CanWest Games Athletes No Closer to Getting Paid as CanFit Productions Releases Public Letter

November 1, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Anikha Greer(@anikhagreer)
Enjoying Morning Chalk Up? Access additional exclusive interviews, analyses, and stories with an Rx membership.

On October 28, CanFit Productions, the company that hosts the CanWest Games in Vancouver, British Columbia sent out a public letter to the community announcing a new competition they’re going to be hosting: The YVR Winter Classic, slated for February 2023. 

They also went on to address “the issue of outstanding payments” to CanWest Games 2022 elite athletes, suggesting in the letter that the YVR Winter Classic is hoping to raise revenue to pay the CanWest athletes, who have still not been awarded their prize purse winnings for the event that took place in July. 

“Our plan to honor the prize purse commitments we made to athletes is to continue to operate events, improve the financial performance so that we generate proceeds from these events, and allocate these proceeds towards our obligations,” the letter stated. 

Remind me: The CanWest Games, which was won by CrossFit Games athlete Chandler Smith and up-and-coming star Anikha Greer, promised a CA$15,000 cash prize to the winners, and a total prize purse of $105,500.

  • Athletes were originally told they would receive their prize winnings four to six weeks after the event, but when the event failed to raise enough revenue, and according to organizer Mike McClean “lost money,” the payout timeline was bumped. 
  • On August 29, he told athletes they would be paid “as a percentage of your total amount” over the course of three payments slated to be paid on September 30, October 31 and November 30. 
  • In late September, CanFit Productions hosted the CanEast Games in Ontario, the assumption being they would use the revenue generated from that event to honor the CanWest prize purse.
  • No dice. On October 1, athletes received an email from McClean saying his team was unable to “fulfill the CanWest Games prize payout schedule I had communicated on August 30.”
  • In that same email, McClean promised athletes an update by October 31, which came in the form of the public letter on October 28, a letter that told athletes nothing in terms of when they can expect payment.

The big picture: CanWest athletes don’t seem to be any closer to receiving their prize purse, as CanFit Productions pushes on hosting the YVR Winter Classic in hopes of becoming profitable enough to honor their commitments.

  • “We have already identified many areas of improvement, both operationally and financially, that we will be implementing so that our 2023 events are successful and profitable,” the letter stated.
  • It ended by saying: “If you’re one of the many who we have had a positive impact on over the past year, we appreciate your support…If you’ve had a less than positive experience, thank you for your patience and support. Please understand that we’re continuing to get better, and we hope that you do come back to improve on that experience.”

Get the Newsletter

For a daily digest of all things CrossFit. Community, Competitions, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Deals and more.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.