LOS ANGELES (October 26, 2015) – adidas Outdoor, the athletic brand in the outdoors, today announces the addition of rock climber Kai Lightner, 16, to its team of athletes. Lightner took first place in the 2015 SCS National Championship in Watertown, Mass., where he was the youngest competitor in the field. He is an eight-time national champion in the USA Climbing youth circuit and has won three Pan American Championship titles.
“At such a young age, Kai has shown his spirit and dedication to the sport by pushing the limits on national and international levels,” said Greg Thomsen, managing director for adidas Outdoor, U.S. “He is a driven and passionate athlete, and is already considered a role model to youth climbers. We look forward to watching him grow and are grateful for his continued insight into the progressing needs of young climbers and athletes.”
In September 2014, Lightner earned the gold medal for ages 14–15 at the Youth World Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia, becoming the first American Lead World Champion since 1995. In 2013 he began participating in outdoor sport climbing, and in April he climbed Era Vella (5.14d) in Margalef, Spain, his most impressive outdoor route to date. He previously ascended Southern Smoke (5.14c), Lucifer (5.14c) and Omaha Beach (5.14a) in Red River Gorge, Ky.
Lightner was born and raised in Fayetteville, N.C., and began climbing at the age of six, which is also when he began competing in the USA Climbing organization. He attended his first Sport Climbing Series National competition in 2007, and trains at the Triangle Rock Club in Morrisville, N.C.
About adidas Outdoor: adidas Outdoor is the athletic brand in the outdoors. The company’s founder, Adi Dassler, designed equipment solutions for athletes that improved their performance. The long history of adidas Outdoor began in the 1970s with the creation of the first light trekking shoes. Climbing legend Reinhold Messner helped adidas design super light and fast approach hiking shoes for his first Everest ascent without supplemental oxygen in 1980. The tradition continues today with products influenced by Messner, as well as notable extreme outdoor adventurers from around the world.