Julia Chanourdie





Born into a passionate climbing family based in the stunning Alpine landscape of the Haute-Savoie, Julia was climbing as soon as she had learned to walk and she has been on a relentless mission to push her own limits ever since. After an impressive sixth place in the lead event at the World Championships in Bercy in 2016, the gifted young climber is now determined to continue her progress all the way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Having grown up practising in her family-owned climbing hall near her home in Annecy, with her father Eric as her coach, Julia found manoeuvring vertically up walls such a natural part of her childhood that she got confused when she found out other people didn’t climb. To this day she is proud to say that climbing is her life – she trains 25 hours every week - and she is determined to see where her talent, dedication and ambition will take her.

 A naturally strong and agile athlete who excelled in the sprint disciplines in athletics competitions during her childhood, she lives for the raw physicality of challenging routes that require muscle-straining strength. She won her first competition when she was just eight years old and immediately welcomed the discovery of her inner competitive spirit. She has made eye-catching progress ever since, moving confidently into international junior competitions (she finished third in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 World Youth Championships) and then into senior World Cup finals, where she finished fifth in her first final in Belgium in 2015. With sixth places at World Cup events in Austria and China in 2016, she is now hunting some confidence-boosting podium finishes before Tokyo.

Skilled and experienced in both lead and boulder, she is also eager to try more speed climbing. Diversity is what keeps her motivated. She loves to seek out new routes, perfect fresh movements and adapt her mind and body to new challenges. Also passionate about music and literature, before climbing competitions she can be seen listening to music to boost her motivation or reading a book to help neutralise her pre-competition nerves.

Although Julia excels in sport climbing, she adores all outdoor activities, running on trails, walking in nature, and savouring the “liberty” of climbing outdoors. She has climbed extensively on the crags near her home in Annecy and has already achieved a 9A, an 8C+/9A and an 8C+, plus several 8C. To complete a new route makes her feel like she is discovering another world. She dreams of travelling to new countries and after journeying to New Caledonia, Canada and Singapore for competitions, and climbing outdoors in Spain and Italy, she is determined to one day visit Rocklands in South Africa and Red River Gorge in America.

Julia likes to blend her climbing training with her family, social and personal life. Her father is still her coach and, with her mother and sister both climbers too, the family enjoy visiting indoor gyms and scenic crags. But she is fuelled by a deep motivation to reach the peak of her potential. Her proudest moment so far was her sixth place at the World Championships in Bercy, a “magic moment” in front of a boisterous crowd of French spectators. But her ultimate ambition is to become a world champion. Then she can she can feel like the queen of the world for a day, smile, and say: I did it.