“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Turnagain CrossFit in Alaska Mourns Loss of Member After Roof Collapse as GoFundMe Set Up
The first weekend of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open is arguably one of the biggest for affiliates, however a CrossFit gym in Alaska instead is in mourning after a partial roof collapse left one member in critical condition while another member lost their life.
Turnagain CrossFit located in Anchorage, Alaska had a partial roof collapse in their facility on Friday, February 17. One member was trapped and taken to the hospital in critical condition and another unfortunately didn’t make it out alive. This is a devastating loss to anyone, especially a gym with such a small and tight knit community. Not only will they need to repair the space they are also processing their loss.
On that night, members were beginning to come to the gym for ‘Friday Night Lights’ and the place was packed, says Rebecca Fidler, one of the owners of Turnagain CrossFit. Shortly after the timer beeped at the 14:00 minute time cap of 23.1 the backside of the gym’s roof collapsed. Below is Rebecca and her husband Joshua’s re-telling of what happened that evening:
“In real time it seemed almost slow motion and surreal. Some athletes retreated to the nearby wall-mounted rigs as a safer spot and were able to then get out. The sound was deafening. It sounded like an earthquake, which is typical for Alaska, but it was odd because the floor was not shaking. Then came the dust and debris filling the air, and you could see the sky and trees outside,” said the Fidler’s.
“Next the water main broke and there was water spraying everywhere with no access to the water shut-off as it was in a different unit. A fellow athlete put his arm around me and initiated a quick prayer that everyone was safe.”
“Emergency response (911) was initiated as the kids were gathered outside in a vehicle away from the building. Many athletes got outside quickly and advised others to not come in. Some stayed inside searching for a voice coming from beneath the debris. Someone was trapped. She was so scared, and so were we.”
“Many athletes were searching for whatever they could to break through debris. Some with sledge hammers. It was too thick of a mess to get to her. A fellow athlete got close enough to her to hold her hand and help her remain as calm as she could before emergency personnel arrived.”
The fire department and police department were called in to assist with the rescue. They discovered two individuals were pinned underneath the debris. They got the first trapped athlete out and transported to the hospital right away to get assessed. She is still currently being monitored. The next athlete, who is also a dear friend of the owners, did not make it. Her name was Sadie Huffer. She had recently returned to CrossFit after a brief hiatus and had only just recommitted to fitness.
“She was on the pursuit of balance- whether to workout before or after her work day, and how to also maximize time with her family,” said Fidler. “As a fellow healthcare professional, she was at the point she knew she needed to make a change.”
23.2 is coming!: The 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open’s second workout goes this Thursday in New Jersey and Morning Chalk Up will be on the ground at CrossFit Bison, so keep your eyes on our competition hub and social media for all the updates. 🤩
Athlete update: Two-time CrossFit Games athlete, South Korea’s Seungyeon Choi will be sitting out the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games season due to a shoulder injury.
Another athlete update: Canada’s Brent Fikowski says he is dealing with an arm injury and the “goal of this CrossFit Open will be to qualify for the Quarterfinals and do everything I can to be in better fighting shape by then.”
Roman Khrennikov and Patrick Vellner to Duke it Out in New Jersey for 23.2
The second week of the NOBULL CrossFit Open is upon us, and two of the top athletes in the men’s division are heading to the stomping grounds of Skid Row and The Bouncing Souls so that they can put on a show of their own.
The details: The 23.2 announcement – now presented by Chipotle – will feature CrossFit veterans Roman Khrennikov and Patrick Vellner. They will face off at CrossFit Bison in Midland Park, NJ, the affiliate that had more than 240 members sign up for the annual test of fitness.
The announcement will take place on February 23 at 3 p.m. ET. The CrossFit Games YouTube channel will stream the announcement and the head-to-head battle between Khrennikov and Vellner.
As in past years, there will not be any information available about the workout or the movement standards prior to the announcement. The two athletes will hear the workout for the first time and then they will immediately begin warming up.
A fast start: Both Khrennikov and Vellner entered the 2023 season as names to watch, and for good reason considering their previous strong performances in CrossFit competitions. Khrennikov, in particular, finished second behind Justin Medeiros in the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Vellner finished second behind Medeiros in the 2021 CrossFit Games.
Both athletes turned in some strong performances to begin the Open. Vellner completed 304 reps during 23.1, which put him in a tie with Cole Greashaber. Khrennikov completed 306 reps during the opening event.
The expectation is that these strong performances should continue throughout the Open. Vellner has traditionally performed well during the first part of the CrossFit season. He won the worldwide Open in 2020, and he has finished top three in Canada four total times.
Khrennikov’s best ranking in the Open took place during the COVID-altered 2020 season. He finished 10th worldwide after posting a fourth-place finish in 20.5, the workout featuring 40 muscle-ups, an 80-cal. Row, and 120 wall-ball shots.
Khrennikov’s Open history does not include the top overall ranking. However, he has finished top five in Asia twice in the past two seasons. He then went on to win the Last Chance Qualifier in 2021 and the Far East Throwdown in 2022.
Patrick Vellner Sets Score to Beat with 304 Reps in 23.1
Heading into the final 24 hours of submission, Patrick Vellner sits on top of the CrossFit Open Worldwide Leaderboard with his score of 304 reps in Open Workout 23.1. Vellner breaks down his performance in the video above as he watches it back.
Patrick Vellner 23.1 Split Times:
2:23 60-calorie Row, :04 transition
1:38 50 Toes-to-Bar, :04 transition
1:18 40 Wall-ball Shots (20lb to 10ft target), :06 transition
1:47 30 Cleans (135lb), :08 transition
1:36 20 Ring Muscle-Ups, :04 transition
2:48 60-calorie Row, :07 transition
1:47 44 reps Toes-to-Bar, CAP
Score: 304 reps
When the 24-year-old Canadian took on 14.4 nine years ago, he logged 200 reps (one full round).
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Fittest on Earth? Avenge CrossFit Kids in Mallusk, Northern Ireland is training up the next Head Judge.
🎉 Congratulations to CrossFit Games teen athlete Delaney Wade on her commitment to play soccer at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN.
Congratulations to Vinnie Scancarello from New York on getting his first ring muscle-up during Open Workout 23.1.
Congratulations to Coach Shawn Deary from CrossFit Aspinock in Putnam, CT on his 10th Open and first ring muscle-up.
Congratulations Dave Risdon (@crispydudes) on finishing his first half Ironman this past weekend, a goal he set back in 2020.
Southern Columbus CrossFit in Ohio is hosting a fundraiser WOD on Saturday, March 25th for Jenny Malec, a member who was recently placed on hospice care after years of battling Stage 4 Appendix Cancer. The gym has a goal of raising $2,500 for Jenny and her husband, James, to fly to Texas and spend her remaining time close to family.
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