CrossFit Games

Groin Injury Slows Vellner on Day One, But Only a Bit

September 19, 2020 by
Photo Credit: Tamane Photography (
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Moments after finishing Damn Diane on Day 1 of the CrossFit Games, Canadian star Patrick Vellner turned to the small group gathered in masks at CrossFit Nanaimo in British Columbia and said: “Now we just have the worst event left.”

As luck would have it, “the worst event” turned out to be Vellner’s best event thus far. He finished the 1,000 meter row in a time of 2:54.8, good enough for seventh overall.

  • “I think it was about a six second PR,” said Vellner, who stumbled off the rowing machine within a few seconds of finishing the event, walked over to the PR bell and gave it a solid ring with a smile on his face. Then he addressed the group: “That’s one of the more tolerable ones to do with people here,” he said.

Slow start: The day didn’t begin that well for the podium contender. Vellner placed 16th and 21st on the first two events. But his coach Michele Letendre wasn’t surprised.

  • “We knew those events would be tough for Pat,” she said.

That’s because Vellner has been battling a groin injury in recent weeks.

  • “I squatted on Wednesday for the first time in three weeks,” said Vellner, who put up a 383 pound front squat on the Max Front Squat.
  • “Those events didn’t go as well as I would have liked, but I did as well as I could…and to be honest, some of the numbers guys put up (on the front squat) were insane,” he said, adding that even if he would have “been on my best two legs,” he wouldn’t have contended for a top spot on that event.

One big thing: At the 2016 East regionals, Vellner suffered a torn bicep muscle in his left arm, and went on to qualify to his first CrossFit Games, proving his uncanny ability to perform well even amidst injuries.

Photo Credit: Tamane Photography (

Not getting ahead of himself: Considering Vellner’s a former gymnast, you’d expect he would be stoked about tomorrow’s Handstand Hold event, but he shrugged and said he’s not sure it will be his ace card.

  • “You’d expect that would be a great event for me, but sometimes the things I’m supposed to be good at stress me out a lot,” he said. “And I think there’s a very good chance I might have crippling DOMS tomorrow, so we’ll see.”

The big picture: Heading into Day two, Vellner sits in eighth overall, 26 points away from breaking into the top 5.

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