|Date of Birth:||28 March, 1984||Hometown:||Eindhoven, The Netherlands|
2003 – 2007:
Avans Hogeschool ’s-Hertogenbosch,
B. of ICT, Computer Science
2007 – 2009:
Eindhoven University of Technology,
Human Technology Interaction
February 1st 2012 – Present:
Who is Truong Ngo? He lives in Eindhoven and he is an enthusiastic sports climber. Since 2010 Truong is part of the National selection of the Dutch Sports climbing Team. Do you want to know more about Truong? In fact, we took the time to ask him a few questions that fans from The Netherlands have enquired about for months. Enjoy the exclusive interview.
When did you touch the first climbing hold?
My first climb was in a climbing gym at Nijmegen with a few friends of mine when I was 17.
What’s your favourite climbing hold?
I digg the Rollyballs L made by Lapis. It’s nice to train with those holds.
Are you afraid of heights?
No I’m not afraid of heights.
Describe what climbing means to you in max 3 words.
Adrenaline – adventure – freedom
And what does climbing means to you in general?
Climbing to me is like a sport, I can spend hours to it. 3 years after I started climbing, it slowly changed from a sport to a passion. Nowadays climbing is not just a sport or passion to me but a lifestyle. I eat, sleep and think about climbing. Perhaps you can call it obsessed by climbing.
Who is your most admired climber?
I admire more than one climber. I’ll mention a few names which pops up in my mind right now. I think Ramón Julián Puigblanque (SPA) is pretty good and Yuji Hirayama (JAP) inspires me a lot. Not to forget, I’d like to mention Sean McColl (CAN), he’s a cool underdog. I have a female top 3 as well, Jain Kim (KOR), Chloé Graftiaux (BEL) and Natalija Gros (SLO).
Do you have a training regiment and if yes what does it look like?
The Netherlands is as flat as a pancake, so I always have to train in a climbing gym. I don’t have a specific training regiment yet but I do train on a regular base. Usually I have 2 team training sessions at Eindhoven and besides that another 2 or 3 climbing sessions during the other days in different climbing gyms. Luckily The Netherlands has lots of climbing gyms haha.
What’s your favourite style of climbing?
I’m not that tall so I have to be creative with my climbing style. I try to climb dynamic in combination with technique!
What is your greatest weakness and strength?
My weakness at this very moment is locking off my arm when I’m crimping on a sidepull or pinching a hold. My strength would be my stamina.
What do you do when you just sent a route?
I scream my lungs out of my body and go for a victory jump! Haha I’m just kidding. If we’re talking about a project, then I’d take a break and enjoy my moment of victory.
Why do you compete in competitions?
I compete since 2005 because I like competitions. It’s good to measure myself. Am I in shape? Are my climbing skills good enough? Insight? Hence, many questions to answer when I compete in competitions. In addition to these questions, I also like to qualify for championships.
What is your favourite gear for special climbing events?
Sweets! And of course my climbing shoes, harness and my chalk bag.
How about favourite gear when you go bouldering?
Just about the same. Climbing shoes, brush, chalk bag and motivation!
Since when are you part of the Dutch team?
I was selected for the National team in January 2010. Just about a year ago.
The Netherlands eh? So do you like potatoes?
Haha, not every day. Potatoes are okay. I usually eat rice, noodles, pasta or baby potatoes with lots of vegetables.
How do you feel with the other members of the Dutch team?
It’s really nice to be in this team. I like to receive tips about technique to improve myself. I suppose I can still learn a lot. I can get along pretty well among my team members and our coach.
Who is the funniest?
Hmmm, who’s name should I mention. Hahah, I have no idea. I’ll pass. Next question?
How do you prepare just before a competition?
You don’t just prepare a competition. Usually a few weeks in advance of the competition, I try to climb as much as possible. I climb a lot to get in shape. My core base should be good. Next I try to live healthy and rest well for a competition.
Do you have specific rituals before you start climbing?
No not really.
I eat candy. Let me rephrase that. Nowadays I eat a Powerbar before I have to perform. I wipe my shoes on my trousers before I start climbing and chalk my hands. Sounds lame but I guess it helps.
How do you mentally prepare yourself just before an important event?
By reading a book / magazine or chat with other people. I think back about other competitions as well.
How do you handle stress and pressure?
Stress and pressure won’t go well with competitions. I experienced it. However if I’m under pressure, then I’d still like to focus on my mental aspects.
How do you evaluate success?
I evaluate success in different ways. Solving a boulder problem or finding out the correct sequence of a route is just about the same. In my opinion, getting higher or sending a boulder equals success. Winning is one way of evaluating success, but being in the finals or even ending on a podium is good enough for me. However, doesn’t one would like to win everything to experience the maximum effect of success?
Have you ever been disqualified during a competition?
No never. I’m well prepared and listen well to the judges. They’ll explain to you what is allowed and what is not allowed to use during a competition.
Do you get emotionally involved when you climb?
A part of me gets emotionally involved. Often I try to estimate beforehand how difficult a route or boulder might be. I try to visualise myself or someone else in a route to prepare a route. If that feels funny during a route, then I’ll have to improvise and climb in that way what I think feels right to me.
What one thing would you change about the last event you participated in?
My last competition was at Kranj, Slovenia. I’d like to see a bigger warm up wall next time! That warm up wall is just too small. It’s hard to warm up like that for a route.
Do you climb outdoors as well?
