Happy Monday Morning Chalk Up readers! If you’re off to a slow start after the holiday weekend, sip your coffee ☕️ take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the final athletes going to the CrossFit Games 🏋️♀️.
The (unofficial) results are in and the stage is set as the last four athletes advance to the Games from the LCQ.
Now that Semifinals are in the rearview mirror, do athletes and coaches prefer consistent programming or a mixed bag?
Plus, have you seen our new CHALKFIT shirts? Available for pre-order until 7/9.
“I remember that night, laying in the hospital. I was really angry, confused. Why did this happen to me, I’m a pretty fit guy, 43-years-old…” — Kevin Kessler after suffering a “sudden cardiac death” at a CrossFit Competition.
“Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.”- Jim Rohn
Final Four Games Spots Secured
The 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games is set, well unofficially, as the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) concluded on Sunday with the submission of the final two workouts. Roman Khrennikov and Emma Tall held on to their day one leads and won the LCQ with Alexandre Caron and Kristi Eramo O’Connell receiving their respective divisions’ final Games invitation.
The leaderboard will be finalized by CrossFit on or before July 10.
Four Takeaways from the Final Day of the LCQ
The Khrennikov Question. Khrennikov was a popular choice to receive one of the two men’s invitations from the LCQ and also a favorite to win the online competition. The looming question as always with the Russian athlete is can he make his live, in-person appearance at the Games? His difficulties in being able to secure the necessary visa to travel to the United States to compete at the Games is well known. There’s little to indicate that it will change this year, especially with the Games set to start in less than three weeks.
So where does that put CrossFit? Do they backfill that spot with third-place finisher Tyler Christophel or not? Either way Khrennikov has once again shown he belongs at the Games with this weekend’s performance.
Why Fikowski and O’Connell Have Signed with New Jump Rope Company
We got the tip-off that Velites, leading equipment innovators from Barcelona, just signed CrossFit Games athletes Brent Fikowski and Kristi O’Connell, and they’ll be launching their Earth 2.0 jump rope in the U.S. later this month.
Remind me: Who is Velites? Velites’ team of engineers and athletes create equipment and training tech that pair innovative design with enhanced functionality. Translation: They’re the Apple of the fitness equipment world.
What’s the buzz from the athletes?
Fikowski: “My first impression of the Earth 2.0 was wow, Velites thought of everything! I am incredibly thorough in how I prepare for competition so I love that the Earth 2.0 puts as much thought and care into its design as I put into my training. Each individual piece is such high quality, and the sum of the parts creates a jump rope in a class of its own.”
O’Connell: “The first 30 seconds using this rope feels great and then the training begins and the fatigue sets in. The added weights and heavy cable challenge my entire body by taxing my grip, my triceps, my biceps and shoulders, sending my heart rate through the roof.”
The Last Chance Qualifier wrapped up yesterday and while the leaderboard won’t be finalized until or before July 10, according to CrossFit, here’s where it stands now. Final Leaderboard:
1. Roman Khrennikov (332) | Emma Tall (344)
2. Alexandre Caron (312) | Kristi Eramo-O’Connell (328)
3. Tyler Christophel (304) | Madeline Sturt (262)
4. Taylor Self (275) | Karin Freyova (261)
5. Khan Porter (268) | Manon Angonese (257)
6. Phil Toon (257) | Matilde Garnes (256)
7. Ioannis Papadopoulos (256) | Feeroozeh Saghafi (252)
8. Alex Kotoulas(255) | Valentina Rangel (244)
9. Kaique Cerveny (249) | Christine Kolenbrander (237)
10. James Newbury(240) | Oihana Moya (235)
*Pending Final Video Review by CrossFit
Dave Castro teased the first workoutfor individuals at the CrossFit Games that will kick off on the morning of Wednesday, July 28.
His hint to the athletes: “Swim. Distance, long…and paddle. Distance, even longer,” said Castro.
The Filthy 150, one of the events of the CrossFit Sanctionals system, is returning on November 20-21, 2021. The event will be held at the same venue, the historic Punchestown Racecourse in Eadestown, County Kildare, in Ireland.
