WYCH Innsbruck 2017 Opening Ceremony
The hordes of young climbers milling around behind the gym were the first real indicator to the huge number of athletes making up the 2017 Youth Worlds in Innsbruck Austria. As the officials tried to corral them young climbers were zooming left and right, finding friends not seen since China the year before.
We were looking down the barrel of 12 long days of competition, including well over a 1000 athletes, plus coaches, parents and supporters. It was easily the biggest major competition in history. Although climbing had began that morning with Youth A Bouldering qualifications, this was the first time many of the climbers were in one place, and indeed the atmosphere was full of excitement and anticipation.
Youth Worlds would go on to be the most difficult assignment I’ve ever shot, with round after round keeping me behind the camera or laptop easily 16 to 18 hours a day. Sleep would become a valuable commodity, tensions would rise. But for now it was all excitement and anticipation.
Here are the photos from that first evening, sorry about the quality, the light was difficult and the climbers on stage moved fast and in big packs. I got what I could!
As always the photos are available for download for personal use at https://circuit.smugmug.com/WYCH-2017-Opening-ceremony