The Atlas Games kicks off in Montreal, Quebec in just two weeks but an unforeseen political battle between the government and the Indigenous people of Canada over 200 miles away has put the event’s current plans for programming, presentation, and equipment on hold.
A shipping container filled with custom TYDAX Fitness gear for the the event is currently stuck 2,700 miles away in the Port of Vancouver as a railroad blockade in Tyendinaga, Ontario has prevented the container departing on schedule, potentially preventing it’s delivery in time for the event entirely.
At a standstill: Objections over the construction of a natural gas pipeline through the Wet’suwet’en tribe’s traditional territories led members of the Mohawk First Nation to construct the blockade in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en chiefs.
- The blockade sits at a key railroad juncture for train shipments heading to major cities like Montreal and Toronto.
- As a result, there has been a sweeping stoppage of Canada’s cross-country rail system leading to 1,500 temporary layoffs and a mounting backlog of shipment delays.
- International containers entering Canada enter through ports in Western Canada and then need to be railed to the destination city before being trucked to the destination point.
Stuck in the middle: Unfortunately for the Atlas Games, the situation is effectively out of their control and puts a damper on what they had planned with their official equipment provider, Tydax Fitness.
- The TYDAX team has spent the last several months working directly with the Atlas Games to provide an elite competition experience through equipment and competition floor design.
- Chad Davis, TYDAX CEO: “From a brand new custom-designed competition rig, strategically built with 10 wider lanes to accommodate synchro workouts. The rig was designed with colors to match both the branding of the Atlas Games and TYDAX Fitness. This shipment also included colored TYDAX competition bars that were voted on by the athletes and followers of the Atlas Games. Other staples like our Competition plates, plyoboxes, medicine balls and dumbbells are also on the shipment”
Time for a plan B: Thankfully, the event and Tydax have a contingency plan in place and are still working actively to provide a workable solution in the meantime that could also still involve the delayed equipment.
- Davis: “We have now sent in an application to have our container shipped back west to our Edmonton headquarters. Our hope is that we can get that container to TYDAX, offload it and reload onto a truck for transport it across Canada to Montreal. There is a very small window of this happening, but we are hoping for the best.”
- If that falls through, a traditional competition rig will be used, and TYDAX will use their current inventory to source standard barbells and bumper plates, instead of custom competition plates, as well as the remaining equipment needed.
- Alexis Leblanc-Bazinet, Event Director: “We might need to reprogram some of the workouts because of specific equipment and floor plan redesign. We might even need a little help from the community and gym owners in the area for some equipment.”
We’ve seen this before: In 2018, the Brazil truck driver’s strike over diesel prices prevented the equipment shipped by Rogue, Assault Fitness, and Concept2 from arriving at the Latin America Regional in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
- 16 different local affiliates donated gear at a moment’s notice, and the event was able to move forward with only minor adjustments to the programming.
The blockade was officially removed earlier this week, but more blockades have sprung up across the country in response, and Canadian officials announced no rail shipments would be sent east until the issue is resolved. Atlas Games officials have informed us that a formal announcement regarding the final status and plan moving forward should be expected at the end of next week.
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New Zealand athlete Harriet Roberts has been chasing a CrossFit Games invitation as an individual since 2015.