Although it is a far cry from what most of us do on a daily basis, the IFSC Bouldering World Cup events are our equivalent of the major leagues of bouldering. In the first event of the year in Chongqing, China, two Germans took home the gold medals, with Jan Hojer winning on the men's side and Juliane Wurm (recent winner of the ABS Nationals) winning for the women. What interests me most about these events is that, especially on the men’s side, U.S. boulderers (Graham, Woods, Webb, Robinson, and even Sharma when he chooses to focus on bouldering) are among the top in the world on real rock but the top U.S. men’s finisher in China came in 30th! On the women’s side, Alex Puccio finished a strong 4th but the next U.S. woman came in 26th. Is it lack of interest in this form of bouldering competition or do U.S. boulderers just suck at climbing on plastic? For a great video recap of the first event, check out EpicTV.com and for the full results check out IFSC’s website.