Shivani Charak is a top-ranked female sports climber in India across all three disciplines – Lead,
Speed & Bouldering. Born and raised in Dharmal, a small town in Jammu, Shivani is an 18-year old
climber who has been turning heads recently by securing a bronze medal at the Asian Youth Championships
Coming from a family of limited means, she was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer at the age of nine and
battled it for three years. The family had a trying time as they had to commute between Jammu
and Chandigarh for her chemo. However, she did not let cancer get into her way and in 2012,
she was declared cancer-free and was given the clearance to pursue her studies.
At the age of 14, she watched her sister and expressed her interest in pursuing sport climbing.
A sport which will officially make its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and is lesser known in
the country. Within a year, Shivani’s resilience and help of her twin brothers, saw her excel in the sport.
Apart from having just one climbing wall, training in Jammu was quite a task for her.
This didn’t deter her perseverance and commitment as she began training with the Army to improve
her mental and physical attributes for the sport. As time passed by, Shivani began winning many local
competitions. It was the year 2015 when she won the gold at the Nationals and in 2017, she represented
India for the first time at Asian Youth Championships in China.
She won her first ever international medal in 2019 at the Asian Youth Championships in Bengaluru which is
a first of the many firsts for this resilient sport climber.