CrossFit Games

Vellner, Davidson, Rolfe Hit Atlas Games Together, All Three Sit in Top Five After Day One

June 18, 2021 by
Credit: Emily Rolfe (instagram.com/emily_rolfe19/)
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When it was announced that the Atlas Games would be an online Semifinals, Canadians Patrick Vellner, Adam Davidson and Emily Rolfe decided to create a competitive advantage for themselves by going head-to-head all weekend at Davidson’s gym, CrossFit Lolo in Victoria, British Columbia.

  • “Any edge you can give yourself to have that competitive feeling and light a fire under your back side helps,” explained Kyle Rolfe, Emily’s husband, who coaches both Emily and Davidson. 

So far so good: After the first day of competition at the Atlas Games, five-time CrossFit Games athlete Vellner is tied for first place with Dane Smith, while Davidson, a rookie from last year’s Games, is tied for fifth with Samuel Cournoyer. On the women’s side, Rolfe, a 2019 Games competitor, sits in fourth.

Worth noting: Rolfe submitted the top score on the women’s side on Workout 2 — 12:05 — but she received a “major penalty” because “she wasn’t opening her hips enough on the deadlifts,” Kyle explained of the reason given for her nearly two-minute penalty. 

  • The penalty knocked Rolfe to 9th on that event, but even her penalized time of 13:52 was good enough to keep her in the top five heading into Day 2.
  • “Emily is pissed, but she’ll use that as fire and she’ll do what Emily always does. There will be some anger taken out tomorrow,” Kyle said, admitting that watching her do “damage control” isn’t the easiest thing on his heart. “There’s an AED on hand,” he said, laughing. 

One big thing: While they didn’t do Workout 1 head-to-head — Emily went first, followed by Davidson and then Vellner — Vellner and Davidson posted the exact same score on Friendly Fran (3:56), a time that blew both of their Friendly Fran times from last year’s Games out of the water.

  • Davidson’s Friendly Fran time Friday was 58 seconds better than his 4:52 time from last year’s Games, while Vellner shed 24 seconds. 

The big picture: Kyle insists the environment at CrossFit Lolo this weekend, along with the very real friendships they have forged with each other—“Not a day goes by that Emily doesn’t speak to Pat (Vellner),” Kyle said—will help the three Canadians continue to perform to their potential this weekend.

  • “The atmosphere here is just great,” he said, adding that Michelle Aubrey, the manager at CrossFit Lolo has created a professional event that is “running like a well-oiled machine,” complete with a full schedule of the day, photographers and videographers, and even massage therapist and ice tubs. And he’s confident the competitive atmosphere at CrossFit Lolo, combined with the athletes’ genuine support for one another, will be the edge they need to punch their tickets to Madison on Sunday. 

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