Jesse Grupper wasn't always in the climbing spotlight. In fact, he only decided to pursue professional climbing full time in 2022.

The first-time Olympian, now 27, struggled to find safe ways in which to mitigate his excess energy as a child. That is, until he started climbing.

By age 9, Grupper had joined the senior bouldering team at his local rock gym and had begun competing nationally. By 13, he discovered his second passion: helping children with disabilities participate in the sport.

One engineering degree and one stint with the Harvard Biodesign Lab later, Grupper made it his priority to make his own place of refuge accessible to everyone around him by designing equipment that improves movement and dexterity in many that struggle with it.

This week's episode of "My New Favorite Olympian" from NBC Sports follows Grupper through his climbing career, education and journey navigating the diagnosis of his ulcerative colitis, a chronic intestinal disease that has severely impacted his ability to climb.

"I think being able to push myself as a climber and physically better myself is one thing, but just being able to have the same process of providing an opportunity to another person to push themselves as well is just a whole [different] playing field and something that really resonates [with] me as impactful and meaningful as a part of my life," Grupper said.

Hear all that and more in the latest episode of My New Favorite Olympian.

"My New Favorite Olympian" is an NBC Sports podcast that features the stories of some of Team USA’s most inspiring athletes and the causes they champion. New episodes will release weekly in the lead-up to Paris and between the conclusion of the Olympics and the beginning of the Paralympics.

Follow the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or your favorite podcast platform.