Paris Olympics 2024 (Team USA): Meet Emma Hunt

Emma Hunt, 20, is a talented speed climber from the United States who currently holds the record for women’s speed climbing in the country with a time of 6.67 seconds. Daughter of Keith and Jennifer Hunt now competing in Paris Olympics 2024.

Emma’s Family life and Early growing

Emma Hunt was born on April 1, 2003, in Woodstock, Georgia to parents Keith and Jennifer Hunt. According to her mother, Emma’s climbing abilities manifested at a very young age – she climbed out of her crib when she was only 9 months old.

Emma Hunt Family
Image: Emma Hunt Family Left to Right, Emma’s Mother Jennifer, Brother Ethan, and Father Keith (Source: Emma’s Instagram)

Emma has one brother, Ethan K. Hunt, who is currently a PhD student studying theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics. Ethan is also an avid climber. Emma and Ethan have a close relationship, and she has posted photos on Instagram of them doing activities together like baking.

Emma Hunt Childhood
Image: Young Emma practicing climbing (Source: Emma’s Instagram)

One day when Emma was young, her father Keith decided to take up climbing as a form of exercise. He brought Emma along to the climbing gym.

Emma graduated from high school three years early, when she was just 17 years old. She took a healthcare-focused curriculum that allowed her to complete her studies quickly. Emma began attending Kennesaw State University in Fall 2020, where she is currently majoring in nursing and minoring in Spanish.

Emma Hunt Qualifies for the 2024 Paris Olympics

At the 2023 IFSC Climbing World Championships held in Bern, Switzerland, American climber Emma Hunt won the silver medal in the women’s Speed event. This was the first Championships medal of Hunt’s career. More importantly, the second-place finish officially qualified Hunt for the 2024 Paris Olympics, making her the first American athlete to qualify for Olympic speed climbing.

After the race,

“I feel like I can take a breath, like so much pressure and I can finally breathe.”

She said

The qualification came as a relief after intense preparation.

Hunt also won silver in the World Cup speed event in Villars, Switzerland in July. Two months later, she finished second in the Pan American Games held in Santiago, Chile in October.

“It was just total disbelief. The rope was kind of spinning me around, so I got a chance to see my coaches and see them celebrating, so that kind of confirmed it. I didn’t think it was real for a second.”

Hunt Said:

As the first American speed climber to qualify, Hunt recognizes the historic nature of her accomplishment: “It’s definitely still sinking in.”

To secure her spot, Hunt needed to finish as one of the top two American athletes at the World Championships. If she failed to qualify there, she would have needed to either win the continental qualifier or finish high enough in the Olympic Qualifier Series taking place from March to June 2024.

Also Read: Paris Olympics 2024 (Team USA): Meet Mary Tucker

In the World Championship final, Emma Hunt made history again – breaking her American speed climbing record with a time of 6.67 seconds. She finished second to gold medalist Desak Made Rita Kusuma Dewi from Indonesia, who won with a blistering time of 6.49 seconds.

Emma Hunt’s Career as a World-Class Speed Climber

Emma Hunt started recreational climbing at just 5 years old, joining her family who had taken up climbing as a favorite activity. By age 8, she was introduced to competitive youth climbing, which she quickly came to love. Hunt started competing in the USA Climbing events at the local and national level. At age 13, she joined the competitive climbing team at Stone Summit Climbing & Fitness Center near her hometown.

In 2017 at age 14, Hunt was introduced to speed climbing, an explosive event involving racing up a standardized wall.

Hunt started competing in the Open/Elite level of speed climbing events at just 15 years old. At the 2019 USA Climbing Speed Nationals, she won the Open Female competition to earn her first adult national title. Just four months later, Hunt won gold at the Youth Speed World Championships held in Arco, Italy. In doing so, she set a new U.S. Women’s speed record of 8.17 seconds on the 15-meter wall.

Over the next several seasons, She became the first American woman ever to finish a 15-meter speed attempt under 8 seconds during the 2021 USA Climbing Team Trials. As of August 2023, Hunt holds the American women’s 15-meter speed record of 6.67 seconds.

She won her first gold medal at just 18 years old in the 2021 Pan-American Championships. She also earned four World Cup podium finishes in 2022, including first place in Seoul, South Korea. Hunt finished second place overall in World Cup speed climbing last year.

With Paris 2024 Emma Hunt becoming one of the world’s top professional speed climbers over the next few years. S