Ashima Shiraishi is a ten-year-old rock climbing champion from New York City.  She has a unique talent for bouldering, which is a specific type of rock climbing. Ashima practices every day with a coach and uses focus to be safe. She has won many contests and hopes to compete in the Olympics someday!
Ashima Shiraishi was born in New York City in 2001. Her parents came to the United States from Japan in 1978. When she was in kindergarten, Ashima’s parents took her to play near a giant boulder in Central Park called Rat Rock. At first she had trouble holding on, but soon she learned how to move her body over the rock using her hands and feet. Ashima loved climbing on the boulder so much that she stayed until it got dark out and they had to go home for dinner!
After that, Ashima never wanted to stop climbing! She practiced every day after school with her dad and coach. Ashima learned that to be a good climber you have to have focus. Climbing on big rocks can be dangerous! Because of this, Ashima remembers to breathe and concentrate. If she falls, there are thick mats to catch her called “crash pads.” Ashima says she is not afraid of getting hurt because she knows the right way to fall. Would you be nervous climbing up a big boulder like Rat Rock? What would you do to focus?
Ashima’s practice paid off. She won the national youth bouldering championship three years in a row! She even climbed some rocks that adult climbers can’t! Ashima wants bouldering to be a new sport in the Olympics. She wants to show others how fun and exciting it is! Would you like to watch Ashima climb for gold? What unique talent or ability do you want to share with the world?

Watch this video clip about Ashima from The New York Times.