How to watch climbing in the Olympics

Posted by Emma Travers on 03/08/2021
Shauna qualifying for the Olympics in 2019. Photo: IFSC/Eddie Fowke/Neil Arch

In a matter of days, 40 climbers from all around the globe will battle it out across three climbing disciplines of speed, lead and bouldering on the world's most watched wall of the year. Two-time Boulder World Cup Champion Shauna Coxsey, will be among them representing Great Britain in Sport Climbing's Olympic debut. But how and where can you watch all the action? We have all the answers.

It's the first time ever in history, a moment that will never be repeated, climbing's premiere into the Olympic Games. Watching the world's top athletes compete for a gold medal will be sure to get your pulse going, it's going to be awesome and, quite frankly, we can't wait!

Whether you are an avid competition climbing fan already, or will be tuning in for the first time, we want to make sure you don't miss all the action. We have all the details you'll need to spectate from your sofa.

When to watch climbing in the Olympics

Climbing at the Olympics begins with the men's Qualification Round on 3 August and finishes with the Women's Final on 6 August. That's four days of an adrenaline charged, sweaty-palm spectator experience.

All times are in British Summer Time (BST).

Tuesday 3 August 🕕 09.00 - 14.40

09.00 Men’s Combined Qualification – Speed
10.00 Men’s Combined Qualification – Bouldering
13.10 Men’s Combined Qualification – Lead

Wednesday 4 August 🕕 09.00 - 14.40

09.00 Women’s Combined Qualification – Speed
10.00 Women’s Combined Qualification – Bouldering
13.10 Women’s Combined Qualification – Lead

Thursday 5 August 🕕 09.30 - 14.20

09.30 Men’s Combined Final – Speed
10.30 Men’s Combined Final – Bouldering
13.10 Men’s Combined Final – Lead


🥇 14.10 Men’s Combined Victory Ceremony

Friday 6 August 🕕 09.30 - 14.20

09.30 Women’s Combined Final – Speed
10.30 Women’s Combined Final – Bouldering
13.10 Women’s Combined Final – Lead


🥇 14.10 Women’s Combined Victory Ceremony

Where to watch climbing in the Olympics

BBC One: TV, Red Button and iPlayer

BBC One will be covering the Olympics live from midnight until 3pm each day, as well as hosting an afternoon catch-up show and the highlights every evening.

There will be a second live stream of sport available on iPlayer and their Red Button service. Plus there will be many catch-up options on iPlayer at the of the day.

However, the BBC have announced that they plan to focus their coverage on the big medal moments during the Games. Whilst also being restricted to showing just two live sports at the same time, and with the climbing finals clashing with athletics and hockey finals, they say they may not be able to guarantee showing the sport climbing finals live and uninterrupted.

If you are tuning in to the BBC, you'll hear GB Climbing athlete and Paris 2024 hopeful Molly Thompson-Smith adding her commentary insight from the BBC studio in Manchester alongside, IFSC commentator, route setter and climbing wall manager Mike Langley and BBC snowsports presenter Ed Leigh.

Discovery+: stream every Olympic event live online

Alternatively, if you want complete, uninterruped coverage of the entire four days of sport climbing you can head over to The 'Home of the Olympics'. Discovery+ is available with a Sky Q subscription at no extra cost, for free for 6 months if you're a Vodaphone customer, or you can purchase a monthly Discovery+ Entertainment pass subscription for £4.99/month (cancellable at any time) which includes full Olympic coverage.

Eurosport: online and on the app

You can also head over to Eurosport (a monthly pass is £6.99) who will be covering the Games live in their entirety. 

Follow Shauna Coxsey

You won't want to miss out on any of the action. If you're not already following her, keep up to date with Shauna's journey on her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

READ: "If just one person sees climbing and tries it, that's a win for me"  🗨️ Team GB's Shauna Coxsey


WATCH: We Are GB Climbing

🧗‍♀️ FOLLOW: GB Climbing's Instagram for exclusive photos and results

⛰️ JOIN: Become a BMC member and support GB Climbing

📺 WATCH: GB Climbing YouTube playlist

🐦SCROLL: GB Climbing Twitter for live updates

👍 LIKE: GB Climbing Facebook for even more news and photos

👀 VISIT: GB Climbing website and see who's on the team

GB Climbing is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland and Secur-it. The GB Ice Climbing Team is supported by Montane. Many UK walls also support the GB Climbing through free or subsidised entry.


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Anonymous User
31/07/2021
Disgraceful coverage by the BBC. Even Eurosport's current schedule on Sky doesn't have the start of the men's qualifications which only starts with lead. So if you want to watch mens speed and boulder you have to subscribe to Eurosport online or Discovery+. Pretty poor that climbing is behind a pay wall.
Anonymous User
01/08/2021
Hello, is there any news yet on whether any of the climbing will be shown live on the BBC? Obviously would prefer not to have to take out a subscription to Eurosport but equally don’t want to miss it! Such a shame the full games are not accessible to all anymore.
Anonymous User
02/08/2021
Don't think the BBC have much choice. They didn't get the rights to show more than two live events at once. I guess blame the IOC for selling the rights for the whole of Europe to one channel.
Anonymous User
03/08/2021
Where on earth can you watch the climbing? not on youtube, bbc, itv, anywhere?!?? Total BS
Anonymous User
03/08/2021
Particularly ironic as the combined format was supposed to make it more exciting for the general public. Would a set of male GB medal hopes have swung BBC scheduling. Never mind- we can have endless inane punditry instead.
Anonymous User
03/08/2021
What a missed opportunity. The BBC should be ashamed of their lack of coverage, not even on iPlayer. This isn't how you encourage people into a new Olympic sport.

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