Mélissa Le Nevé retires from the World Cups

French climber Mélissa Le Nevé has announced her retirement from the international competition scene. After more than 8 years of competition at the highest level, mostly bouldering, she plans to focus on outdoor climbing from now on, without discarding taking part in some invitational events here and there.

Una foto publicada por Melissa Le Nevé (@melissaleneve) el

Since her first senior IFSC competition, back in 2008, Le Nevé has been one of the most consistent performers in the international bouldering scene. She’s been in more than 20 finals, winning 10 medals. Surprisingly, she’s never won a gold, despite being very close on many occasions. At 27 years of age, she retires ranked 4th in world and 3rd in the 2016 Bouldering World Cup.

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Focused during semifinals at the beginning of the 2016 season

Le Nevé has always been a crowd favorite, she’s very charismatic, interacting frequently with the audience, and she’s one of the most expressive athletes in the circuit.

As a competitor she has been one of the smartest and most technical, and a fighter, trying her hardest every time. On many occasions she has surprised everyone by, despite her signs of exhaustion, making it all the way to the top after almost falling in every move.

She has left us many memorable moments, from epic tops to jaw-dropping displays of flexibility (mental and physical) or sheer determination. A perfect example would be her 6+ minute attempt of the 3rd problem during finals in Haiyang 2015, which is probably the longest attempt ever made in an IFSC bouldering comp.

Here’s another cool moment, from Innsbruck 2013, that shows the kind of competitor she’s been all these years. It took her 9 tries (4+ minutes) to get to the top of F1. On that 9th attempt she held on to a wide pinch just as her feet cut off and her other hand slipped. With just one hand she held on, managed to get back on the wall and topped the problem. Many others would have let go, but not Le Nevé.

We wish her all the best for her outdoor endeavors. She will be missed in the World Cups.

If you read French, check out this interview at planetgrimpe.

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