BD Athlete Natalia Grossman’s inaugural World Cup season is one of the best debut’s we’ve ever seen.
“I didn’t know what to expect heading into my first full IFSC season. I knew that I was the strongest I had ever been, but I had no idea how I would compare to others. My main goal was to seize every opportunity I was given, and enjoy all the competitions.”
After the first bouldering stop in Meringen, Switzerland, Natalia came in third behind Janja Garnbret and Oriane Bertone. Setting the tone for rest of the season in both bouldering and lead, Natalia explains how this created a bit of confidence, especially when the next two events were in her adopted hometown of Salt Lake City. “After some initial success, I began to believe that maybe I had what it took to be competing against the best in the world. However, at the same time, I had to fight the little voices in my head that told me that my initial success was just luck. In the end, I was able to drown out those voices, and deliver two proud performances. ”
As the season stretched through the summer and bouldering gave way to the lead events, Natalia kept finding podiums and showed her versatility in both disciplines. As the last World Cup in Kranj, Slovenia convened, Natalia had racked up eight podiums from the season: 2 Gold Medals; Three Silver Medals; Two Bronze Medals. After the dust settled Natalia would clinch the Overall Bouldering Season Gold Medal and a Silver in Overall Lead.
Next came the World Championship event in Moscow, Russia. Competing in both Bouldering and Lead, Natalia had a real chance to take the title in both disciplines. In the Bouldering final she showed her competitive edge and climbing skill with four tops in less tries than the next best climber. She was crowned World Bouldering Champion. After an exciting Lead Final, she came away with the Silver Medal in Lead at World Championships.
With the poise of a seasoned veteran, Natalia burst on to the scene as THE breakout climber on the world stage. This is what Natalia has to say about her first full World Cup Season… "In the past six months I have accomplished more than I ever thought possible. I am still at a loss for words as I try to process everything that has happened. For now, all I have to say is how grateful I am to have been given this experience. I was able to bond with my team, visit some amazing countries, meet new people, and experience new cultures. I will never forget this season!”