Austrian climber ‘DELETES Instagram account’ after row over close-up shots of buttocks during World Championships in Moscow
Climber Johanna Farber appears to have removed herself from Instagram after a sexism scandal erupted at the recent World Championships in Moscow when a broadcaster showed close-up shots of the Austrian’s backside.
The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) was forced to apologize when questionable camerawork lingered on some chalk handprints on Farber’s rear during the women’s boulder event.
“The IFSC condemns the objectification of the human body and will take further action in order for it to stop, and to protect the athletes,” said the organization.
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The incident was the second involving the 23-year-old Farber this year, following similar outrage at the World Cup event in Innsbruck back in June.
On that occasion, Farber is said to have lashed out on social media, writing: “Honestly wtf?”
“Having this slow-motion clip shown on NATIONAL TV and YouTube live stream is so disrespectful and upsetting.
“I’m an athlete and here to show my best performance. To be honest I do really feel so embarrassed to know that thousands of people saw this. We need to stop sexualizing women in sports and start to appreciate their performance.”
Farber, who finished 19th in the overall standings in Moscow, now appears to have had enough with Instagram as well, with her account disappearing from the platform in the wake of the latest row.
Images from the climber’s account had already been widely shared around the world before it disappeared, with fans now awaiting an explanation as to the situation.
The fact that Farber found herself in the same situation twice caused double the outrage from figures in the climbing world, including IFSC president Marco Scholaris, who issued a personal message.
“How many times will things have to be done wrong before we learn how to do them right?” Scholaris said.
Those sentiments were echoed by the likes of outraged editor-in-chief of Climbing.com, Natalie Berry.
“While the intentions of the camera operators and editors may not be to sexualize an athlete and instead to focus on a visually interesting chalky handprint, in the context of the sexualization of women in sport throughout history, it’s quite simply inappropriate,” said the former Great Britain climber to Sky News.
On both occasions involving Farber, the livestream of the event was removed from the IFSC’s YouTube channel and edited, before being uploaded again with the controversial sequence removed (from 30:53 in the video below).
Commentator Matt Groom issued an immediate apology on the broadcast during the Moscow event, while co-commentator and fellow climber Hannah Meul criticized the scenes.
“I’m sorry for Johanna. There are so many strong women out there, it’s about our performance in the sport,” said Meul
“I think everyone noticed what happened, and I really want everyone to know that it’s not about something like that.”
Climbing is increasing its profile after making its Olympic debut in Tokyo this year, although the latest row will cause concern for bosses as they seek to grow the sport.