Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The big announcement on Wednesday set the CrossFit community abuzz. Tommy Marquez has three key takeaways from the big day. And, we reached out to some Games athletes to hear their take on the changes that will be taking place at CrossFit HQ in the coming weeks. Today:
Key takeaways from the big announcement.
Games athletes express optimism and excitement.
Dave Castro went live on IG yesterday and provided a few insights on the Games.
Speaking of the Games, in a call with athletes, Castro announced another delay in the schedule. The soonest start date now is September 14.
Streaming music service, Tabata Songs, honors victims of racial violence with 8:46 AMRAP and asks the community to join in.
“One of the best parts of CrossFit is that anyone can try it out, no matter what their age is. It’s functionable and scalable for anyone.”– Neal Maddox
Under New Ownership: Three Major Takeaways From CrossFit Inc.’s Big Day
CrossFit Inc. has a new owner and CEO.
That sentence alone places this past Wednesday as one of the most monumental days in the CrossFit community’s two decades of existence, and the early morning announcement that Greg Glassman would be selling the company sent shockwaves through the community as word spread quickly on social media. Affiliate owner and tech entrepreneur Eric Roza will step forward as the new owner and CEO of a company that has been beleaguered by controversy in recent weeks, and we’ve got the three big takeaways from CrossFit Inc.’s landmark announcement.
This isn’t Roza’s first rodeo: Both from a big business standpoint — where his track record very clearly stands out — and from a CrossFit standpoint as an affiliate owner, Roza brings a fresh perspective to the leadership position atop the company.
Roza started Datalogix, a consumer data collection and analytics company, where he raised more than 85 million dollars in funding through multiple funding series and grew the company to roughly 400 employees.
Datalogix built an impressive customer portfolio that included 82 of the top 100 advertisers, and 7 of the big 8 media publishers, providing insights on consumer spending north of 2 trillion dollars.
The company was acquired by Oracle in December of 2014 for a reported $1.2 billion, after which Roza remained as the Senior Vice President for Oracle Data Cloud (ODC) for four years before retiring and since serving on multiple company boards, and as an executive of an investment group.
In 2013 he started CrossFit Sanitas in downtown Boulder, Colorado. The gym is a 10,000 square foot facility with over 400 members and includes an infrared sauna, cold plunge and other amenities while being voted the “Best Place To Workout,” by the Colorado Daily newspaper and digital news publication every year since 2017.
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Games Athletes React to CrossFit Sale Announcement
On Wednesday afternoon CrossFit HQ released a statement announcing that affiliate owner and entrepreneur Eric Roza had agreed to buy CrossFit and become CEO of the company. The announcement came after several weeks of unfavorable coverage, questionable decisions and practices by CrossFit founder and owner Greg Glassman.
During that tumultuous time, many of the top athletes in CrossFit voiced their displeasure in the actions and disassociated themselves from the brand, demanding a change in leadership and change within the company. After the announcement, the Morning Chalk Up reached out to some of those athletes to get their take on the sale, the community and the future of CrossFit.
Cole Sager (six-time Games athlete, 2017 “Spirit of the Games” recipient). Sager announced in an Instagram post that he would not compete at the 2020 Games nor support CrossFit until there were changes in leadership and culture within the company.
“I am excited to see this change. I believe it has given a new, fresh spark of hope to the CrossFit community. Eric Roza sounds like a good guy, with good intentions and I am eager to see how that manifests itself throughout the community.”
For many of us athletes, this was the change we wanted to see to feel proud to represent the sport again. I hope this change of ownership unites the community at large even more than we already are.”
Alec Smith (three-time Games athlete, runner-up at the 2019 Games with CrossFit Krypton)
“It’s great to see a positive change in the community and in the sport. A change that we needed. The community deserved a better leader and I’m excited to see what Eric is going to bring to CrossFit.”
Castro Addresses Games Questions, Teases Regionals and Open Changes
During his routine Instagram live on Thursday, Dave Castro announced several potential adjustments to the CrossFit Games season and addressed questions surrounding the summer event. The new updates come the day after news broke of the sale of CrossFit, Inc. to Eric Roza.
The Open: Castro said that there will be no Open announcements, at least he will no longer be announcing them.
His role with CrossFit: “I’m still here.”
When the 2020 Games will happen: “Maybe September.” He would later confirm that September 14-20 would be the earliest potential date for the Games in an afternoon tweet following a call with qualifying athletes.
If Regionals would return: “I don’t know, maybe, maybe not. Lots of decisions to make.”
Athlete boycott: Castro stated that all athletes who publicly declined their Games invitation will get an opportunity to compete if they change their mind.
On the Games backfill process: Castro addressed that due to travel restrictions that he would more than likely have to fill some spots through backfills. He expressed his confidence in the backfill athletes and that they would be up for the challenge to compete at the Games.
2020 CrossFit Games Delayed Again, Earliest Start Date Now September 14
In a call with 2020 CrossFit Games qualifiers on Thursday afternoon, Dave Castro announced that the potential start date of the Games would once again be pushed back. Athletes were informed that the earliest possible start date would be September 14 with the Games ending on the 20th.
One big thing: This is the latest development after HQ announced on June 17 that the Games earliest potential start date would be August 17.
Current CrossFit CEO and Director of the Games Dave Castro confirmed the call with the athletes on his twitter account.
During the call, the new dates were discussed and athletes were introduced to the new incoming owner and CEO of CrossFit Eric Roza who addressed them and discussed his hopes for the Games.
In the June 17 tweet, HQ cited “travel restrictions and circumstances beyond control” while stating more information would be released within a week.
With a recent spike in cases of COVID-19 across the country and worldwide, travel restrictions have remained in place and appear to be that way for the near future.
Tabata Songs Honors the Memory of Victims of Racial Violence with Peaceful Tribute
Yesterday, June 25, Tabata Songs, a service that provides music specifically created for the TABATA training, released a video and community workout honoring the memory of George Floyd and all victims of racial violence on the one-month anniversary of Floyd’s murder.
The video serves as inspiration for members of the fitness community to complete their own version of an 8:46 AMRAP and donate in support of BLM and the NAACP.
The details: While Tabata Songs normally encourages athletes to listen to their favorite music when working out, this video features five world-class athletes from around the United States working out in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The athletes and movements included in the video are:
Elijah Muhammad, CrossFit Games Athlete, snatches at 135 pounds.
Breona Wallin, NBC’s Titan Games Athlete, burpees over the bar.
Kelsey Kiels, CrossFit Games Athlete, bike erg calories.
Mishka Murad, CrossFit Games Athlete, row erg calories.
Ron Cooper, 24x World Record Breaker, plank hold.
How to participate: Choose a movement and complete as many reps as possible in eight minutes and 46 seconds in silence. If you share it on social media, use the hashtag #846AMRAP. Then, by clicking the blue “DONATE” button on the YouTube page, you can donate to the NAACP — an official partner of Black Lives Matter. The NAACP seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.
A CrossFit Games Athlete and Affiliate Owner’s Perspective on the HQ News
In this brief vlog, Kristi Eramo O’Connell and Pat O’Connell discuss their optimism about the future of CrossFit Inc following the announcement that the company will be sold to Eric Roza. Eramo O’Connell was one of the first athletes to indicate that she’d boycott the Games (following Smith and Ohlsen) and that CrossFit Polaris intended to disaffiliate.
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