It was a busy summer for Max Yang ’25. The sophomore participated in the International Federation of Sport Climbing Youth World Championships in Dallas, Texas last month. A native of Shanghai, China, Yang was introduced to climbing by chance, but he furthered his career thanks to his father.
“I literally just tried climbing on a random day,” Yang said. “By the second day, my dad signed me up to compete at a national competition.”
Yang was determined to reach a competitive level, so he found a coach and dedicated his summer to training and competing with kids from around the world. Traveling hundreds of miles, he and his dad drove from Virginia to West Virginia to train. The duo then went on to Chicago to compete in the USA Climbing National Championships. From Chicago, they made their way to Atlanta, then New Orleans, to continue to train with some of the top climbing athletes in the country before finally settling down in Dallas for the Youth World Championships.
Representing his home country, Yang finished top 10 in both the bouldering and lead competitions. In lead climbing, each athlete gets one attempt at each route, clipping the rope into quickdraws as they go. The highest hold they get to equates to points. Bouldering competitions are around five meters tall, centering around completing the most difficult moves possible. Climbers are judged on the number of attempts it takes to complete the boulder. Next year, he plans to compete at the same world championships, only this time in South Korea.
Two top 10 finishes against some of the world’s best climbing athletes created a memorable summer, but the best part for Yang was making new friends from across the globe.
“I made a lot of friends, and I was able to trade t-shirts with the French and Austrian national teams,” he said. “I have them hanging in my dorm room now.”
He hopes to make an even bigger impact on Episcopal’s team this season. Coming off a league championship and undefeated season, Yang is eyeing back-to-back wins as the Maroon prep for the upcoming season. “The goal is to win the league championship again this year,” he said. “And I think with my teammates, anything is possible.”