Sports Women

Climber Johanna Farber receives apology after ‘close-up’ shots aired during World Championships

Top Austrian climber Johanna Farber has received an apology from the governing body of sport climbing after ‘close-up’ shots of her bottom were telecast during the World Championships in Russia. The event’s Austrian broadcaster had aired a close-up replay of Farber’s bottom during the boulder semifinals last week, according to a report in CNN.

This was the second occasion 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 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 on Saturday.

The incident was 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 Farber’s backside, prompting furious backlash over objectification of women’s bodies.

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 outrage as people called for a stop to sexualisation of women in sports.

Sport climbing made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics this year, which has generated a huge interest in the sport.