How 2 Pro Climbers Went From Long-Distance BFFs To Roomies During The Pandemic
One is competing in the Tokyo Olympics, the other is eyeing the 2024 Games.
Friends may come and go, but best friends are forever. In Elite Daily's Bestie Check, we're celebrating the stories that make best friendship so special. Whether they grew up together or recently met through an app, this series explores the unique ways BFFs first bonded and how they maintain their strong friendship. Below, pro climbers Kyra Condie and Allison Vest detail how they went from long-distance besties to roomies during the pandemic.
It’s not hard to imagine where Kyra Condie and Allison Vest’s BFF journey began. They’re both pro climbers, so they naturally hit it off when they met through climbing competitions in the early 2010s. But it wasn’t until a world championship in Paris in 2016 that the two solidified their friendship.
“How could you not bond over the sights of Paris?” Vest jokes, adding that they also “noticed a lot of parallels” in their lives around the same time. Condie even says she thought they “were the exact same person.”
Though the athletic pair went their separate ways post-Paris — Condie headed home to the U.S. and Vest, to Canada — they effortlessly began a long-distance friendship, and have only gotten closer in the years since. Not only do they have matching circle tattoos, they also moved in together in the summer of 2020.
These days, Condie is gearing up for the Tokyo Olympics, as she, and sport climbing itself, make their Olympic debut at the 2021 event. Vest, for her part, has her sights set on the 2024 Games, which will be held in the city where their journey began: Paris. Regardless of where their gravity-defying careers take them, these two besties know their friendship is rock solid.
Here's their story:
- About Me: Professional climber, coffee enthusiast, sad movie lover, board game winner, good cook, and animal lover.
- Age: 25
- Current Location: Salt Lake City, UT
- Zodiac Sign: Gemini
- About Me: Professional climber, falling expert, and right-brained.
- Age: 26
- Current Location: Salt Lake City, UT
- Zodiac Sign: Cancer
How did you two meet?
Allison Vest: We met through youth climbing competitions over the years.
Kyra Condie: I knew about Allison from international youth competitions since 2012, but we became friends in Paris at the World Championships in 2016.
What was your first impression of each other?
KC: My first impression was that we were the exact same person. Both born in Minnesota, both had a similar (we thought) climbing style, both loved puzzles, and kept finding similarities.
AV: I remember Kyra seemed really cool and confident — that about sums it up, honestly. She was very sure of herself and who she was.
How long have you known each other?
AV: We met at the Pan American Championships in 2012 in Santiago, Mexico.
How long have you considered yourselves best friends?
KC: Friends for five years, best friends for probably the last three and a half years.
What initially sparked your friendship?
KC: I think it’s because we’re both really good at texting/responsive, so we had a long-distance friendship for a long time. We also both trained alone a lot, so having someone to brag about our training sessions to was really nice.
AV: Kyra’s family invited me to tour around Paris with them during a break in the competition. How could you not bond over the sights of Paris? Plus, we noticed a lot of parallels in our lives, which we thought was cool. For the first little while of our friendship, we called each other our Canadian/American counterparts.
Do you know if you are astrologically compatible? Do you care?
AV: I have no clue. I definitely don't care. I think we're pretty compatible, and if our zodiac signs tell us otherwise, we might start looking for reasons not to be.
Where did you go to school?
KC: I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2018 with a BS in Animal Science, pre-vet track.
AV: I graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver with a degree in Kinesiology in 2019.
What do you do for work?
AV: I’m lucky enough to have climbing be my job.
KC: I'm currently working full-time as a professional climber and future Olympian.
Have you ever lived together?
AV: We currently live together. I moved to Utah in July 2020.
What’s the longest amount of time you’ve gone without seeing each other in person?
KC: I actually don’t know. It maybe was at the start of the pandemic when we weren’t able to travel and all competitions were canceled.
AV: Definitely less than six months, because there’s always a competition or an event in the calendar that we go to together.
How often do you text/call/FaceTime?
KC: When we didn’t live together, we would FaceTime every day, if not multiple times a day. Now that we live together, we still text each other whenever we’re not together.
AV: When we lived apart, it was a lot. We would text constantly and FaceTime almost every day. We spent collectively over 30 hours on FaceTime in June 2020 alone.
What was the last thing you texted about?
AV: Kyra was speed climbing training and had a good session and texted me about it.
KC: How Allison is matching her boyfriend by accident again today.
What’s the oldest throwback photo you can find of yourselves?
KC: Here’s a photo of us from when we became friends at the 2016 World Championships in Paris.
What is your favorite Instagram photo together?
KC: I think this photo shows how strong we are and how much we’ve been able to support each other through training and life.
What’s one TV show you both can agree on?
AV: Selling Sunset, Criminal Minds, Lost, or Ink Master. We agree on a lot.
KC: Say Yes to the Dress.
What's your favorite underrated thing about each other?
AV: Kyra’s cooking skills are vastly underrated. She can make something delicious out of anything, I swear.
KC: She makes all of her gifts by hand, usually.
What is your favorite memory together?
KC: Summiting Haystack Mountain in Boulder County, Colorado on a rest day.
AV: Honestly, probably the day I moved to the U.S. We had been talking about living together for years and it had been so delayed by the pandemic. Felt surreal to finally be roommates.
What’s one random memory you have of each other?
KC: Teaching each other a specific dance move so we could do it in unison at the afterparty in Paris. Also, starting the dancing part of the night at the afterparty in Paris.
AV: When I first moved to Salt Lake City, Kyra was working on the teeniest, tiniest, little puzzle you’ve ever seen. The pieces fit together terribly and the sky was one color gradient of blue. Yet, she worked on it for hours on end because she is the queen of puzzles. So impressive.
Which one of you is better at keeping secrets?
KC: Honestly, we just tell each other everything — but no one else, so both?
AV: We both keep secrets pretty well. I think it’s why we’re each other’s best friends.
What was your biggest fight about?
KC: Probably about the tension board in a gym in California.
AV: It’s usually about Googling or researching something. Kyra is really fact-/information-oriented and I typically want to lead by feeling. That said, I don’t know if I’d really call moments where we don’t see eye to eye as "fights," because I can’t even remember an exact one.
Was there ever a time when you considered not being friends?
AV: No, lol.
KC: Nope, never.
What’s one word you’d use to describe your friendship?
Why do you think your friendship works?
KC: I think it actually works because we are so different. We originally bonded thinking we were super similar and stayed friends by learning how different we are.
AV: We have opposite enough personalities to push each other to grow and see things from new perspectives, but we have really similar values and goals that make our intentions in life line up well. Plus, it’s just nice to know that I have someone who will always be there for me.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from each other?
AV: The biggest thing I’ve learned from Kyra is that hard work pays off.
KC: Tenacity, patience, and that we need coffee every morning.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23 on NBC.