There are many things I would like to change with my role in NWBF. The most important changes would further highlight athletes' stories. While there is not much room to interview athletes on during the competition, dedicated research can allow for commentators to weave stories for the athletes. This is why event hosts must interact with the athletes as much as possible prior to competitions. The more groundwork they can lay down, the more rapport they can build with the athletes, the better the stories they can tell. This becomes difficult when you do not know which athletes are performing until hours prior to the competition. And even once you know who is competing, you can't take all of their time prior to the event because they have to warm-up and do their pre-competition rituals. It would help to have the qualifying round for the Opens athletes be on a completely different day to allow for research time, but also a larger window for routesetters to reset for Finals. With a bit more production time we could film interviews with athletes that can be played during the event during downtime, that also may allow for the MC who is yelling for three hours straight to run to the bathroom. Professional climbers make a living through marketing their brand, themselves, to other climbers. Allowing them to interact more with fans will help to develop their professional careers.
As I am writing this, in the mist of the COVID-19 pandemic, I realize that the next boulderfest may be further off than we can predict. Climbing in gyms, itself, may be further off than we can predict. The sport is reliant on a physical community regardless of whether it is indoors or outdoors. And while small groups of climbers may be going outside sooner than we think, safety in the sport necessitates close physicals proximity, that simply is not permissible in these times.
But climbers are specifically well equipped for this pandemic because climbing is a life sport. Climbers that start when they are as young as nine can return to the sport ten years later and climb right back into it. Even I have taken up to a year off of climbing, and as I am writing this, I am in the midst of going six months without truly climbing. But your body doesn't really forget how to move on the wall. It never forget the twist locks, the drop knees, the double clutch dynos. And it always wants to return to those moments. These moments will return. And climbing competitions will come back.
This serves as more than just a recounting of a memorable night, but also as a guideline to what it took to put on this event. This event highlights the dedication to the sport for those involved in production and performance, but also from the community who attends to witness the peak of climbing performances. And while the next Boulderfest may be far off, it's important to take moments like these to reflect on what we were before the fall. And how we can change our beta for the next time.