Who Is Nathaniel Coleman? – First US Male To Qualify For Tokyo

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Who Is Nathaniel Coleman?

Nathaniel Coleman is one of Team USA’s strongest climbers and Bouldering specialist. He made history by being the first male from the USA to qualify for Sport Climbing at the Olympics. He also has an incredible four wins at the US Boulder Open National Championships – three in a row from 2016 to 2018 then reclaiming the title from Sean Bailey in 2020.

He’s affectionately known as the “Captain” after Captain America. Nathaniel Coleman is sponsored by The North Face, Petzl, Scarpa shoes, and Gnarly nutrition. He is also a strong support of looking after the environment for climbers and the next generation.

How Old Is Nathaniel Coleman?

Nathaniel Coleman is 24 years old and was born on the 1st of January 1997

Nathaniel Coleman Height

Nathaniel Coleman is 5 foot 11 inches tall, or 180cm.

Nathaniel Coleman Ape Index

Nathaniel Coleman apparently has a +2″ ape index. This means his wingspan from fingertip to fingertip is 2 inches more than his height.

When Did Nathaniel Coleman Start Climbing?

Nathaniel was born and raised in Murray, Utah and first started climbing when he was nine years old. That surprisingly makes him one of the older starters of the Olympians. His friend took him to one of the Momentum climbing gyms that started in Utah – now a popular brand of gyms in Utah and beyond.

When he first got on a rope he realized he had a fear of heights! This quickly diminished as he enjoyed the sport and didn’t let it stop him. Getting on to a climbing team at Momentum is what kept him training and pushing towards competing – the rest is history.

Is Nathaniel Coleman In The Olympics?

Yes, Nathanial Coleman will be at Tokyo 2021 representing the USA. He qualified at the IFSC Combined Qualifier at Toulouse in 2019 where he took eighth place. This was the second event possible to qualify and he just slipped in along with teammate Kyra Condie.

Brooke Raboutou had already qualified in the first event – the IFSC Combined World Championships in Hachioji 2019. Colin Duffy would later qualify at the Pan-American Championships.

Will Nathaniel Coleman Win The Olympics?

Nathaniel definitely has an outside chance at getting a medal but he’s up against very strong competition. His specialty is Bouldering and he’s taken some strong results in international comps over the years. If he pulls out the stops in Bouldering, does decently in Speed and doesn’t fall early in Lead he could take a medal.

He’ll have to work hard to make the finals and will most likely just miss out on the last eight. Strong climbers like Japan’s Tomoa Narasaki and the Czech Republic’s Adam Ondra are more likely to take the top spots.

Nathaniel Coleman Training Program, Diet + Nutrition

Nathaniel trains with the US National team at their headquarters in Salt Lake City. He really focuses on just climbing as much as possible but puts in six hours a day regularly. Over week he’ll climbs 5 to 6 times with rest days roughly every three days.

He has done a full interview with Training Beta about his training and diet. You can listen to the full episode here or search for Training Beta on your podcast app. Its a very well produced podcast with great in-depth training talk.

Nathaniel’s diet isn’t strict but he does meal prep and focus on making healthy choices. He’s not vegetarian or vegan but trends towards it by limiting his meat and dairy intake. He has strong morals about sustainability so this factors in to his thinking about food and diet.

He’s also into slacklining which is very popular among climbers for extra balance practice between sends.

Nathaniel Coleman getting outside on real rock

Nathaniel Coleman Competition Results

Nathaniel Coleman Bouldering

Bouldering is Coleman’s strongest category and he’s taken some big wins over the years. In the US Bouldering Open National Championships he won three times in a row in 2016, 2017, 2018. In 2019 Sean Bailey took the title but Nathaniel came back in 2020 for his fourth. He also did amazingly as a kid by winning the Youth event four times.

He’s competed at IFSC World Cup events but recently hasn’t made many finals or any podiums. He does have two silver medals from the 2015 IFSC Bouldering World Cup that were won in Vail and Toronto.

Nathaniel Coleman Lead Climbing

While Lead isn’t where Nathaniel does best he still really enjoys the pressure of making just one more hold. He ha competed in the IFSC Climbing World Cup for many years with his highest result being 12th in Chamonix, 2019.

Nathaniel Coleman Speed Climbing

For someone not entirely focuses on Speed, Nathaniel has some pretty good times thanks to his sheer power. His personal best is 6.728 which was very good. As there has been an extra year of training for most teams this is now looking a little bloated and the top handful of Speed Climbers are regularly seeing under 6 seconds in competition.

Nathaniel Coleman Outdoor Climbing

Nathaniel is a keen Boulderer and takes inspiration from legends of the sport like Daniel Woods and Jimmy Webb. His hardest Boulder route is V16 / 8C+ with the first ascent of “The Grand Illusion” which he put up in 2020.

Nathaniel Coleman on the V16 / 8C+ “The Grand Illusion”

He’s also climbed as hard as 9a+ / 5.15a on a Sport Climb. The route was “Empath” in Tahoe and he sent it in a flurry along with other boulderers Jimmy Webb and Daniel Woods. It was first bolted and sent by Carlo Traversi.

What Climbing Shoes Does Nathaniel Coleman Wear?

Nathaniel nearly always wears the Scarpa Drago. It’s a performance shoes that’s soft and down-turned – designed for hard Bouldering and steep Sport Climbs. If you’re looking for your first shoes we’d recommend taking a look at the Best Beginner Climbing Shoes instead.

Nathaniel Coleman Injury

Nathaniel has suffered from a ring pulley tear back in 2017 but managed to recover well from it.

Nathaniel Coleman Instagram + Social Media

Coleman has a popular Instagram page as well as his own website.

Featured header image courtesy of Jarek Tuszyński CC BY SA 4.0.