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Tori Allen

Tori Allen grew up climbing trees with monkeys in the jungles of Africa. She now lives in the United States - but she's still one of the best climbers and she still hangs out with monkeys.

When Tori Allen was four years old, she moved with her parents to Benin, a small country in Africa, because her parents were working in a Christian mission. While she was there, Tori began climbing trees and soon adopted a mona monkey named Georgie who followed her into the trees everywhere. Before Tori Allen and her family returned to the United States, Georgie was bitten by a snake and died. While Georgie went to monkey heaven, Tori went to Indiana and started climbing on climbing walls when she was 10. A month later Tori Allen entered her first wall climbing competition and won.

Since then, Tori Allen has been a climbing machine. She is now one of the top ranked climbers in the United States. In 2000, Tori Allen became the youngest person to climb a route with a 5.13a (out of a 5.15a) degree of difficulty on a first try. She also won a gold medal in climbing at the Gorge Games in July, 2001. Tori Allen's success comes from her flexibility and the use of her monkey-like fingers and toes and her overly long arms. Sometimes Tori hangs from a rock using nothing more than the ends of two fingers. It also helps that her parents own a climbing gym near their home in Indiana.

It was the monkeys in Africa that first taught Tori Allen how to climb and she's never forgotten them. She has a collection of more than 200 toy monkeys and at competitions she throws out tiny monkey dolls to the crowd. Not surprisingly, Tori Allen always climbs with a tiny Curious George doll to remember her first climbing parter - Georgie, the monkey in Africa.

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