Adidas Outdoor USA has re-signed climber Kai Lightner, 18, to the company’s team of athletes. Lightner is a 10-time national champion in the USA Climbing youth circuit and won four Pan American Championship titles. Last year, Lightner took first and second place in the adult lead and bouldering national championships as one of the youngest competitors in the field.
“Kai’s professionalism, energy, and dedication to the sport are inspiring, especially for someone so young,” said Greg Thomsen, managing director for adidas Outdoor, U.S. “He is at an exciting point in his career, transitioning from youth to adult. It’s incredible to watch his drive and passion, reaching new levels as an athlete, both figuratively and literally. It is a joy to see him grow and we are eager to see what the future holds for Kai.”
In November 2017, Lightner earned first in Juniors at the Pan American Championship in Montreal, Canada. In 2013, he began participating in outdoor sport climbing, and in 2015, he climbed Era Vella (5.14d) in Margalef, Spain, his most impressive outdoor route to date. This year, Kai is scheduled to participate in three events planned in the U.S., eight world cups, the IFSC Youth World Championship in Moscow and the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Innsbruck. He trains at Central Rock Gym in Boston, MA.
“Adidas Outdoor has created a great team of athletes and a family atmosphere,” Lightner said. “I have a blast just being with my teammates and I know when all else fails, I can reach out for advice and guidance. Plus, I love their product.”
Born and raised in Fayetteville, NC, Lightner began climbing at age six, which is also when he began competing in the USA Climbing organization. He attended his first Sport Climbing Series National competition in 2007. He joined the adidas Outdoor athlete team in 2015.