Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Luke Schafer is not a Games rookie, but Patrick Clark discusses his preparation this year as he has shifted from a team athlete to an individual. And, Tommy Marquez digs into the American women’s podium drought.
Don’t miss our profile on which athletes may not benefit from the online format later this month.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”– Michael Jordan
Luke Schafer: Prioritizing Medical School Over the Games
That is the word best used to describe Luke Schafer and he’s totally fine with that. The 2020 CrossFit Games qualifier has other items to worry about right now — the Games however are not at the top of that list. Since early July, Schafer has been enrolled in medical school at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. That has kept him busy and has become his main priority. But nevertheless he has committed to participating in the online portion of the Games on September 18-19, you just won’t hear much from him about it.
Remind me: Schafer is not a Games rookie — he has made two appearances as a team member in 2015 and then again at last year’s Games. At last year’s Games he helped OC3 Black to a fourth place finish. Despite his Games experience on a team he has also competed as an individual including the 2018 and 2018 Central Regionals, finishing eighth and 11th respectively. Altogether he has five Regional appearances including three on a team.
During the 2019 season he competed in four Sanctionals including two as an individual. He started his season with an 18th place at the star-studded Dubai CrossFit Championship before placing seventh at the Granite Games.
For the second-straight year Schafer finished within the top-50 in the Open. He recorded a career-best placing of 46th, a three-spot jump from his 2019 finish.
Enter 2020: Schafer earned his ticket to this year’s Games after taking second place at the CrossFit Mayhem Classic. He received the invite after Chandler Smith qualified through the Open giving Schafer the backfill spot. Schaefer recorded three top-three finishes at the competition finishing 14 points behind Smith.
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Chaos Is A Ladder: Ending The American Women’s Podium Drought
When Julie Foucher stepped off the CrossFit Games podium in 2014, a bronze medal draped around her neck, many in the community celebrated it as a fruitful comeback following her planned absence from the sport in 2013 due to her studies in medical school.
What we didn’t know is that from that point forward another American woman would not step onto the individual podium at the Games again, and a wave of international dominance in the sport would wash over the women’s division.
The Great White North Rises: Canada’s Men 23 Percent of Games Field
Few likely recalls or ever knew that a Canadian, James Fitzgerald, won the first CrossFit Games in 2007. Standing next to him in second, Brett Marshall, was also Canadian. Despite the bright start, it would be another nine CrossFit Games until little known rookie phenom Patrick Vellner would enter the Tennis Stadium in 2016, take third and end the drought.
Another rookie that year, Brent Fikowski, came in fourth just two points behind Vellner.
Fast forward to the 2020 Games season, where it seems that no one’s spot is safe, and seven of the 30 men competing at next week’s CrossFit Games hail from Canada; the most they’ve ever had. Two of those athletes are rookies: Adam Davidsson and Pete Shaw.
Considering 16 others are American, Canada’s seven might not seem that impressive; however, the United States’ population is ten times that of its northern neighbor.
Australia is the only other country to qualify more than one male athlete. They have three.
Play “Guessing Games”: Pick the Top 5 at the CrossFit Games and Win
The 2020 CrossFit Games is just around the corner and this year the format is a little bit different. Sixty athletes across twelve countries will be competing in an online competition from their home gyms starting on Friday, September 18. After the dust settled, the top 5 men and women will move on to an in-person competition in Aromas, CA from October 18-25.
Here’s your chance to get in on the action: Pick who you think the top 5 men and women will be in the correct order and win thousands of dollars in prizes from Reebok, JUNK, O2, Puori, Assault Fitness, and Macrostax.
Enjoy delicious (and healthy) recipes from Feeding the Fraser’s Sammy Moniz during the ReNew You Challenge, starting September 22. Eight weeks towards a better, healthier you. Did we mention they’re delicious?
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