Rasmus Holm achieved a surprising victory at the Danish bouldering championship. We have met our SKYLOTEC athlete for an interview and got some interesting insights into what it feels like being a champion and what climbing means to him.
The Danish Championship was a day Rasmus Holm had been looking forward to for a very long time. Our SKYLOTEC athlete from Aarhus took a chance to compete on a very high level and to try out his skills on a big stage. For him, the bouldering tournament in Copenhagen took an unexpected progress resulting in his victory. Rasmus has explained to us what this first place and climbing in general means to him.
Question: Rasmus, how does it feel being a champion?
Rasmus Holm: Fantastic! Winning the championship in front of and in competition against many of the best Danish climbers was a success I have not dreamed of before. Some of my competitors are good friends of mine. It felt great after topping the last boulder and I have needed a few seconds to perceive that I took the title. For me, it was a huge but great surprise. I am happy that I finished that successful because things did not go easily on that day.
Proud champion: Rasmus Holm with medal and a certificate made of stone.
Question: Could you explain that in more detail?
Rasmus Holm: The qualifying round was alright. Overall, I did well and made it to the finals. However, I had some struggle with a couple of problems on the blocks. During the finals, I had to try the first two problems several times to figure out how to complete it. That’s why I did not raise any expectations for a good result in the finals. The third problem was a powerblock. This is what meets my style exactly, so I flashed it. This made me regain my spirit and gave me the power for the fourth and last problem.
Question: Did you feel any worries before the last problem?
Rasmus Holm: No, I didn’t, although I had to face a multiple challenge. It was a combination of slap boulder, dyno boulder and coordination boulder forcing the competitors to use different techniques. I took some tries to figure out how to handle the dyno boulder but then I only had two moves to go: a long reach for a bad slope and, finally, a long lock off-move for the final hold. I had quite a struggle with holding the slope and I fell two or three times. 20 seconds before my time ran out, I managed to complete the dyno, held the slope and found some extra power to do the last move. Finally, I completed the problem just in time.
Question: No doubt, you accomplished an ambitious goal every professional athlete has. Isn’t it a hard act to follow?
Rasmus Holm: For me, it is a huge success to win the “Danish National Bouldering Championship”. Nevertheless, there are still challenges to face. At the moment, I am training very hard to win “The Double” which means to win both the boulder and lead competition in the same year. The victory in Copenhagen has really motivated me to train harder than I have ever done before.
Question: When climbing, what does safety mean to you?
Rasmus Holm: I really enjoy doing dynamic moves which results in quite a lot of heavy drops. This means that I have trust my equipment and its ability to safe me if necessary. I need to feel secure. At the moment, I can trust the manufacturer of the products I use. I have a strong belief that the quality of any single piece of my equipment is perfect.
Dynamic moves, heavy drops – and an equipment Rasmus can rely on.
Question: Choosing climbing as a hobby is quite unusual in Denmark as handball, badminton or football are among the most popular sports. Why did you decide to go climbing?
Rasmus Holm: It is not the case that I haven’t tried any other sports before. I played football with my classmates in the local football club for a couple of seasons aged between 8 and 10 years. But then I got bored. I also joined a handball team one season but I also didn’t follow up on that. At the age of 15, I went to a boarding school where I did a bit of gymnastics.
Question: That sounds adventurous …
Rasmus Holm: Yes, of course. I was eager to try out new things. I tried football, handball and gymnastics but that is not all. After some time, the boarding school offered a facultative course for beginners in climbing, and I joined it. They had a small climbing wall which was around 7 meters high. The teacher was an experienced climber and he got me hooked on climbing. He took me to the local climbing club, the “Arhus Klatreklub”. This is how it all began. After finishing boarding school I became a member of this club and started training hard.
Question: The training took you to the Danish championship but this was just one stage in your career. What are your plans for the future?
Rasmus Holm: I am 19 years old, there is plenty of time left. Actually, I can spend 30 or even 40 more years with active climbing. When I look ahead I cannot predict what will happen. However, I know one thing for sure: The future will bring plenty of climbing experiences.
Question: Let us talk about the near future. Are there any climbing trips you really want to do?
Rasmus Holm: Yes, of course! I am going to Rocklands in South Africa in July. This is my first long-lasting bouldering trip and I am really looking forward to it. Rocklands is famous for its world-class bouldering. It is exciting climbing area with great boulders and a lot of challenging problems. I have spent a lot of time so far watching professional climbers struggling with the problems. I am looking forward to seeing if I can complete some of them.
Rasmus, thank you very much for your detailed answers. We wish you the best of luck for your next competitions. Have a nice trip to South Africa!