Kid rock: meet an 8-year-old bouldering champ

Sponsored athlete Ashima Shiraishi's been training for almost half her life -- i.e., since she was five

Published November 17, 2009 2:18PM (EST)

Quote of the Day: "When I started, I just had sneakers, but now I'm sponsored by Evolv, so they gave me my favorite shoes, which are called Optimus Prime, who is the best and nicest Transformer." -- 8-year-old rock climber Ashima Shiraishi.

Last summer, Shiraishi entered the open women's division of a bouldering competition at the Manhattan Plaza Health Club -- and took first place. As she told New York Magazine, she's been climbing for three years ("for me, it is kind of a long time"), practices every day, and will be competing this Friday in the American Bouldering Series Local Competition in New Jersey. Good luck, Ashima! We hope you and your Optimus Primes kick some serious butt.


By Kate Harding

Kate Harding is the author of Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do About It, available from Da Capo Press in August 2015. Previously, she collaborated with Anna Holmes, Amanda Hess, and a cast of thousands on The Book of Jezebel, and with Marianne Kirby on Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere. You might also remember her as the founding editor of Shapely Prose (2007-2010). Kate's essays have appeared in the anthologies Madonna & Me, Yes Means Yes, Feed Me, and Airmail: Women of Letters. She holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a B.A. in English from University of Toronto, and is currently at work on a Ph.D. in creative writing from Bath Spa University

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