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.
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.
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.