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St. Louis teen scales walls, watches Olympics with awe

St. Louis area teenager Julia De La Paz competes in sport climbing.

ST. LOUIS — There are five new sports in the Tokyo Olympics and one of them is sport climbing. Teenager, Julia De La Paz, has been climbing since she was a young child.

The ability to scale a wall takes more than Spiderman-like skills: speed, endurance, strength and quick decision-making are also key.

Julia De La Paz is one of the best at putting all of that together.

"I can't imagine my life without it. I don't even know if I remember my life without it," she told 5 On Your Side.

She started at the age of 6 and has been climbing higher and higher every year. She wanted sport climbing to be an Olympic sport ever since second grade.

"I just like the challenge of it. It's kind of a really good mixture of a mental and physical. You want that mindset that's just like I can do this and I know I can do this."

"Sometimes you are climbing and you can't even open your hands and you're exhausted and you just got to keep going."

"When you finally get to the top.... it's a really cool feeling."

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