Within ten minutes of meeting Shauna Coxsey MBE, I’m in awe. It feels less like an interview and more like a catch up with an old friend. Our instant camaraderie is all down to her – she is confident, informed, and friendly. She’s open to discussing everything; from the fame that comes with being the face of UK climbing, her pregnancy and motherhood journey, to, of course, the Olympics and her retirement from competition climbing.
Shauna is the nation’s most successful competition climber ever, the UK’s first-ever Bouldering World Champion, founder of the hugely impactful Women’s Climbing Symposium, and star of a new documentary feature film, The Wall – Climb For Gold.
Climbing since the age of four and competing internationally since age thirteen, Shauna and the sport have grown simultaneously over the years – and that’s not just the climbing itself, but the culture and community that comes with it. Instrumental in the rise of female participation, both at the wall and the crag, Shauna is dedicated to letting the world know that the sport is welcoming to anyone who wants it.
I sat down with Shauna ahead of the launch of The Wall – Climb For Gold, a uniquely emotional documentary feature film which follows Shauna and three other elite climbers, Janja Garnbret, Brooke Raboutou, and Miho Nonaka, as they attempt to compete in the first ever Olympic climbing competitions at Tokyo 2020.