WarriorWOD Donations and Fundraiser: WarriorWOD, a veteran-led nonprofit organization that is dedicated to serving those who have served, makes powerful, positive impacts through fitness with access to scholarships, accountability, and therapeutic resources for vets.
They are currently collecting donations and proceedsfrom merchandise to provide at-risk veterans with scholarships for gym memberships, in-home fitness equipment, access to personal trainers, nutrition coaching, and therapy. Through this effort, WarriorWOD will be able to provide veterans a holistic alternative or additional treatment for prescription anti-depressants to combat PTSD and thoughts of suicide.
Annie Thorisdottir has partnered with Transparent Labs, a supplement company that offers products with 100% formula transparency and science-based ingredients at clinically effective dosages.
Athletes, Coaches Offer Opinions on Efficacy of Semifinals Programming
As a fan, there was something beautiful about the Regional competition qualification days. For three to four weeks you could watch some of the fittest athletes from around the world perform the same tests. It kind of felt like a good TV series, anticipating and predicting which athlete could beat so-and-so’s top score from the week prior.
That all ended in 2019 when CrossFit LLC canned Regional competitions in favor of the Sanctionals system, where each event offered its own, unique programming. Something that was set to continue this season with the introduction of the Semifinals format.
Good News is our weekly round-up of positive stories around the affiliate community. Are you opening a new gym, expanding a current location, offering new classes, or is your box running a fundraiser? Send us a tip to be featured.
New Affiliate: CrossFit Sports Performance and Rowing Center opened this week in Charlottesville, VA. The gym offers, CrossFit kids, masters classes, high school off-season training and classic CrossFit programming, as well as in-house chiropractic care.
Charity event for Autism: CrossFit 8 Mile in Livonia, MI is hosting an event called “First Response Fights Autism” on September 18. The gym owner, Nick Carignan is a firefighter and his wife, Monica is a nurse. Together they have three children, two of whom have autism. So far, 14 gyms and 2 fire departments are registered to participate in the event. Funds raised will help equip and educate medical first responders to better treat and work with patients on the autism spectrum.
GoFundMe for Teutonic CrossFit Member: Teutonic CrossFit is a small affiliate located near Ramstein Air Base in Germany that opened on January 1, 2020. Tragically, a member of the gym, Cassidy Chiasson, collapsed during a workout on June 16 and never recovered, passing away later that day. The gym has created a memorial WOD in her honor and a GoFundMe for her family, she is survived by her husband, four-year-old son, and nine-month-old daughter.
Adaptive Athletes and Games Qualifier, JCruz Gudino, Fundraiser: Jcruz Gudino is an adaptive athlete who qualified for the first-ever adaptive division at the CrossFit Games this year. Two and half years ago JCruz suddenly found himself without any use of his lower body. The doctors diagnosed him with a rare neurological disease and gave him terrible odds for returning to normal. To help fund his trip to the Games, his gym, CrossFit SAC, has started a GoFundMe campaign on his behalf.
Kevin Kessler Finds Acceptance and Redemption After “Sudden Cardiac Death”
August 10, 2019, is when Kevin Kessler says his “life truly changed.” It was the day the 43-year-old athlete collapsed during a CrossFit competition due to an abnormal — and deadly — heart rhythm.
His story: Kessler was competing in an event called Fittest of the Upstate, a competition in South Carolina he calls the “next step” for athletes who love contests but will never make the Games. It was invite-only, and each participant qualified with their scores from the Open.
The morning of the competition, Kessler says he woke up feeling good. Then, he started the first workout, an AMRAP of rowing, burpee-box-jump-overs, kettlebell snatches, and a sandbag carry.
“The very first round I went through and I was like, ‘Oh, I really don’t feel well.’ The second time I got back to the row, I actually stopped in the middle of it. Even my judge was like, ‘What are you doing, you can’t stop!’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m so tired and this is awful,’” he says.
The second workout went better, Kessler “bounced back” with a top-10 finish. It was when he went to cheer on another competitor after finishing event three that things went wrong:
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