Alex Honnold recently completed a free climb of El Capitan. He scaled the giant rock face in nearly 4 hours without the safety of any ropes or harnesses.
I liked Eugene Wei's post titled "the greatest sport achievement of my lifetime?" reflecting on this mind-blowing achievement. A couple of highlights were:
It's difficult to avoid using the world literally when discussing Honnold's achievement because metaphors we typically ascribe to sports analysis like survivorship bias take on a different meaning in free climbing.
But what makes a free climb of El Capitan perhaps the greatest sports achievement of my lifetime is the mental challenge of entering a flow state for four hours straight. People marvel at a basketball player entering the zone and hitting shot after shot, but Honnold had to enter a new level of zone in which he could not miss a single shot or the game would end forever.
National Geographic covered the climb, and will soon publish a documentary detailing the exploit. I'm looking forward to this.