This Week in Weird Sports: Stair Climbing

Climb the stairs like Rocky!
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Climb the stairs like Rocky!
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Climb the stairs like Rocky!

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Stair climbing, despite its low action and limited television coverage, has emerged as one of the world’s premier spectator sports, despite repeated sabotage attempts from escalator manufacturers.

Some might view stair climbing as a primitive way of traveling within a building, but today, some of the most exciting athletes in the world are stair climbers, like Thomas Dold and Suzy Walshman, winners at the Empire State Building race. Historians have debated the birth of the sport, but many speculate it coincided with Sylvestor Stallone’s stair-running sequence in the original Rocky film.

These days, stair climbing races are held around the world, with the competitors running up the stairs of some of the world's tallest buildings and towers, including the Empire State Building and the Niesenbahn Stairway.

More exhausting than running a marathon and more dangerous to your limbs than rugby, stair climbing is one of the most grueling of sports, requiring competitors to move their entire body weight vertically and horizontally at the same time. It also sucks if you’re in front of one of them during a fire drill.

 *This is in no way true or remotely factually accurate