Fanny Gibert: “Up there, a flash of genius”

“This is your 50th bouldering World Cup, you are the most capped of the current French team, what does that mean to you?
I was not aware of the number. it makes me proud because I know how hard the selections are. Fifty times and over a long period… it impresses me, yes (smile). My first was in 2011, I was still in the young discovery. My first real season, 2013, I failed to make it to the semi-finals, a very frustrating season. And the year after, I make my first podium in Vail. But I wanted more consistency. It happened in 2018 and 2019, where I’m third overall. In the meantime, there have been seasons that were a little less good, where I felt that people believed in me a little less. Some had already mentioned the end of their career (smile). Finally, the best was yet to come.

You have seven podiums in the World Cup, twice in the top 3 overall…
Yes, it makes me proud, there are results, but I don’t take it for granted. The level is so different from one year to the next, you start from zero each time. Everyone is progressing so even having a consistent result is a ing good performance.

“You always have to question yourself. And that’s also part of my strength, the reason why I’m still here after 50 World Cups. When there’s something I don’t understand, I’m just going to pick on it.”

Has the discipline changed compared to when you started ten years ago?
The style changes. It’s not really a before and after, it’s constantly evolving. It’s a bit like poker suddenly in training, we train on all styles. But I find it cool. You have to question yourself all the time. And that’s also part of my strength, the reason why I’m still here after 50 World Cups. When there’s something that I don’t understand, I’ll just dig into it (laughs). It’s super cool to be able to see that we are progressing in the thing in which we do not feel comfortable in the basics.

What is your greatest moment in the World Cup?
A final block in Vail, I don’t know what year. It was a physical block. And really, the last movement seemed impossible to me. I try something at the last second, I miss it… I leave straight away and I manage to do it. Up there, a flash of genius! I manage to pull off an amazing heel. With an American audience, incredible. A crazy moment, super cool, to succeed in unlocking a movement that seems impossible to you. That’s what inspires me in climbing and suddenly to do it in the final of a World Cup… It was crazy.

You quote a block, a movement and not a result…
A medal is great and it allows you to feel people’s recognition, but getting on a podium is never really the “wow” moment of the competition. For me, it’s always climbing and moves. This is really the most important for me.

Is qualifying for the 2024 Olympics your big goal for the year?
Downright. It’s a bit complicated to manage because we are really in uncertainty (compared to the training strategy, because the Olympic combined of the Tokyo Olympics was different). We ask a lot of questions. There, I don’t even know exactly all the competitions I’m going to do. You have to manage the little sores, succeed in thinking in the long term. It’s not easy to train in difficulty during periods of bouldering competitions (the two disciplines of the Olympic combined for 2024). It’s a bit of a day-to-day evolution.

Does your seventh place in the World Cup in Seoul give you confidence?
I think it will be a carrier for the future and a little free me from something. There are a lot of things going through your head. Self-persuasion is good, it works a little, but seeing the results is something else. »

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