German Mad Rock star Jan Hojer occupies a rarefied position in the ranks of competition greats. Although still in his 20’s, Jan has achieved iconic status in the sport due not only to his string of strong results, but to his friendly, approachable demeanor. Indeed, Jan’s approach to competition and the status success brings could be blueprinted and given to up-and-coming elite climbers under the title “How to achieve greatness without losing your soul!”
The above may come across as a little sycophantic, but it is truly a reflection of Jan’s approach to the sport and a legacy of how well he has managed to blend the two sides of being an ambitious, competitive athlete with being a grounded and friendly human being. Something athletes in every sport face as both themselves and the sport they compete in, grow in stature.
Despite being a multiple World Cup winner, a World Cup season overall winner and an Olympic qualifier, Jan has remained a grounded human, working hard as an ambassador for climbing and always there to cheer his competition on.
Sure, Jan knows how to play the game and during an event his gamesmanship is often clearly visible, indeed he is probably on a very short list of top climbers who can play the mental side of climbing competition as well as the physical. Watching Jan Hojer in his prime is watching a professional who knows his limits. Where to push, where to back off, what is required to optimize his performance on the day. Any fan of competition climbing will remember times when Jan has walked away from a problem (sometimes not even attempting it) to conserve energy when he is sure he has done enough to progress on from a round. Fans will also remember when he has gone all out to complete a problem, once attempting a dyno 16 times in four minutes before his 17th attempt was successful and secured him victory in that World Cup.
With his experience and tactical nous Jan is definitely one to watch at the Olympics and beyond!
Words and images by The Circuit Climbing