If you follow competitive indoor rock climbing, you’ve probably heard of the French climber Mejdi Schalck. He’s one of the new generation of elite young climbers who were honed in the gym from a young age and are now astounding their older peers and climbing fans alike with their incredible results.
We’re looking forward to the next few years of watching Mejdi Schalck battle with the other new climbing World Cup prodigies of this era like Sorato Anraku, Colin Duffy, Toby Roberts, Hannes van Duysen, and French compatriot Paul Jenft.
Let’s find out more about Mejdi’s origins and his most notable achievements in the climbing world.
Mejdi Schalck was born in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil on May 7, 2004, which makes his current age 19.
Mejdi started climbing at a relatively late age and stands 5 feet, 8 inches tall (173 cm)–we don’t know his ape index. His late start didn’t slow him down much. At age 15 he scored a silver medal in Lead at his second international competition, the European Youth Cup in St. Pierre Faucigny, France.
He went on to win the IFSC’s (International Federation of Sport Climbing) Continental Youth Cup the next year in 2020, and won gold in both Boulder and Lead events at the Continental Youth World Championships in 2021.
This competition success at the youth levels was preparing him to enter the senior ranks of the climbing World Cup circuit at age 16, where he quickly started proving his worth against the best climbers in the world.
Mejdi Schalck’s Competition Results
Schalk competes in the lead climbing and bouldering events in World Cup competitions. He climbs with a combination of technical prowess, pure strength, and mental focus beyond his years, sharpened over the past four years in international competition.
His top results in competition have come in the discipline of bouldering, where he’s won IFSC World Cup gold in the men’s division three times, with seven podium finishes. As Schalck himself says, this discipline suits his personal style,
“Bouldering…is more fun. It’s more freestyle, it fits my personality better.”
Mejdi made his first significant breakthrough at Salt Lake City in 2021, earning his first podium spot on the adult World Cup circuit with a 2nd place finish in Bouldering. He then won his first bouldering World Cup gold at the same venue a year later, in May of 2022. His victory in Salt Lake propelled him to a 5th place ranking in bouldering for the year.
Schalck started the next World Cup season on a high note, winning the first two bouldering events of the year at Hajiochi, Japan, and Seoul, Korea. After one more podium finish in Prague, he ended the year ranked 5th once again in the bouldering category.
At the 2023 IFSC Rock Climbing World Championships in Bern, Switzerland, Schalck competed in lead, bouldering, and the combined lead + bouldering event that served as an Olympic qualifier for the 2024 Paris games. He won a silver medal in Bouldering behind his countryman Mickaël Mawem, but failed to earn a podium spot in the combined event that would have secured an Olympic slot.
What’s Ahead for Mejdi Schalck
One of Schalck’s biggest priorities in 2023 is to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in his native country. He narrowly missed his chance at the 2023 IFSC World Championships in Bern, with a 9th place finish in the men’s Lead & Boulder combined event that left him just short of a spot in the finals.
With multiple qualifying events still remaining, Mejdi has a great chance to achieve his goal. According to one of his past coaches, Philippe Collard:
“He’s a super versatile climber. In difficulty [lead climbing], he is not far from the best in the world.”
At the moment, Schalck is living and training in Chambéry, France. When it comes to his interests outside of climbing, he began studying physical mathematics at the University of Grenoble in 2021.
Outdoor Climbing & Bouldering Achievements
Mejdi Schalck has also taken his epic talents outdoors to climb a number of difficult sport climbing routes and boulder problems. He made his first outside excursions at age 16, just months before his first adult World Cup event.
So far in his young career, Schalck’s tick list includes these outdoor climbing testpieces:
- Bio Sharma Graphie 9a / 5.14+ – Rocher de Beverau, France
- Off the Wagon 8B+ / V14 – Ticino, Switzerland
- La Proue Débridée 8c+ / 5.14 – La Roche de Rame, France
What Gear Does Mejdi Schalck Use?
Mejdi Schalck is sponsored by Adidas – Five Ten and Ocún, among others. His go-to climbing shoe for lead climbing and bouldering competitions is the Five Ten Hiangle. He uses the same shoes for hard sport climbing and bouldering outdoors.
When it comes to his harness, chalk bag, and other personal climbing gear, Schalck relies on the trusted Czech brand Ocún.
Still at the beginning of his young climbing career, Schalck is near the top of the rankings in the latest crop of crushers. Will he be able to continue to improve on his great results and sustain this success into the future? We hope to see him battling the other young stars for years to come in IFSC World Cup events and the Olympic Games!
For the latest updates on Mejdi Schalk’s competition results and outdoor climbing exploits, check out his Instagram channel.