EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – More than 150 kids climbed their way to the top at First Ascent in Peoria for the chance to compete at the USA Climbing Youth National Championship over the weekend.
For Aiden and Logan Krajnik, climbing started out as a vacation activity, then quickly became a passion.
“We went to a Kalahari in Ohio there was a climbing place and we spent our entire time there,” said Krajnik.
The twins started their rock climbing journey six years ago and said, ever since, it’s been competition after competition. The twins along with 150 other kids climbed their way to the top this weekend for the 2021 USA Climbing Youth Rope Championship.
“I was a little bit nervous at first but way more excited than nervous, but I was a little bit nervous,” said Aiden Krajnik.
“I could definitely tell I had butterflies in my stomach but as soon as I looked up at the route, it all went away,” said Logan Krajnik.
The twins said preparation is key.
“We practice three times a week for three hours. Sometimes we will come in for an extra day,” said Aiden Krajnik.
Now, it’s back to training.
“Top four makes it to nationals so we are both going for rope,” said Aiden Krajnik.
Both qualified for nationals in Nevada next month. The gym manager said this is the first climbing competition since the pandemic.
“These kids work so hard all year throughout the season to get to this point and once they get here they are siked to get on the wall and give it a try and give it their best,” said Amanda Villiger.
The sport is making its Olympic debut this summer and encouraging climbers to keep climbing so they can one day represent Team USA at an international-level competition.