An action photo of Kyra Condie appears in Sports Illustrated’s July 19 issue, on pages 44 and 45, as part of the magazine’s Olympic Games preview.
The 25-year-old Shoreview native is shown climbing a colorful wall on SI’s segment of a new Olympic event, Sport Climbing. The magazine’s brief segment — naming the four members of the USA team and explaining the details of the sport — started with an anecdote about Condie in 2013 posting on Instagram her wish that climbing be added to the Olympics.
In the run-up to the Olympics, Condie has also gotten honors from Forbes and Time magazines, in part for her inspiring story of overcoming a serious back issue during junior high.
All that’s on Condie’s mind right now is finally getting a chance to compete in the Olympics after the 2020 Games were delayed a year by the pandemic.
“Everything is going great! We leave on the 21st for Tokyo and I’m feeling really good,” Condie told the Shoreview Press in an e-mail from Salt Lake City, where she is based. “Our team is stronger than ever this year and has been performing better than ever before on the World Cup circuit.”
The Olympics will be held July 23 through Aug. 8. The climbers will compete on Aug. 4 and 6, in three disciplines: lead climbing, speed climbing and bouldering, which has been Condie’s best event.
The 2014 graduate of MVHS and 2018 graduate of the University of Minnesota (Animal Science) earned her spot on Team USA by advancing to the finals of the IFSC Combined Qualifier Toulouse in France in late December 2019. That year, in world championships, she placed 14th in bouldering, 25th in combined, 32nd in speed, and 40th in lead. The sport was idled most of 2020.
Condie was named to Forbes magazine’s annual 30 Under 30 list of inspirational athletes and been featured on NBC and seen in the pages of Rolling Stone and Vogue.
At age 11, diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, she was discouraged from continuing in the sport. The condition required back surgery at 13 in which she had 10 vertebrae fused. Just four months later, Condie was youth national champion. She still has a 25-degree curve in her spine and cannot twist past a certain angle. As a result she relies on her strength for a lot of moves because of this decrease in flexibility.
TIME Magazine named Condie to its recent list of Next Generation Leaders for her work advocating for diversity and inclusion in her sport.
Condie has been climbing since she was a tot. In a recent feature by MPR, her parents Tom and Cathy related that they moved the little girl from a crib because she kept climbing out. If her parents looked away for a second, they'd find her atop something: a cliff, the cover of the playground equipment, door frames, the refrigerator. Realized they couldn’t stop her from climbing, they told MOR they taught her how to get back down instead.
Condie, 5-foot-4 and 120 pounds, is sponsored by Ocun shoes, Mountain Hardwear, Gnarly Nutrition, Penguin Fingers, Persil, and Asus. She also has session plans available on the Tempo and MyClimb apps.