17-year-old Boulder native to compete in Tokyo Olympics for USA Climbing

Posted at 7:11 AM, May 20, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colin Duffy started climbing at just five years old and he immediately grew a passion for the sport. Little did he know that his passion would carry him to do great things. In 2020, he became the youngest climber to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics at just 16-years-old.

The now 17-year-old from Boulder, will be competing for USA Climbing this summer. He says having an extra year to train has actually helped him to improve his craft. When the climbing gyms closed, Colin was able to utilize a wall built in his parents' home and was able to opt outside and enjoy the outdoor climbing areas Colorado has to offer. Adapting has allowed him to grow as an athlete this past year and he’s set a number of goals.

“It’s my first-time year getting to do kind of a world cup circuit, and some of these big international events and so that’s my big goals right now, just doing the best that I can at my first world cups and gaining that experience for the future. Going into the Olympics, my goal is to just really have fun and climb to the best of my abilities and not put any pressure on myself regarding the results or anything. Just climbing and enjoying what I do,” said Duffy.

Colin has had to balance being a high school student during this difficult time. Something he says has been a grind.

Colin spends a few hours a day doing homework, followed by at least three hours of climbing. He enjoys climbing at Boulder Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park, and even at ABC Kids Climbing, the place he started climbing at just five years old.

“In the last couple weeks, I’ve had AP exam, the SAT, finals, assignments and it can be pretty hard to balance the two but luckily my school has been pretty flexible with me and is able to really help me out,” said Duffy.

Colin may be an elite athlete but he has other career goals of becoming an engineer down the road. The 17-year-old is happy to call Colorado home and hopes those in the state will continue to follow his journey.


Tokyo Olympics 2020
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics begin July 23, 2021 and run through August 8.

KOAA is the home of Tokyo Olympics coverage this summer as part of the NBC network of affiliates.

The games were supposed to begin July 24, 2020, but were delayed due to the pandemic. They will now start on July 23 and run through August 8.

The opening ceremony will be held on July 23. NBC Universal has acquired the official rights to broadcast the 2020 game in the United States.

A schedule of events and competitions, as well as where to watch the games can be found at

You can watch the games with KOAA News5 as we bring you the stories of the athletes and the connections to Colorado Springs, home of the US Olympic and Paralympic Training Center and the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum.

You'll also be able to watch competitions with the NBC Sports website or the NBC Sports app, which allows for streaming on a number of devices including Apple TV, Roku devices, Android, IOS, and Windows.

The games can also be watched on a number of other platforms, including YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV, DirectTV Now, and Fubo TV.

206 teams compromised of more than 11,000 athletes from across the globe will be competing in the games. More than 300 events will take place in nearly 40 venues across Japan.

You can learn about many of the athletes competing for Team USA at