Climbing champion's sad move after TV objectification controversy

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Johanna Farber, pictured here on Instagram.
Johanna Farber has deactivated her social media accounts after the furore. Image: Instagram

Sport climbing star Johanna Farber has deactivated her social media accounts amid a furore around the objectification of female athletes in TV coverage.

Organisers were forced to issue an apology to the Austrian climber this week for the "inappropriate" and "disrespectful" TV coverage of her performance at the World Championships in Moscow.

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Farber was outraged when the host broadcaster showed a close-up replay focusing on her bottom.

The 23-year-old said It was the second time this year that she'd felt objectified and embarrassed by TV coverage of her in action.

The sport's governing body, the International Federation of Sport Climbing, issued an apology in the wake of the latest incident.

“The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) would like to deeply apologise to Johanna Farber, Austria Climbing, 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,” they said.

"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."

The IFSC President Marco Scolaris added: "How many times will things have to be done wrong, before we learn how to do them right?"

In the aftermath, Farber has made the sad move to deactivate her Instagram account.

The reasons for Farber's move to go dark on social media are unknown.

Johanna Farber, pictured here in action in sport climbing.
Johanna Farber is a sport climbing star in Austria. Image: Instagram

Johanna Farber fumes over 'sexualisation' of sport

The Austrian star said she did not want to compete after the latest incident, which came after she unloaded on broadcasters in June shortly after her involvement in the World Cup.

“Honestly wtf?” Farber wrote on Instagram at the time.

“Having this slow-motion clip shown on NATIONAL TV and YouTube live stream is so disrespectful and upsetting.

“I’m an athlete and here to show my best performance. To be honest I do really feel so embarrassed to know that thousands of people saw this.

“We need to stop sexualising women in sports and start to appreciate their performance.”

Sport climbing made its debut at this year's Olympics in Tokyo.

However there are fears that such incidents will only stymie its bid to gain popularity around the world, particularly for women.

"For this disrespectful incident to happen once again to the same athlete is very disappointing, at a time when more eyes are on the sport than ever before and more women and girls are being introduced to climbing," former Great Britain climber Natalie Berry told Sky News.

"While the intentions of the camera operators and editors may not be to sexualise an athlete and instead to focus on a visually interesting chalky handprint, in the context of the sexualisation of women in sport throughout history, it's quite simply inappropriate."

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