Adam Petit-jean says sport climbing will continue to improve after sport makes Olympics debut

Hanging tough: Adam Petit-jean climbs caves and indoor walls for fun. Photo: supplied/Anthony Petit-jean
Hanging tough: Adam Petit-jean climbs caves and indoor walls for fun. Photo: supplied/Anthony Petit-jean

Adam Petit-jean was climbing walls and caves before it was cool.

The Camden Haven High School year 11 student, however, was an interested viewer when sport climbing made its debut at the Tokyo Olympic Games last month.

He started climbing as a kid before he took it more seriously over the last two to three years as a result of watching a video on YouTube.

"It was just a really random video because I guess I was interested in exercise and sport and someone had made a video with another rock climber and that's what sparked my interest," he said.

"It was really just by chance."

His interest in climbing - both indoors and outdoors - has been so infectious his father Anthony has joined him.

He says the two are completely different and doesn't have a preference.

"I feel like outdoors is more mental while indoors requires more physical strength, but both are really important," Adam said.

And after watching sport climbing debut at the Olympics the 16-year-old believes it will lead to further opportunities for climbers.

As they say, the sky's the limit.

"I think it's a good thing it was at the Olympics. Climbing has gotten way more popular recently and I think it's just a really good sport and having more people interested in it just helps it," Adam said.

"I think it's going to provide more opportunities for competitions [which means] it's going to be more competitive and people take it more seriously.

"I never really thought of it being in the Olympics but I think it makes sense. It's a niche sport compared to football or basketball but it's more recently become so much more popular."

Last year Adam competed in the NSW junior state titles and this year, due to the floods, they were unable to get there.

As a result he competed in the NSW open titles instead which meant he came up against the top climbers in the country such as Tom O'Halloran.

O'Halloran became the first Australian to compete in the sport at Tokyo, but the Hastings teenager remained coy about his achievements.

"I haven't done anything too significant in my opinion," he said.