The governing body of sport climbing has apologised to Austrian climber Johanna Farber after close-up shots of her bottom were broadcast during the World Championships in Russia. The event’s Austrian broadcaster had aired a close-up replay of Ms Farber’s bottom during the boulder semifinals last week, reports CNN. It is the second time this year that the climber has been subjected to inappropriate coverage of her event – she had, in June, asked people to “stop sexualising women in sports and start to appreciate their performance” after a similar incident.
The International Federation of Sport Climbing has now issued an apology to Ms Farber and “all the athletes, and the entire Sport Climbing community for the images that were broadcast today during the women’s Boulder semi-final at the IFSC Climbing World Championships Moscow 2021.”
“The IFSC condemns the objectification of the human body and will take further action in order for it to stop, and to protect the athletes,” it said in a statement released Saturday.
This is almost a repeat of the World Cup in June when the broadcaster, ORF, issued an apology for airing inappropriate images of the athlete. The ORF had broadcast a slow-motion sequence that zoomed in on Ms Farber’s backside, prompting furious backlash over objectification of women’s bodies.
At that time, Ms Farber, 23, had shared a message on Instagram slamming the coverage as “disrespectful and upsetting”, adding that she was left “embarrassed” that thousands of people saw the slow-motion clip on national television and social media.
Both incidents sparked social media backlash as people called for a stop to sexualisation of women in sports.
Natalie Berry, a former climber and editor-in-chief of UK Climbing.com, told Sky News: “For this disrespectful incident to happen once again to the same athlete is very disappointing, at a time when more eyes are on the sport than ever before and more women and girls are being introduced to climbing.”
Sport climbing made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics this year, which has generated a huge interest in the sport.
IFSC President Marco Scolaris also said the community needed to learn from past mistakes. “How many times will things have to be done wrong before we learn how to do them right?” Mr Scholaris said.