“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”- Martha Graham
Top Storylines to Watch in the First Post Dave Castro CrossFit Games Season
It’s less than 20 days away from the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Open and with it the 16th season of the CrossFit Games. With a full off-season of competitions and no shortage of news, here are some storylines to keep an eye out on as we begin the new season.
A new Games regime: the shock has subsided, Dave Castro is no longer a part of the Games, so what does Justin Bergh, the new general manager of sport and his staff have in store for the community and athletes? The Open may not answer that question initially but I wouldn’t expect any major changes from the format and programming but rather the presentation.
Paid like professionals: last season athletes were not happy with the pay structure of the season, especially when it came to Semifinals and the lack of payouts for the Quarterfinals. With former CEO and current Board Chairman Eric Roza vowing to make the sport more professional can we expect those things to change this season?
The final two: speaking of Semifinals, there were two glaring omissions from the Semifinal announcement two weeks ago. With less than five months till the beginning of the Semifinals, who will be the final two North American Semifinal hosts? Will the Granite Games and the West Coast Classic return or will we see new hosts?
The Medeiros Era: we caught some flack for proclaiming that the Justin Medeiros era has begun after winning his first “Fittest” crown in 2021. After seeing his performance at the Rogue Invitational and hearing he’s hitting PRs in all his weightlifting metrics, he could be preparing for a long run as the Alpha of the men’s division.
Vellner’s time? Medeiros will no doubt be challenged by Patrick Vellner who is coming off a successful off-season, finishing second to Medeiros at the Rogue Invitational before winning his third-straight Wodapalooza. Will this be the year the Canadian stands atop the Games podium?
Tickets, get your Tickets! On Monday, March 28, tickets for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games will go on sale to the public. Affiliates that have 12 or more athletes sign up for the 2022 Open will receive early access during the affiliate presale, March 24-27. And, there are discounted hotel accommodations available.
“Looking at the CrossFit Games alone, the same number of women are invited to the CrossFit Games as men. Women are awarded the same amount of prize money as their male counterparts. Women compete in the same types of events as the men. And women are breaking all-time records for both divisions.”
Out with the Globe, in with the NOBULL. The title sponsor of the CrossFit Games has moved into the old Boston Globe building, which is a whopping 96,000 square feet.
Semifinals Athletes Will Do Two Workouts Programmed by CrossFit
The announcement that Eric Roza would transition from CEO to Chairman of the Board for CrossFit dominated the news this week, but “The Hopper” email sent out on the same day dropped a few important details about the 2022 Games season.
In case you missed it: CrossFit will program two individual and two team events across all 2022 CrossFit Games Semifinals.
Tell me more: At the end of the 2021 season, CrossFit asked for community feedback and among other suggestions, consistency across competitions was one of the key responses.
From the email: “In response to that feedback, CrossFit has decided to program two individual and two team events for all 2022 CrossFit Games Semifinals. Additionally, CrossFit has provided specific parameters for the remaining workouts that will be programmed by Semifinals event organizers. We will work closely with each event team to review and amend their programming before the workouts are finalized.”
Why this matters: Between 2009 and 2018, athletes qualified for the CrossFit Games through the Regionals system. During this time, athletes who advanced from the Open competed against one another in the same workouts (although they were spread out across several weekends around the globe). By creating shared workouts across the Semifinals, CrossFit is returning to a system that more closely resembles Regionals.
From the email: “[The common workouts] will increase consistency and support cross-competition comparisons in the Semifinal stage of the CrossFit Games season. The change is designed to create a more level and comparable test for all athletes hoping to qualify for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.”
Can Monster Help Professionalize CrossFit?
Brows furrowed across the CrossFit community when the multi-billion dollar drink company Monster Energy showed up as a sponsor at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games
The main problem: Monster Energy—a company that is 19.3 percent owned by Coca-Cola—is generally associated with sugary beverages perceived to be at odds with CrossFit’s emphasis on improving health.
Undeterred, Monster Pushes Forward
Despite not being given a warm welcome from the CrossFit community, Monster didn’t shy away after last summer’s Games. Instead, they spread their tentacles deeper, and recently revealed they have signed an A-list of Games athletes.
Matt O’Keefe announced he is joining Mat Fraser’s HWPO Training as CEO. The announcement comes on the heels of his recent departure from his long-time role as President of Loud and Live Sports, the company that owns and operates major CrossFit events including Granite Games, West Coast Classic, Madrid CrossFit Championship, and Wodapalooza. The announcement on January 20 came shortly after the 10th anniversary of Miami’s Wodapalooza Fitness Festival.
Mat Fraser: “I couldn’t be happier and more proud to have O’Keefe in my corner, again. He was in my corner for seven years of competing; he was a huge support to me during those years. Now, we get to work together on growing this business. The support and the work ethic from my competition career is the same, we just get to put that into the HWPO Training and our community.”
O’Keefe: “I am excited to continue to do that and put my energy into a business and brand that perfectly aligns with these values. Show Up. Work Hard. Hard Work Pays Off.”
One big thing: O’Keefe is coming on to position the HWPO brand as a cross-sports training platform beyond just CrossFit with the potential to partner with big box training facilities and more boutique at-home training like Peloton. Their first order of business will be to build their own mobile and web app to bring the HWPO community together into one place which they have slated for an April 1 launch date.
Currently, HWPO Training encompasses multiple verticles: a training platform for both everyday athletes and competitors, a boutique training camp that coaches just two athletes (Mal O’Brien and Jayson Hopper), a book, and a limited edition NIKE clothing line, most of which can be consolidated into one single branding house.
O’Keefe will now be able to consolidate the HWPO community into a single location.
The big picture: Mat Fraser is the most followed CrossFit athlete in the world with more than 2.4 million Instagram followers, more than twice that of the CrossFit Games. He is also the five-time Fittest Man on Earth with one of the largest platforms for expanding functional training under the HWPO banner.
The Turkish Get-Up
Mike Aidala lifted 13,823 Pounds in an hour to set the Turkish Get-Up World Record last week. Planning on making a run at the record? You’ll need this masterclass from former Games athlete Marcus Filly.
Freaking out about Open registration numbers? Or want your already-awesome event to be even better? There’s still time. Download the 2022 Open Guide from SugarWOD, UpLaunch, and Zen Planner for to-do lists, emails, texts, social media posts, and event planning advice.
A Free WHOOP Strap 4.0 And First Month's Membership
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These sheet pan roasted veggie tacos are filled with perfectly seasoned vegetables and plenty of plant-based protein. Serve with avocado, sliced red cabbage, fresh cilantro, and your choice between two creamy, delicious sauces. The ultimate meatless dinner.
Katherine Nye of USA Weightlifting stands up a 300 pound/137kg pause front squat.
CrossFit Timoro in Hillsdale, MI is hosting a workout and fundraiser on Saturday, February 19th on behalf of 9-year member Eric Potes and his wife Emily. Eric was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, and has a long recovery road ahead.
A GoFundMe Page has also been started for the Potes family to assist with hospital bills, travel costs, food, and expenses while Eric is out of work.
“Eric’s Row to Beat Cancer” As a 3 Person Team: Accumulate a 10,000m Row Athletes must row in 250m increments. In order to get back onto the rower athlete must perform 6 burpee box jump overs.
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