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Janja Garnbret interview: the CAMP top climber is ready for another amazing competition season

 - Athletes

Amazing Janja Garnbret, that in 2016 won everything. World Cup, World Championship, Youth World Championship: the Slovenian CAMP athlete dominated all competitions and now she is the young queen of Lead climbing. Janja disputed her whole senior season and despite she was only 17 she managed to be absolutely perfect and to win the Bloudek Award: the most important Slovenian sport prize. Now Janja is training for 2017 competition season that will start soon: she dreams to repeat her 2016 results and to gain also the overall Bouldering World Cup podium.

One year ago, at the start of 2016 season, did you think to complete the “great slam” (World Cup, World Championship, Youth World Championship)? When did you think that it would been possible?
«Subconsciously I always believed in my abilities, but I didn’t really believe that it would be possible to achieve everything in one season. After three World Cup wins I was really confident and I was dreaming about being the world number one. A bit worse results put me back on solid ground but I realized that this was just the motivation to train harder. I knew I was well prepared for the World Championship but I didn’t want to set the goals too high, I didn’t want to repeat the mistake. When I won, everything else faded away, I was living my dream so I didn’t put pressure on myself to win also the overall World Cup title. After I won the World Cup in China I realized that I did it!».

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How do you feel after your super season, that put you in the history of sport climbing at only 17 years old?
«I still can’t believe that I achieved everything a competitor can wish for in my first whole season and I’m really proud of my achievement, even more because I don’t know if it is even possible to repeat the 2016 season. I think it is really important to look back, but I am already looking forward and I am super motivated for the upcoming season».

What are the “secrets” of your amazing results? Could you briefly describe a your typical training day?
«There is no secret recipe for my success. I am a good listener, I learn quickly, I am focused, motivated, I always give 100% and most importantly I love what I am doing! Before going on a climbing wall I warm up properly with 5 minutes of running, stretching exercises and theraband exercises for prevention against injuries. After that I go on the wall for some easy climbing to activate the muscles. The main part of the training depends on which competitions I am preparing for. Currently I am bouldering, doing lots of exercises to increase power, body weight ratio exercises like pullups, pushups and ab workouts, campussing. After 3 hours of climbing I stretch and that's it for a day».

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How did you pass the last winter season after your great victories?
«After the season I had a climbing break and my boyfriend Domen and I afford a well deserved rest on Seychelles. After a week of relaxing and lying on the beach we couldn't wait to come back home and start with trainings. Right now preparations are in full swing and I am fully focusing on the upcoming Boulder World Cup».

What are your goals for the next season?
«This year I will compete the whole Lead season and almost the whole Boulder season. I want to repeat last year's results and reach the podium in the overall Boulder World Cup ranking».

From competitions to rock: do you think to try some great routes? What kind of routes do you prefer?
«Of course my aim is to try some hard routes and I have some projects on my mind that I would like to try, but right now I am super busy with school, competitions and trainings so I can barely find time for rock. I love every kind of routes, but long, endurance and hard routes are my favorite».

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In the last days Margo Hayes climbed La Rambla (9a+). Do you think that climbing girls can reach the same results of men?
«I believe that women and men are capable of climbing equal difficulty! We strive for pushing the limits and shrinking the achievement gap. Slowly but surely we will be on the same level».

You received the important Bloudek Award: what do you think about this?
«I am incredibly honoured to be awarded with Bloudek plate, one of the most prestigious Slovenian sports awards! You can get it only once in a lifetime and I am amazed that I got it at such an early age. It was a unique experience I won’t forget and motivation for the upcoming competitions and climbing trips».

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How much is it important for you to live in Slovenia, where climbing and mountaineering are very considered activities?
«Slovenian alpinism and climbing has a long tradition and a lot of success. Trainers have a lot of knowledge and that is really important for my success. The only problem is that climbing in Slovenia doesn’t get as much support as it would deserve. We only have few good climbing gyms, which are mostly private. Outdoor climbing is good, but I still rather go to Spain or some other countries when I am off season».

What CAMP products did you appreciate more in the last season?
«For competing and trying hard routes on rock the Flash harness is the best option: it is so light and comfortable that I forget I am wearing it! The rear loops are softer which allows you to access faster to quickdraws. I like the Matik for its dynamic action: in a case of a fall, I can always rely on a smooth and a soft catch. I am wearing my new M3 campack. It allows me to put all essentials in it, it is super comfortable and light that you forget you are wearing it! I really appreciate the Backdoor panel which allows me the access to the bottom of the pack without having to remove everything on the top. And eventually I am in love with CAMP down jackets, because they are super comfortable, durable, light and look wonderful. The collection is full of different models in many colors, so I am having a hard time choosing the right one!».

Ph. Giulio Malfer, Stanko Gruden, Eddie Fowke, Luka Fonda