climbing as the sport debuts on the global stage this year. She has an aggressive and quick climbing style that has been described by commentators as having "reckless abandon" on the wall. She attributes this style to the 45-60-degree overhanging bouldering wall she first started training on at her original home gym, Vertical Endeavors in St. Paul, Minnesota.
She lives and trains in Salt Lake City, Utah, where also serves on the Athlete Advisory Committee for USA Climbing, an athlete representative and floating member on the Board of Directors of USA Climbing, and a member of the Athletes Commission of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC).
Post-it note in Kyra's bedroom that reads "Good luck sweetie! Climb hard. Love, Dad"
BACKBONE OF A CHAMPION

Introduced to climbing at the age of 11, Kyra was diagnosed with severe idiopathic scoliosis just two years later, putting a halt to her practice to receive surgical correction. Returning to the sport with unwavering motivation, Kyra has gone on to win two first-place national titles in bouldering and become the 2019 USA Combined national champion.

Kyra Condie bouldering in her home climbing gym in Minneapolis, making good progress on the route, with her personal mantra, "you suck try harder" on the wall in the background.

kyra condie

U.S. OLYMPIC CLIMBER
portrait of Kyra Condie with a compilation of images of Kyra climbing, Kyra hanging from a bunk bed as a child, an x-ray of her scoliosis and trees, clouds and mountain landscape.
WHY DO YOU CLIMB?
I’ve been climbing things all my life: from the side of my crib as a one-year-old to trees as an elementary schooler and even random structures in my house through the years. When I fully realized that I was a “climber” was when I started prioritizing climbing over most other things in my life. Instead of going to the park to play with friends, I was going to the gym to climb with the team. Being a “climber,” to me, means that I associate myself with equally crazy individuals who strive to spend their life committed to the outdoors pursuing the hardest ways to arbitrarily get on top of rocks, loving every minute of it.
Kyra Condie doing pushups on the ground, holding on to two big weights.
WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL MANTRA?
“You suck try harder” is a group motto we have spray painted across The A, the gym that I helped build. I don't actually say it to myself that much. I'm usually telling myself just the second part of it, but the whole thing itself reminds me of these gyms that I feel a big personal connection to and that taught me how to try really hard. It also represents this attitude of staying humble, which is I think very Minnesotan.
Black and white image of Alex Johnson, at home, holding her dog.
WHERE DOES YOUR MOTIVATION COME FROM?

I started on a climbing team, and those coaches are the ones I give credit to for initially sparking my love of climbing. But when they stopped working at that gym, I stopped being on the team. I still trained myself with some other people who were no longer on the team, but that was really when I started not having a coach. Occasionally I'd go to training camps, and I worked with a trainer at one point, but I didn’t have anyone who was consistently in my corner, which I think is very different from a lot of climbers who compete. Almost all of them have somebody who was their coach from when they were eight to when they were 18. I think the biggest advantage from it was that I learned how to be really internally motivated. I didn’t have somebody there telling me what to do—I've had to do that for myself the entire time.

I definitely started losing a little bit of motivation to climb when I was in middle school and wanting to hang out with friends and not go to practice. But then, when I got diagnosed with scoliosis and got my back surgery, having climbing get taken away from me and not being able to do it, it made me realize how much I loved it. Ever since then, I've never waned in motivation at all.
HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR FOCUS?
Music is a huge part of my training. I really like music that you can move to. I tend to only listen to reggaeton when I'm training. I love it because it's dancey and keeps my training session really positive and fun. Especially in Minnesota, I train alone a lot, so to have this background of fun is really important. But in competitions, I started listening to opera music. It’s what I listen to to calm down and get in the zone. It’s the right combination of epic and disengaging and helps me mellow out from a 10/10 to a 6/10.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED AFTER YOU’VE RETIRED FROM CLIMBING?

I want people to feel like their hard work pays off. Having worked really hard to get to where I am is definitely what I’m most proud of in my climbing, and I think it's something that a lot people can relate to.

I also try to give back to the climbing community as much as possible. Being involved in U.S.A. Climbing, trying to speak up for underrepresented communities, being on the athlete commission for the IFSC, making sure that the countries who don't have as much resources are getting a voice to the IFSC: those are all really important to me and are things I want to get more involved with as my career grows.
Alex Johnson bouldering on a teal wall in a gym.
kyra’s favorites
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Kyra Condie climbing on a bouldering problem in a climbing gym.