CrossFit Games

“Patience and Persistence” Set Australia’s John Champion Up for First Games Appearance

May 27, 2021 by
Photo Credit: John Champion (instagram.com/johnchampionpt)
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On May 28-30, the top athletes from the Oceania region will face off in Brisbane at the Torian Pro Semifinal. Only the top three in each division will book a trip to the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games, and John Champion has every intention of being among this group. He has put in the work at Legion Strength and Conditioning, and he is ready to put his patience and persistence on full display. 

Remind me: Champion competed in the 2018 Regional as a member of the LEGION team, who finished 16th. Champion has continued to test his skills against other athletes, including at the Australian CrossFit Championship Sanctional. Now he is heading to Semifinals after finishing ninth overall in the Oceania Quarterfinals. 

A consistent presence: Champion has made a steady rise up the leaderboard throughout his career, placing 5333rd in Australia in 2016 and reaching 34th in Oceania in 2021. Champion has made this progress with the help of his coach, who he has worked with for eight years running. 

  • “Cem Duru is his name, and he was the first coach I ever had from doing CrossFit,” Champion said. “I’ve stayed with him and stayed with Legion since I first started. He’s a smart dude, and it’s working.”
  • “He’s got a sign posted above the leaderboard every time we do a brief in the workout. And it’s just two words: ‘patience and persistence.’ I think, training-wise, that’s probably one of the biggest things I’ve learned. You need to know how to come in and do the boring stuff and do things that you’re bad at.” 
  • “I’m gonna do workouts that feel like s— and have terrible training sessions where I can’t get my workout done. Because I know eventually when I have to do those in competition, I’m now going to perform better.” 

Face to face: When Champion steps onto the competition floor, he will do so next to some talented athletes. He will face off with Khan Porter, James Newbury, and Ben Fowler among others. Fortunately for Champion, this setup is exactly what he had hoped for. He prefers testing his skills against fellow CrossFitters.

  • “I want the opportunity to compete,” Champion explained. “Like, doing the online stuff was fun, but it doesn’t give me the same feeling of… even if I lose a workout, at least I’m getting the opportunity to compete against someone like that and compete against those caliber of people in person. And you just get a different vibe at in-person competitions.”
  • “I definitely prefer in-person competition. I really enjoy actually performing and being able to physically see someone as they’re racing you. That little bit of competitiveness is what makes it fun for me.”

Making the journey: Like many of the CrossFit athletes heading to the Semifinals, Champion has been testing out a couple of the announced workouts, but has also focused on making the trip from the western coast of Australia to Brisbane and ensuring that everything is ready for him to succeed. 

  • “I’m going to go a few days earlier,” Champion said. “Just so I can sort of get over there. Try and get into that sleep schedule a little bit more. And like prep my meals, all that sort of stuff.
  • “And just sort of give me a bit of time to get used to the city a little bit as well. I think because I’m very much a homebody, I don’t really travel outside of Perth, ever.”

The bottom line: Champion is on the cusp of his first appearance at the CrossFit Games as an individual athlete. The lone remaining hurdle is the Torian Pro and the talented athletes in the Oceania region. Champion does not know if he will end the weekend above the cutoff line, but he is ready to compete and showcase how much work he has put in over the past year.

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