WheelWOD Games Returns in 2021, Starts this Month

November 4, 2020 by
Photo Credit: Amalia Ortuno (
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After the 2020 WheelWOD Games were cancelled due to the global COVID pandemic, it’s back, and the qualification process for the 2021 Games kicks off at the end of November.

Remind me: The WheelWOD Games is the pinnacle competition for adaptive athletes. Qualification happens through the WheelWOD Open, an online competition. The ultimate goal of the event that started in 2016 is to find the fittest adaptive athletes in the world.

The details: The online qualification — Stage 1 — process involves six workouts over the course of three weeks, starting on November 30 and ending on November 20. Athletes will complete two workouts each week at their  home gym, submitted via video submission.

  • The top five men and top five women in each division will advance to Stage 2 — the WheelWOD Games — an in-person competition, to be held in conjunction with the Winter Classic in Cleveland, OH in November 2021.
  • Those who qualified to the 2020 cancelled WheelWOD Games will also be invited to the 2021 event, as long as they complete the 2021 online qualifier, explained Alec Zirkenbach, the founder of the Adaptive Training Academy and director of the WheelWOD Games.
  • Zirkenbach said his team would also “gladly run adaptive divisions at any sanctionals who want to make their competition inclusive,” he said, but that will likely depend on the state of the pandemic.

One big thing: Last year, 287 athletes from 21 countries competed in the online qualifier. This year, Zirkenbach said they’re expecting more than 300 athletes. Regardless of numbers, however, Zirkenbach’s main goal is simply to be able to have a safe, in-person event again, “where our community can come back together,” he said. 

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