Florida boy, 12, to compete in national climbing competition

Competitive climbing is a niche sport, but it’s a place where 12-year-old Leo Winfrey has found a community.

"The climbs are fun. But being able to talk to people about how you climb, and other things in general, is funner to me than actually climbing the routes," Winfrey said.

After qualifying at regional events, Winfrey is heading to the USA Climbing Youth National Championships in Salt Lake City next month. He’ll compete in two different disciplines – ropes and bouldering. He’s optimistic about bringing home some hardware.

"The thing I’m looking forward to is seeing all of his hard work come to fruition because this is something that he dedicates a relentless amount of hours to," Winfrey’s mother, Crystal Garcia, said.

Winfrey started participating in climbing competitions about a year ago, joining Dyno Climb in DeLand. He’s now a gym rat, spending multiple days and countless hours each week pushing his body to the limit.

"When I’m climbing a really hard route, my mind kind of just goes blank," Winfrey said.

Winfrey is just starting this sport and is excited about the future.