Happy Monday and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The final episode of The Titan Games airs on NBC tonight and four of the six finalists are CrossFitters. Patrick Clark sat down with Matt Chan for a Q-and-A, and also provides a full preview of the finals below. And, following the big CrossFit Games announcement on Friday, Tommy Marquez spoke with 2019 Second Fittest Man on Earth, Noah Ohlsen, to get his thoughts.
Also, don’t miss Niki Brazier, Justin LoFranco and Tommy Marquez breaking down the Games changes on The Bottom Line.
Thank you for all the quote suggestions, story tips and PRs. Keep them rolling in at [email protected].
If you or your gym are getting back to holding local events, let us know.
“Don’t count on motivation, count on discipline.”– Jocko Willink
CrossFitters Battle for the Title on Season Finale of The Titan Games
It comes down to this, almost five months after the actual competition came to a close, we will finally know which
man and women will walk away from season two of NBC’s The Titan Games with the title of “Titan” and the $100,000
cash prize tonight at 8pm EST. The odds of a CrossFit athlete staking claim to that honor and prize is high, as four
of the six athletes in the finale follow CrossFit as a methodology and have competed in CrossFit at a high level.
The Finals Format: The three Regional Champions for both the men and women
will face off first in “Hammer Down” with the winner automatically earning a spot to compete on Mount Olympus. The
remaining two athletes will then compete in one of the more grueling events, the “Herculean Pull” to earn the final
spot on Mount Olympus.
Side Note and Spoiler: On Friday, NBC jumped the gun and released a clip on Instagram that appears to show finalist
Margaux Alvarez defeating Courtney Rochelle in the “Herculean Pull,” presumably indicating that the women’s Mt.
Olympus final will feature Alvarez versus Dani Speegle.
New obstacles and challenges will await the athletes on Mount Olympus unlike those they have seen in earlier
episodes. This will allow no distinct advantages for either of the athletes besides the winner of “Hammer Down”
competing in one less event and awarding them more rest and recovery.
The man and woman who conquers Mount Olympus and their opponent will be named champion.
The women’s division:
All three women finalists are CrossFitters as Dani Speegle (Central Region Titan) and Margaux Alvarez (West
Region Titan) have each competed at the Games. Courtney Roselle, the newly crowned East Region Titan, is a former
college basketball player who is a CrossFit coach and has competed at the Sanctional level.
All three women have yet to taste defeat during their time on The Titan Games. Alvarez has gone 5-0 in her
events with Speegle and Roselle each 4-0.
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Matt Chan Goes From Alternate to Regional Champion in The Titan Games
No doubt you will hear repeatedly over Monday’s broadcast finale of NBC’s The Titan Games that Central Region champion Matt Chan is the oldest competitor in this season’s iteration of the popular show. But there is so much more to 42-year-old Chan’s story as most in the CrossFit community know. His age is no hindrance in the competition, showing in his fight to earn a rematch against Joe Thomas on Mount Olympus, ultimately avenging an earlier loss to the NFL great and becoming the Central Region Titan.
Fighting to earn a spot is nothing new to Chan, in CrossFit competitions or even getting on The Titan Games to begin with. A fan of the first season, Chan applied and was eventually invited to try out for season two. He was selected as an alternate, but an injury to one of the show’s original competitors led to Chan’s entry on the show. With his background in a career fighting fires and his CrossFit roots meant he was prepared, leading him to the final episode. The Morning Chalk Up was able to catch up with the six-time CrossFit Games athlete and discuss his experiences on the show leading up to Monday’s final.
2nd Fittest Ohlsen Sees Top 5 As Once-in-Lifetime Games Opportunity
Friday afternoon, the CrossFit Games team made yet another major announcement regarding changes to the 2020 CrossFit Games format following a lengthy call with the 60 qualified individual athletes. The decision to add an online element to the competition to thin the field prior to the in-person competition at the Ranch will certainly be one that spurs debate in the coming weeks, while athletes re-adjust their plans for the Games yet again.
Noah Ohlsen, is coming off a career best year where he finally reached the CrossFit Games podium, and came the closest of any athlete to unseating Mat Fraser since his title run began. The path back though has required some adjustments into the mindset of how he’s approaching the season so far.
“I’ve really had to work on being as adaptable as possible since so much of this is outside of my control,” Ohlsen said. “A lot of people are in the same boat, so I’ve tried to be mindful of that and focus on what’s within the scope of my control each day.”
His performance in 2019 has certainly added interest in seeing a rematch at the Games this year, but the volatility of the past few months has left athletes in a holding pattern, including the reigning silver medalist.
“I’ll be honest it’s been tough trying to stay dialed in with training without knowing when, and if something is happening with the Games,” Ohlsen told the Morning Chalk Up. “I’ve worked hard on stepping outside of that mindset to be able to stay on my game. At least now we have something more concrete to prepare for.”
Ohlsen placed 6th in the Open and 3rd at Wodapalooza behind Patrick Vellner and Cole Sager, respectively.
It should be noted: The dates for both portionsof the online and in-person competitions are still unknown, along with details surrounding equipment, multiple attempts at workouts, and a host of other things that multiple athletes asked the Games team during their recent call but went unanswered.
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Congratulations to Sergio H., who was the first to correctly answer which year did all of the Regional Events for Individuals and Teams not include a barbell. The correct answer was 2017. Sergio was the first to correctly answer the Trivia question, now on back-to-back occasions and increases his total to nine times.
Today’s question: Which Games Individual Champion(s) did not win a Games Event in the year of his/her Championship?
Chase Crawford overhead squats 250 pounds for 2 for a PR.
Good Read: Elijah Muhammad Opens up about CrossFit, Racism and His Next Moves
On Friday, Games veteran Elijah “EZ” Muhammad authored a guest article for Men’s Health (as told to Andrew Lawrence) on his CrossFit journey and the tumultuous events this summer that shed light on issues of race and diversity within the fitness community. It’s a revealing piece and one that is fully worth the read. Here are a few takeaways:
Elijah Muhammad on racism in CrossFit: “I have experienced some prejudice competing in CrossFit, but I won’t say racism, because I feel like racism is clear-cut, blunt: I don’t like you because of your skin color. You’re not welcome here. I haven’t experienced anything like that. No racial slurs. Some prejudices because I’m Black? Yes.”
On supporting African American athletes in CrossFit: “Where I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, you support your brothers. It was, Yo, your mom works at the corner store? Oh, I’m going to buy stuff from that corner store because your mom works there. Oh, this Black kid’s the top basketball player? Whatever you need, we gonna help you….If I see a Black person in CrossFit, I’m gonna be the first to walk up, hug them, tell them like, Yo, I’m glad to see you here. Whatever you need from me, you just let me know. That’s what I stand for.”
On his goals: “My sole goal is to uplift the Black community, to be Unorthodox in every way, and bring justice and equality among everyone that I stand around. My community still stands. They know who I am. They respect and love me as I respect and love them.”