Living the dream at 21, Adam Ondra feels pretty lucky to live life like he does. He has had the honor to climb all around world and will never get sick of climbing. He loves that he can go bouldering or go into the mountains - two activities that are radically different, yet both can still be called climbing and are both based on the same principle - going upward. Adam has the need to go upward all the time - it is deep inside him, a feeling he can’t help, much like an addiction. Mother Earth created an enormous and never-ending playground for us climbers, and its potential never ceases to amaze Adam. He wants to climb everywhere and everything - in order to experience something, in order to learn something, in order to have fun. With an endless list of things and places to climb, Adam has enough climbing ahead of him for 100 lifetimes.
Discipline: Sport climbing, bouldering, competitions, multi-pitch climbing
Climbing Hometown: Brno, Czech Republic
Currently Living: Brno, Czech Republic
Height: 185 cm
Three FA's of 9b+: Change, Flatanger, Norway; La Dura Dura, Oliana, Spain; Vasil Vasil, Sloup, Czech Republic
Three 9a's onsight: Cabane au Canada, Rawyl, Switzerland; Il Domani, Baltzola, Spain; TCT, Gravere, Italy
Terranova (8C+), Holstejn, Czech Republic
Tough Enough, (8c 400m), Tsaranoro, Madagascar
World Cup Champion in Bouldering (2010 and 2014) and Lead (2009 and 2014)
World Champion in Lead (2016) and vice World Champion in Bouldering (2016)
When did you first start climbing?
I grew up in a climbing family, so it was very natural for me to start climbing. I was playing in the dirt at the crag as a little kid and obviously I didn't want to be the only one who was not climbing. My climbing started from hanging and swaying on the rope at the age of three to more serious climbing when I was six. Since I was six, I have been totally hooked and have been climbing at least four times a week.
What do you most enjoy about your sport?
Climbing is so complex. I love the climbing movement, being high above the ground with the rope as the only connection with life and the others. I love pushing my limits, tackling the challenge. But if I think about climbing, I mean the whole process of travelling, seeing new places, sleeping in the dirt under the stars, or at least in the van, drinking hot tea in the cold morning waiting for the first rays of sun to come... There is so much about it. And I just love it all. All aspects of climbing are important and essential.
How do you define success?
Being happy with my life. And I certainly am! No matter what happens, if you stay positive and happy, everything else you need will come, sooner or later...
What are you most proud of, either in life, your sport or both?
After accomplishing every training day by PUC Patxi Usobiaga!
Who are your heroes?
Wolfgang Gullich for pushing the standards of climbing for over a decade. In my mind, he has always been an ideal that I have always wanted to be too – honest, passionate and happy with his life.
What inspires you?
Anything that is done out of zone of conformity.
What are your hobbies outside of your sport?
Snowboarding, skiing, running, cooking, and I am interested in nutrition and trying new stuff in general. Reading educational books about anything and studying foreign languages.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Honey in the evening tea.
What are your hidden talents?
I think I found my talent in climbing – I suck in any other sport!
Tell us about your most favorite place in the world:
Flatanger in Norway. The place is just like a fairy tale, quiet, peaceful and an incredible cave just 10 min hike from the campsite, where I have enough projects for the rest of my life. And view from the cliff never ceases to amaze me. It is enough to stay there for me, and I don't even have to climb to stay happy. And numerous hikes we made in the vicinity, in search of new cliffs or just for the sake of seeing of what is around the corner.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Since I was seven, I have always wanted to be a climber, there wasn't a single doubt about it, ever!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be, and why?
If there is something you can change should be reflected rather by the people that you are hanging out with. But if there is something you can't change (short arms for example), don't complain and try to find your own solution.
Tell us about a time in your life when you have been scared:
My second multipitch route ever – Silbergeier in Ratikon. I wasn't very used to the exposure, and the route was quite run out for sure! But the worst thing was that I got to the position where I expected to see the anchor of the last pitch and I couldn't find it. I spent like 10 minutes, unable to communicate with my belayer due to strong wind and bells of the cows, wondering what I will do. In the end I decided to muster all my courage and make the terrifying downclimb to the last bolt, and at last I could see the anchor slightly more to the right.
Describe your perfect day:
Be with my girl or friends that I feel comfortable with, go climbing or skiing or snowboarding with passion and seeing others doing that sport with passion too. Having a nice dinner under the stars and falling asleep knowing that the next day will be like this.
How would your friends describe you?
Focused and positive thinking.