Meet Australian Sports Climber, Grace Cowley

Grace Cowley, 20, is an Australian climber who qualified for the Paris Olympics in 2024 and finished second at the IFSC Oceania Qualifier in Melbourne.

Grace Cowley qualified for the Paris Olympics 2024

Cowley has earned a spot to compete in sport climbing at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Grace qualified by participating in the Women’s Speed category at the Olympic Qualifier Series event held in Melbourne, Australia. This competition was part of the process for athletes to qualify for the Olympics based on their continent.

In the semi-finals, Grace scored 8.49, and then scored 8.88 in the finals. Grace’s performance allowed him to finish ahead of Abby Gebert from New Zealand, who took third place. However, Grace could not beat Sarah Tetzlaff, who was the runner-up by scoring 9.04 in the semi-finals and 8.54 in the finals.

The Olympic Qualifier Series had over 160 athletes vying for just 30 quota spots allocated for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Grace Cowley secured one of those qualifying spots through his strong results in the Women’s Speed climbing category at this event.

Meet Australian Sports Climber, Grace Cowley, and his Family Life

Grace Cowley was born on June 13, 2003. Cowley currently lives in the ancestral lands of the Shoshone, Paiute, and Goshute Native American tribes.

Grace Cowley Family
Image: Grace Cowley with family at Bronte Beach (Source: JP’s Instagram)

His father is JP Crowley and his mother is KE Powell. Grace has an older brother named Nate Crowley. The gym where Grace trains is called Northside Boulders. Cowley climbing idols are Miho Nonaka and Alex Puccio.

Grace Cowley Started climbing with Career

Grace began climbing when a friend introduced Cowley to the sport after a new climbing gym opened in his hometown in Montana. Although Grace has only been climbing for around four years, Cowley quickly developed a deep passion for all aspects of the sport. Grace started competing in climbing events three years ago when Grace moved from the United States to Melbourne, Australia. The more involved Grace became in the climbing community and competitions, the more his love for the sport grew.

As someone who identifies as queer, Grace did not have many role models in climbing to look up to from the LGBTQ community.

On May 5, 2019, Grace finished in 67th place in the Speed Women category at the IFSC Climbing World Cup competition held in Wujiang, China for bouldering and speed climbing. On July 6 of the same year, Grace took 68th place in the Speed Women category at the IFSC Climbing World Cup in Villars, Switzerland for lead and speed climbing.

Later in 2019 on July 13, Grace secured 79th position in the Speed Women category at the IFSC Climbing World Cup in Chamonix, France for lead and speed events. On August 21, Cowley finished 58th in the Speed Women category at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Hachioji, Japan.

In 2021 on September 21, Grace placed 29th in the Speed Women category and 58th in the Boulder Women category at the IFSC Climbing World Championships held in Moscow, Russia for bouldering, lead, and speed climbing.

Grace’s Recent Years and Olympics

On May 8, 2022, Grace finished 48th in the Boulder Women category and 34th in the Speed Women category at the IFSC Climbing World Cup event in Seoul, South Korea for bouldering and speed climbing. On May 23, Cowley placed 27th in Speed Women and 55th in Boulder Women at the IFSC World Cup in Salt Lake City, USA for the same disciplines.

Later in 2022 on July 17, Grace participated in the Speed Women category and also secured 12th position in the Boulder Women category at the World Games held in Birmingham, USA for bouldering, speed, and lead climbing. Grace also achieved 8th place in the Speed Juniors Female category at the IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships in Dallas, USA for bouldering, speed, and lead.

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In 2023 on April 30, Grace finished 42nd in Speed Women at the IFSC World Cup in Seoul. On May 7, Cowley was 44th in Speed Women at the IFSC World Cup in Jakarta. On May 22, Grace again placed 44th in Speed Women at the Salt Lake City IFSC World Cup.

Later in 2023, on July 9 Grace secured the 39th position in Speed Women at the Chamonix IFSC World Cup. On August 12, Cowley finished 58th in Speed Women at the IFSC World Championships in Bern. Remarkably, on November 26, Grace achieved 2nd position in the Speed Women category at the IFSC Oceania Olympic Qualifying event held in Melbourne.

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