Alejandra Contreras: "Climbing in Santiago 2023 is a unique opportunity"

For the first time climbing will be present at the Pan American Games and the outstanding national specialist will seek to fight for a gold medal.

At the age of 7, Alejandra Contreras decided to celebrate her birthday in a place where climbing was carried out and what started as a simple celebration became one of her great passions.

Today, at 19, the young Chilean has become one of the great exponents of the sport in our country and has managed to get several national and international titles, since in 2019 she was the Pan-American Youth Sport Climbing champion; She got two silver medals, one in the Junior Climbing World Cup and another in the adult Pan American, where she came very close to getting a place in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The Chilean is optimistic about the inclusion of climbing as a Pan American sport and hopes to give her best in the next Santiago 2023 Games to continue adding titles and experiences.

How you receive the news that Climbing was included as a Pan American sport?

I think it's great! I believe that it is a unique opportunity that the greatest sport event that will be done in Chile includes Climbing. I think it's super important for the sport itself, since Climbing is not as well known as swimming, for example, and many others, even some climbers, have no idea it is an Olympic sport. This integration seems to me that it is important for the sport to become known, and those who already know it, also know about the competitive side and get a little acquainted with the theme of the Games. The participation of Climbing in Santiago 2023 is a unique opportunity and has to be used to the fullest.

Which are your expectations in relation to Santiago 2023?

With everything that is going on with the pandemic and the restrictions, I am not very sure of what is going to happen, because there is still time. I am focused on the positive, taking advantage of the situation and what I want is to reach the podium, and if it were to be a gold medal it would be ideal. I am already preparing with my family and my coaches the next year and 2022, to get to Santiago in the best possible way. My goal is to get to the podium and give my best to reach the gold medal. 

 How you see this experience of competing in Chile, in such a great event?

I think that it changes completely the experience, since you'll be competing home it is evident that you'll receive the highest support from the audience.  I like to get support when I'm competing, I think it is one of the things that is key in the competition, I like to feel supported and I think Santiago will be a unique experience.  To know you're at home and you can get a good result for Chile in Chile, it changes everything completely, and I'm very excited for all that. 

What should not be missing in the staging of climbing?

At least in my sport, it cannot be missing a good show, it must have a good competition. Many times, in some tournaments, it has happened to us that they focus on giving a good show to the audience and in the end, the competitors do not end up having a good time. That's why I think the important thing is to focus on the competitors, to put on a good competition and to have a good level: the result will be a good show.

What are your future challenges?

For the moment, the closest one is the Climbing World Championship in august next year, and at a longer term, I aim to classify to the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, where Climbing is already confirmed as a sport. Once I get there, I want to achieve the dream of being in an Olympic finals.

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