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sport climber becca frangos scaling a steel rock wall wearing a pink top and leggings equipped with safety gear looking determined
Becca Frangos | La Sportiva

Former Canmore Climber Soaring to New Heights as Canada’s International ‘Rock Star’!

Becca Frangos heads to the Pan Am Games to compete for a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics

Competition is in our blood. Whether you are a fan or an athlete, sports events get the heart pumping and the mind racing. The modern Olympic Games were tailor-made for this very purpose.

We have the Olympics to thank for inspiring other athletic competitions worldwide, including the Pan American Games (Pan Am Games).

The idea of the Pan Am Games was first raised during the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, United States.

Latin American representatives from the International Olympic Committee suggested that all the countries of America compete; thus, the Pan Am Games were born.

becca frangos hanging upside down at a rock climbing centre
Becca Frangos’ impressive climbing skills | Rocky Mountain Outlook

The Pan Am Games is a multi-sport event in the Americas featuring talented athletes competing in different summer sports. The 2023 Pan Am Games will be held in Santiago, Chile, from October 20 to November 5.

The games are spicing things up this year by adding sport climbing to its roster. Sport climbing originates from rock climbing and involves high-intensity climbing on fixed routes.

The sport has three disciplines: speed, lead, and boulder. In speed, competitors race up a 15-metre wall as fast as they can in one-on-one elimination rounds.

In bouldering, athletes must climb a 4.5-metre wall without ropes in a limited period of time and the fewest attempts possible. In the lead event, climbers must scale a 15-metre wall covered in complex, challenging routes.

If you have ever watched a sport climbing event or met a professional climber, you would know they are absolutely ripped.

Becca Frangos, a 25-year-old lead pro from Canmore, is no exception.

She is one of ten skilled Canadian sport climbers who qualified to compete in the 2023 Pan Am Games. Specifically, Frangos qualified for the combined event, which combines the lead and bouldering disciplines.

“When I started climbing, it was a small sport…it wasn’t an Olympic sport, it wasn’t part of the Pan-Am Games, so being able to have qualified and to compete as the first people in our sport at this event feels crazy,” Frangos told the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Only 20 women will compete in the combined event, including three Canadians. Frangos worked hard to earn her spot at the Pan Am Games, securing an impressive world ranking through different world cups and world championships.

becca frangos scaling a steep wall with greenery below her
Becca Frangos scales a steep wall at Schleierwassefall outside of Austria | Becca Frangos | Instagram

A New Mountain To Conquer

Frangos wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue competing after a disappointing season last year. That changed after the June 2023 International Federation of Sport Climbing World Cup.

Frangos finished 31st and 29th in two lead events at the World Cup, making her the top Canadian woman both times. With a renewed spirit, Frangos has her sights set on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I wouldn’t still be doing this if I didn’t love competing and love climbing, and I’m always just trying to remind myself why I love the sport and why I love doing what I do,” she said.

For now, Frangos is focused on the immediate challenge in front of her. The Pan Am Games’ lead and bouldering events start on October 22, with only the top eight climbers advancing to the finals on October 24.

The climbing walls are high, but the stakes are higher. The winner will secure themself a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I want to have that top spot and qualify for the Olympics, but I want to be realistic, and I would be insanely happy with a podium…I’m going to go out there and give it my best and all I have, and that’s all you can ask of yourself,” Frangos said.

Frangos, who now lives in Vancouver, also works casually as an assistant coach of the High-Performance Youth Climbing Team at the Richmond Olympic Oval in Richmond, British Columbia.

In addition to being a Canadian icon paving the way for women in sports, Frangos inspires the youths she coaches.

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