Brooke Raboutou also can’t get enough of Simone Biles. The rock climber, 20, will make her grand debut at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics later this month after making history as the first U.S. athlete to qualify for a climbing spot at the upcoming games. The upcoming Olympics, too, will be the first to feature climbing as a sport. In an exclusive interview with HollywoodLife, Brooke chatted about her hopes for the historical event — and gushed about wanting to meet Simone, 24, at the games.
“I am hoping that I can perform my best and that comes easy,” Brooke told HL. “That is what I am working towards now, so hopefully once I get to the games I am going to be prepared. No matter how I do. I just hope that I can do my best and I hope the climbing part will feel easy and natural.” When asked about the Olympian celebrity she’d most like to meet, Brooke cited the celebrated gymnast.
“I would say definitely Simone Biles. She is a legend and I love watching her compete and her demeanor,” Brooke said. “She is such a great sport, so it would be really awesome to meet her one day.”
With a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, Simone (also known as the GOAT, as in the “greatest of all time”), is a legend, indeed, but there is no denying that Brooke is a driving force of her own. The daughter of former rock climber champions Robyn Erbesfield and Didier Raboutou, Brooke became the youngest person in the world to climb 5.14b — a climbing grade reserved for elite climbers with years of experience — at just the age of 11, per her Team USA bio.
The sport requires a series of different skills portrayed simultaneously, and it’s not just about scaling up a wall. Brooke told HL what to expect at the Olympics. “I think with climbing people think it is just going up the wall, right? But with how it is set up and how the sport really is, it shows a lot of strength and a lot of mental work and a lot of balance and coordination and just some many skills,” she said.
The games will feature three different types of disciplines for one set of medals: lead, speed, and bouldering climbing. The sport makes its grand Olympic debut in Tokyo this year, paving the way for future climbing hopefuls with Brooke and Team USA at the forefront. When asked to impart advice for the next generation of Olympic climbers, the athlete offered this: “I would say that the sport has grown so much that there are so many indoor rock climbing gyms that are opening up, so… go to the nearest gym near you and either sign up for a class.”
“Go with your friends and try it out for a day,” she continued. “[I] hope people fall in love with it like I have,” adding, “Outdoor climbing is really fun and really a great way to spend [time] outdoors and relax.”
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23 on NBC.