Mia Krampl - Slovenian climber, who qualified to the Olympics in Toulouse. But she took our hearts much more earlier - on bouldering World Cup in Munich in 2019. That was the final where she took bronze despite of knee injury. We hope you'll enjoy the interview with Mia, a climber with a strong will and amazing smile.
When did you start climbing?
I started to climb when I was 6 years old
Why climbing? Are your parents climbers or alpinists?
Climbing has always been an important part of my life. I began climbing when I was still just a child and have done it ever since. My older brother is a climber and the first time I touched the holds was on a small warm-up wall on one of his national competitions. I immediately fell in love with the sport and decided I want to start training climbing too. Because of this, I joined a local climbing club when I was only 6 years old. Mostly playing games at trainings was not challenging enough for me, so they soon moved me to a group with older children where I started to train more seriously.
Where were you born? Are there mountains or rocks near your hometown?
I was born in Kranj but we moved to Golnik when I was 6 years old. It is a small village near Kranj. There is a lot of mountains, which I was visiting as a kid with my famaly, near my hometown but I do not think this is the reason why I love climbing. I do not have any rocks around my hometown but that does not mean I am deprived for a great climbing crags. Slovenia is so small that I have one hour or one hour and a half hours of driving to one of the best Slovenian climbing crags such as Mišja peč, Osp or Kotečnik.
What’s your favourite climbing discipline?
My favorite climbing discipline is lead. It is the discipline where I am the best. But I like training all other disciplines too.
Where do you live and train now? In what gyms or climbing centers?
I live in Gonik but I am training in Kranj most of the time. I mostly train in FA gym in Kranj but for speed I need to drive to Celje because it is the ony official speed wall in Slovenia for now. We normally have national trainings in Koper (Plus Climbing gym) or in Ljubljana (Scena gym).
Do you have some kind of a gym at home? Fingerboard, maybe campusboard? What else?
I do not have any climbing walls and not even finger boards at home and I do not think I need them. I can do power exercises in the gym on training if I want to but on rest day the only thing I need is a yoga mat so I can do some stretching.
How many times a week do you train?
I train 5 times a week.
Who is your coach?
My coach is Anže Štremfelj.
Do you train individually or in company? With who?
I normaly tain with the FA team. This is the team of athlets training in FA gym under the leadership of Anže. There is some other strong climbers such as Anže Peharc, Tjaša Kalan, Lučka Rakovec, Klemen Novak and Andrej Polak in the team. We normally train in the group of 3 athletes.
Photo by Tristan Hobson
Slovenian climbing team is one of the strongest in the world. What's the secret?
A lot of people is asking us the same question but I have to dissapoint you that there is no secret. Is it in our gens or it is because of our coaches or our training style? Simply I do not know what is the reason but what I know is that even the older generations of Slovenian climbers were really good already. Few years ago climbing was not that popular in Slovenia, but it is gaining the popularity fast. A lot of new public gyms had opened in past years and a lot of people started to watch climbing or even started climbing by theirselfs.
Are you a student? Where do you study?
I just finished a highschool last year and decided to take a gap year. I hava not decided yet if the next year I will go to university or I will devote to climbing and left studying for after my career.
What are Olimpics for you? What changes in your life after you passed the qualification for the Olimpics?
Every athlete dreams of taking a part on Olympic Games it is elite and prestigious competition. Having a ticket for Tokyo 2020 is like a dream come true for me but still I like competing because I love to climb and not just because I like competitions and for OG is the same. What I thin is: Climbing is so much more than just competing, winning and olympics. It is about having fun! Appreciating the time spent with the best people, isovring nw places and cultures and most important – enjoying every single second on the wall! What the ticket to OG changed in my life? Definitely the best one is I gained on recognition which is important for me when I think of my future. Oh and I had to start training speed more seriously. Before this year I never tought that speed trainings can be fun too.
Do you find some positive side in the postponement of the Olympics?
I always try to find positive things even in bad situations. I appreciate that people still care about eachother and had put other people's health on fhe first place. And more time just means more trainings so we can get back even stronger.
How will you use the additional time before the Olympics? How will you correct your training plan?
All the news about the postponing of the Olympics are quite fresh and I didn't think about the new plan that much. I think my training plan will stay similar but everything depends on other World Cups and exact date of OG.
What are your strong sides as a climber? What are your weaknesses as a climber?
I am quite powerful climber and I think that this is my best advantage. I stll have a lot of weaknesses like slabs and coordination moves.
Is there anything else in your training plan? Running? Fitness? Stretching?
It is mostly climing only. I was doing some power exercises like pull-ups and push-ups in the start of the season (january, february) but that is all. And I am trying to do stretching once a week.
Do you like rockclimbng? What’s your highest category in lead or boudering on the rocks? What routes or problems?
I like rock climbing. Unfortunately there is not a lof of chances to go to the rocks due to so many competitions and trainings but I am trying to go on a rock climbing trip every year after the end of competition season. My highest grade is 8b+ (route Katakombe, Kotečnik) and 8a+ on sight (route Sex and Candy, Skedenj). My hardest boulder is 8a on flash (Velika smeta, Prilep).
Do you have some projects on the rocks?
Right now I do not have any projects on the rocks. I want to focus on competitions firstly.
The climbing journey of your dream – where, what route, with who?
Hmm, that is a hard question. Probably an off-competition season climbing trip on a new year. I would not mind if it is warm or cold place the only impertant thing for me would be that I would be in the company with my best friends and my boyfriend.
What’s you ideal breakfast?
My ideal breakfast is oatmeal or cottage cheese with fruits, nuts and other toppings. And biiiiig cup of black turkish coffee. Yes I know I drink too much coffee but I can not help myself. It is just too good.
When you need a rest – what is it? Shopping, TV, cinema, music, cooking?
My bed is my best friend on rest days. Just kidding. J I like to do some stretching, go on a coffee or lunch with my frieds or spent some time with my family. Of coure I allow myself to ba lazy on rest days and watch some movies.
Do you have some hobby? Do you practice some other sports (not climbing)?
I do not have any special hobbies besides climbing. I like listening to music, singing and dancing but it is more like a free time relaxation that I do when I am alone in a room or in a car and not like a hobby.