Martin Stranik interviewThis is an interview SINGING ROCK athlete Martin Stráník gave to 8a.nu, the climbing online portal in the middle of April 2020.
Martin Stranik has been one of the best boulderers in the world since he got the silver in the World Championship in Aviles in 2007, being 17-years-old, in 2016 he got 2nd place at Bouldering World Cup in Switzerland. Outdoors, the Czech has done ten 8C's and he is #4 in the 8a ranking game (mid-April score).
So please explain how you started climbing and what attracted you from the beginning and how this has changed over the years?
My father was climber so he took me to climb since I was 5 years old. Soon I started with serious training with my brother. We trained a lot and we were successful. I would say I did not love climbing when I was a child, I just did what father said. Then, when I was 13 years old, I moved to Brno to study sports gymnasium. There I developed my talent thanks to greater training facilities and more important - climbing partners such as Tomáš Mrázek and Adam Ondra.
Please explain Aviles and how that silver changed your life?
Aviles (World Championship 2007) was a huge surprise to me. I was lead specialist, but when I travelled to compete to, I thought, why not to start also in bouldering. I climbed without pressure. The problems fit me very well and I was also very lucky (made it to semis from 19th position, then to final from 6th place). In finals, I realized that I am on the same level with others which gave me some confidence and I was very close to win the comp in the end. Aviles changed my climbing live a lot, I understood that my body is naturally more talented for bouldering, so I changed my focus on from lead to bouldering. With my brother, we were also developing bouldering in CZ, especially in an area called Bor, and we totally fell in love with bouldering.
How was it focusing on the Olympics?
I tried, I couldn´t give it 100%, I was ready to quit my job but financial support was not strong enough. At least I shorten my work time to 4 days, and that one day I drove to Brno to train with Adam, where we trained all disciplines and where it was my only chance to train speed. I was injured my leg so training especially speed did not go as I wish. Maybe one day Paris…
What was your plan 2020 and how did Covid-19 change that?
My plan was to focus on lead World Cups and I still hope and I am looking forward to comps late this year. I keep on training for that and now also spend some time on rocks as the situation allows.
What are the restrictions in your country and how do you adapt to that?
All climbing centers are closed now, so I train at home especially doing a lot of pull-ups and handboarding, I really love to train for 1 hour and every minute do some exercise, I train every day. It is hard to stay motivated but I found it fun. I try to stay positive and take this situation as the opportunity to be stronger. As I said I also spend some time bouldering on rocks, in CZ it is even recommended to be in nature, but be sure you are alone. (The last weeks he has made the FA of one 8B+ and two 8B's).