Mariah Moore Prepares for ‘Emotional’ and ‘Vulnerable’ 2021 CrossFit Games Documentary
The CrossFit Games returned to Madison in force in 2021, resulting in a wildly memorable week of competition — for reasons both good and bad. Director Mariah Moore and a content team were on hand, capturing footage as Justin Medeiros and Tia-Clair Toomey won their respective divisions. Now they are preparing to use this footage to create a powerful documentary.
One big thing: The co-director on multiple previous CrossFit projects, including “Froning: The Fittest Man in History,” Moore embraced two projects after welcoming twins. She set out to bring the once-shelved 2018 Games documentary back to life. She also agreed to create another about the 2021 return to Madison.
A large change: Moore previously worked with Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers — the Buttery Bros — on documentaries about the CrossFit Games. This time, however, she will be taking on a new role. Moore will be the sole director and will showcase her voice during the 90-minute feature.
- “We’re in a different place where I’m no longer working with co-directors,” Moore said. “I get to own the vision now and it’s cool because it’s like I’m learning this whole new process of getting to decide how I tell the story my own way.
- “It’s new for me because I’ve never gotten to solely direct from start to finish on something. It’s been fun to learn what exactly my storytelling looks like on a big scale like this.”
Prepare for an epic storytime: What makes the CrossFit Games special is that the best content sometimes takes place away from the competition floor. The crews capture sit-down interviews with the biggest athletes in the sport, sometimes after extremely emotional moments. The 2021 documentary will continue this proud tradition.
- “The entire team that I worked with, everybody, I think we walked away from this past year and we’re like, ‘man, this is by far the best content that we’ve ever gotten, ever.’ The stories were insane. We are going to see different sides of these athletes because they came in with such different emotions than they’ve ever experienced”
- “We had Brent Fikowski, such an amazing athlete, and he’s known for his near-misses, whether it’s on the podium or even making it to the Games. This year was an incredibly emotional year for him.”
A devastating moment took place on the competition floor when Brooke Wells dislocated her elbow during the one-rep max snatch event. She later revealed that she suffered a complete tear of the muscle and ligaments on the inner side of the elbow (UCL), which caused the dislocation. This injury changed the tone of the weekend and removed a contender from the competition.
- “Talking to Brooke Wells about her injury and then talking to [Tia-Clair Toomey]. The experience and the emotions that she went through when her training partner was injured.”
- “The sit-down interviews were by far the most emotional and vulnerable and beautiful interviews that I think CrossFit will have ever captured.”
Given the massive amount of content that Moore and her team captured, it’s inevitable that some incredible moments will not make the final cut. However, they do not simply take this footage and throw it in the garbage can. Moore and the team will use the best of this left-over footage and turn it into special features for those who purchase the film on iTunes.
Bottom line: There will be some major changes to the CrossFit Games documentary with Moore no longer working alongside Cannon and Sawyers as co-directors. However, these changes will lead to an exciting new era as Moore shows the world her unique voice and highlights an emotional week of competition.