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By Brad Spencer
Vincent Lee, 10, a fourth grader at Whittier Elementary in Oak Park, has been climbing for the last three years, but not in the way that one might imagine.
Lee is a competitive climber who recently secured a spot in the USA Climbing Youth National Championship Bouldering Series to be held this spring in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Oak Parker finished fourth at the Divisional Championship held in Indianapolis in a field of 21 climbers from 14 states. Back in December, he won the Midwest Regional, besting climbers in his category from over five states.
Lee took a liking to climbing while at the Oak Park Fitness Formula Club (FFC) during family hours on the weekend. He now trains and represents the Chicago Rock Climbing Team Hidden Peak.
Bouldering is one of three rock-climbing disciplines in a rapidly-growing sport that is short-listed for the 2020 Olympic Games. Bouldering is a style of climbing emphasizing power, strength, and dynamics. Its focus is on individual moves or short sequences of moves without ropes. The nearly year round sport also consists of sport and speed climbing, both done with ropes.