Scenic World employee launches crowdfunding campaign in a bid to compete in 2020 Olympics
Tom O’Halloran is a quiet achiever, but the talented 27-year-old athlete has big plans for the future as the competition heats up to secure a place on the Australian Olympic climbing team.
With more than 15 years’ climbing experience under his belt, Tom – a full time Scenic World employee – is arguably the strongest climber in Australia and is recognised worldwide for his talents, having climbed up to grade 35 in Australia.
He also took out top place in the 2017 Bouldering Nationals, third place in the 2018 Lead Nationals and has competed alongside the world’s top athletes at the World Youth Championships.
Tom’s reputation precedes him among the Australian climbing community, but it wasn’t until 2016 when climbing was added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic competition schedule that Tom’s dream to compete at the top level was born.
“I remember watching the 2000 Olympics as an eight-year-old and was blown away by the events,” he recalls.
“When climbing was announced in the 2020 Olympics, I was psyched to finally realise that dream and I knew I’d have to figure out a way to try to make it happen.”
Having climbed some of Australia’s hardest routes and making it through to the final stages of Australian Ninja Warrior in 2017 and 2018, Tom is no stranger to competing at the highest level.
But with the demands of juggling full time work and family life with a five-year-old daughter, his latest dream has its challenges.
“It’s hard to strike a balance of parenting, working, climbing and realising the Olympic dream,” he says, adding that dedicated training is part of the journey.
“You can’t just turn up to world class events and expect to perform – you have to put in the time to train because you can’t fake experience when you’re competing.”
As part of his bid to secure a place on the Australian Olympic climbing team, Tom has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to compete in the World Cup circuit.
The funding will go towards flights and accommodation to compete in a series of international World Cup climbing events before the main event in early 2020 – the Australian National Championships where the top male and female competitors will be selected to join the Australian Olympic team.
“My partner, Amanda, and I are doing everything we can to make it happen, but the costs add up quickly,” he says. “We know we have a good opportunity of realising the dream, but we can’t get there on our own.”
Anyone can contribute to Tom’s campaign and support his dream of competing in the 2020 Olympics by donating to the Go Fund Me campaign HERE.
“Absolutely anything makes a big difference to us and I am massively grateful to everyone who has shown their support.”
Photo by Nathan McNeil, Set in Stone Photography.