Teen Vogue Puts The Spotlight On An 18-Year Old Pro Rock Climber

It’s nice to see a well respected publication for young women ‘Teen Vogue’ branching out into different areas other than fashion. Ever since the London Olympics in summer 2012 there have been a wave of fresh young faces gracing the athletic world stage. Just recently we saw 19 year old Sloane Stephens from the United States beat her tennis idol Serena Williams at the Australian Open Semi-finals, and teen gymnast Gabby Douglas win gold medals at the Olympics breaking records!

Meet Sierra Blair-Coyle, an 18 year old freshman from Arizona spoke to Sierra Tishgart from Teen Vogue about her profession and how she wants to use her fame and status to get more young girls into the sport.

Sierra Blair-Coyle

She started climbing at her local indoor gym for fun but has now turned that hobby into a professional career, one which she didn’t even know existed! In 2010, she was the youngest qualifier for the World Cup, and she recently placed seventh in the 2012 American Bouldering Series Nationals.

Despite competing in more than 100 climbing and bouldering contests, Sierra’s made her education a priority, and she recently scored a scholarship to Arizona State University. You may think she is a lone female ranger in the sport, but Sierra doesn’t see it that way.

“It’s fun to have lots of guys around, but, honestly, in climbing whether you’re a boy or a girl or if you’re ten or thirty years old, everyone’s equal.”

Her ambitions in the sport aren’t altogether selfish, as she knows as a young achiever, she has a duty to show other young women and men out there how fun it can be and encourage them to try it.

“I want climbing to become mainstream like other sports, and I’d like to help bring climbing into the limelight and make it really popular.”


She has already achieved so much in the time she has been climbing, and it is easy to see she has a talent and a passion for the sport.

“My best moment was the first time I made the finals at a professional competition. It was when I was fourteen in 2008. I’d worked so hard and overcome so much at that point, it was amazing.”

The self-confessed Linkin Park fan (she likes to listen to them on her ipod while climbing) stresses the importance of education.

“It’s really important to have a degree. I’m going to climb forever, but just in case it doesn’t work out or if I get injured or something, I’m going to need something else I can do. I’m definitely going to be able to balance school and climbing, and it’s easy to fit in with my training schedule.”

She tells the magazine that hopefully Rock Climbing will one day be an Olympic sport. It hasn’t made it into the games just yet, but committee officials just went to the Rock Climbing World Championships in Paris, so that is a good sign. Sierra is hoping to compete in the 2020 Olympics if they make it in, and we will be cheering her on!

Thank you Teen Vogue for promoting healthy lifestyles and different career choices for your readers. This is so important to continue doing, as not every teen girl wants to be an actress or pop star. We hope more young women in school and college are able to read articles like these, and the many that we share and write about on our site to enrich their lives and give them positive ideas for their futures.


Do you dream of becoming a professional athlete? What sport are you most passionate about? How can you take the first step to achieving that dream today?


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