I love climbing outdoors! Yeah, when I climb outdoors I feel free as a bird. I prefer rocks instead of colours and plastic holds. Climbing outdoors in the nature is the best way to enjoy climbing.
What is your most memorable moment in climbing?
Oh I have so many memorable climbing moments. My most memorable moment…I think one of those moments would be during the National Championship Boulder in 2009. The boulders, the audience, the atmosphere, everything was just right. I felt so psyched!
Do you like climbing with anyone in particular (person or group)?
Outdoors I prefer to climb with 2 or 3 persons. When I climb in a group I feel so lazy, unless I’m climbing with my team members.
What’s your favourite sport climbing crag?
Well Misja Pec in Slovenia by far! It really is a nice crag.
What is your favourite route outdoors?
Rock ‘n Roll. It’s rated as a 7c+ and it contains only huge holds haha.
The Netherlands or abroad?
My answer is pretty obvious. Abroad. There are so many countries I’d like to visit for a climb.
Which places would you like to visit?
I knew you would ask me this question. I’ll mention a few countries where I haven’t been yet but like to visit for a climb. Thailand, Greece, Vietnam, Australia, Sardinia, Mallorca, Spain and Turkey.
What do you like apart from climbing?
I like my job. And go out for dinner, watch movies, catch up with friends, visit family, riding a motor bike, travelling, hanging on my couch and update my webpage haha.
Describe your ideal climbing day.
Well lets see. I’d like to wake up in another country (one of the countries which I just mentioned before). Perfect temperature between 15 and 20 Celcius degrees and a nice sunshine. I love to take a shower and have a delicious breakfast without hurrying. In addition to that, any random climbing buddy who’d like to join me to the rocks. I don’t like to travel longer than half an hour to a climbing crag. I guess I lame haha. Anyway, you asked for my ideal climbing day. Then a nice warmup in easy routes and hopefully climb 10 or more routes. After that, going out for dinner where I don’t have to wait too long because I’m usually so hungry after climbing. In the evening it would be nice to check out the sunset at a lake with some snacks haha. I think that sounds like my perfect climbing day.
Mention anything that comes up in your mind that you’d like to climb!
The Eiffeltower in France!
Did you ever climb on a building?
But of course. We don’t have rocks so we need to improvise. I climbed on lampposts, towers, buildings etc. It’s a challenge to get as high as possible without falling on the ground.
Tell me what’s worth waking you up for at midnight.
How about testing my stamina? Hahah, I’m talking about a movie marathon or perhaps climb the Eiffeltower?
With who would you be willing to share a crashpad?
Interesting question. I don’t have a crashpad yet. I’d be happy if I could get a crashpad sponsored so I won’t have to share one. However I don’t know what you really try to figure out with this question. I won’t mention any names haha. I’ll keep it a secret for now.
Who should belay you for one day or vice versa?
I’ll pick a competition climber. They know how to belay me. I’ll choose Jain Kim (KOR). I think I can learn a lot from her.
Which climber would you like to be for a day?
Hmm, for one I’d like to be someone who’s taller than me hahaha. I don’t know. I guess Gabriele Moroni (ITA), but he’s not really taller than me. I’ll pick him anyway because I digg him and he can climb really good.
Imagine it’s a perfect day for climbing, you’re on your way to a climbing crag but suddenly you run out of gas. Your phone is flat of navigating and you don’t have any cash with you. What would you do?
That’s a nice situation yet realistic. I suppose I’d walk to a gas station with my phone and an empty jerrycan and hope for the best. Perhaps trade my topo guide or something else which is worth trading for some gas. And I need to charge my mobile again in case of emergency.
What if you could travel through time, what would you do?
Hahaha. Did you just watch Back to the Future? I’d travel back to the ’70′s and meet Wolfgang Güllich to train and climb with him. And prevent his car accident. He definitely was a true role model!
If they put you in a time travel machine and transport you to another planet without gravity, would you still be climbing?
No I think I’d just stay here haha. At least you can climb some rocks here, I can’t imagine living without gravity. You’d be flying right? I prefer a planet with more gravity and more rocks than planet Earth.
Do you dream about rocks and plastic holds?
That’s not a weird question. I only dream about rocks when I’m near a climbing crag and have been climbing for a while and aiming for a project. No I don’t dream about plastic holds haha.
If you could rebuild a random selected climbing gym in your back yard, which gym would you use as a model?
I’d use Tivoli (Innsbrück) wall structure! In addition the combination of Climbing Works (Sheffield), Monk Bouldergym (Eindhoven) and the roof structure of The Depot Climbing Centre (Leeds) as the boulder area.
If you were able to extend your lifetime with 50 years and retain your strength, would you keep climbing for 50 years?
I’d like to say yes, however I don’t know if my opinion will stay the same in 50 years. There is so much to do besides climbing…
What is your most difficult crux of today?
Get out of bed hahaha. Waking up isn’t difficult, but usually I just like to stay in bed. Does that count as a crux?
What one thing would you change about climbing?
Nothing. Zero. Nada.
Do you have any long term goals/projects as a climber?
Yes pushing limits and climb lots of classic routes! I don’t care which ones, as long as I can enjoy the climbing then I’ll be happy.
I’m happy and content with what I have got.
Is there something else you’d wish to share?
I believe you have covered everything. If there are more questions, let me know.
Well that’s it, thank you very much for your time and good luck with your climb career!
Yes, you’re welcome!
Update: January 2011