Akiyo Noguchi of Japan competes during a climbing competition in Wroclaw, Poland in 2017.
Akiyo Noguchi of Japan competes during a climbing competition in Wroclaw, Poland in 2017. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

Rock climbing, popularized on social media and the subject of many documentaries, is set to debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games — a sign that the sport has arrived, athletically and economically.

Andrew Bisharat, who’s covered climbing for National Geographic, told Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal that it’s come a long way in a short time.

“Competing on plastic holds, in an Olympic setting, has been quite a transition that’s really rapidly taken place in the last few years,” he said.

The sport can now be streamed on ESPN. Bisharat said companies “will be jockeying for that spot on the climber’s chalk bag in the Olympics, I’m sure.”

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal