Sport

Kim Ja-in: From the top of Seoul to the Olympic Games

Published 0721 GMT (1521 HKT) July 17, 2019
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Kim Ja-in is a sports climbing superstar from South Korea and former world champion. Coming from a family of keen climbers and mountaineers, she says it was only natural that she would join them in the pursuit. (Pictured: Kim competing at The World Games in Wroclaw, Poland, July 2017.) Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images
Kim competes in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2018. Despite an illustrious career Kim says she's "physically, not so gifted for climbing" given her short stature. ERICH SPIESS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Kim has won the world championship and multiple Asian titles, but faces a new challenge in 2020 when sports climbing debuts at the Tokyo Olympic Games. JOHANN GRODER/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Kim climbed the Lotte World Tower in Seoul in 2017, scaling the 550-meter skyscraper in two and a half hours. courtesy Lotte World Tower
Kim changing rope lines as she climbs the Lotte World Tower, Seoul in 2017. When she reached the top she was met by her husband and her brother. "(They) expected to see me exhausted," she said, "but I was just too happy." courtesy Lotte World Tower
The Olympic climbing program at Tokyo 2020 will combine three disciplines: bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing. The latter event is new to Kim, forcing her into a new training regime. AFP Contributor/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Kim has excelled in lead climbing, the sport climbing format that requires athletes climb as high as possible on a 15-meter plus wall in six minutes using safety ropes, without reclimbs. Reinhard Fichtinger/All That Sports
Kim climbing in Arco, Italy, in 2014. After sustaining a finger injury while competing in Switzerland in July 2019, Kim is recovering ahead of South Korea's first Olympic qualifying event, scheduled for August. Reinhard Fichtinger/All That Sports