American climber Nathaniel Coleman, 24, landed on the podium at the Tokyo Games after barely qualifying for the final

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Nathaniel Coleman
Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty

American climber Nathaniel Coleman made history in Tokyo!

Coleman, 24, earned a silver medal during Thursday's men's combined sports climbing final at the Tokyo Games as the event made its Olympic debut. The win marked the U.S.'s first-ever climbing medal.

After placing eight in qualifications and squeezing his way into the finals, Coleman finished with 30.00 total points behind Spain's Alberto Gines Lopez who won gold with 28.00. Austria's Jakob Schubert won the bronze with 35.00 points. 

Coleman's best event was the bouldering round where he placed first, falling short of Lopez in the other two disciplines — sixth place in speed climbing and fifth place in lead climbing. He was the only climber during the bouldering round to top two of the three boulders, highlighting his strength and style.

Nathaniel Coleman
Credit: Maja Hitij/Getty

During the finals, the Utah native's family and friends cheered him on from Salt Lake City.

"Did they just say Nathaniel Coleman?!" the climber's father, Richard, said while watching his son win silver at a family watch party, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

"I'm proud of him, really proud of him," he added. "I wasn't expecting this really. I'm just totally thrilled. Just thrilled."

Coleman's mother, Rosane, also told the outlet that it was "a joy" to watch her son compete and finish at the top.

"To know that he had such a great speed run, got a personal best, did great in bouldering," she said. "He just had such a good day. He was so happy and climbed so well."

The other U.S. climber in the final, 17-year-old Colin Duffy, finished seventh with 60.00 points.
On Tuesday, Coleman celebrated his and Duffy's accomplishments at the Tokyo Games prior to finals, writing on Instagram, "Wow... @colinclimbs went beast mode today. I had a roller coaster of a round😂 But we both made it to finals!! Feels unreal."

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.