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HQ Announces CrossFit Games Shakeup

Morning Chalk Up

May 11

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Its all hands on deck to digest the CrossFit news that broke this weekend; we have a full rundown below. The CrossFit Games has reset its invitations for the potential 2020 competition and officially canceled the team division. And, the Dubai CrossFit Championship has canceled its Sanctional in December. Today:

  • Patrick Clark breaks down the CrossFit HQ Games announcement.
  • Editor-in-Chief, Justin LoFranco and reporter Niki Brazier discuss the news and interview Patrick Vellner.
  • Tommy Marquez clarifies who gets a Games invitation for 2020 and who is on the outside looking in, as of this moment.
  • The Dubai CrossFit Championship, scheduled for December 2020, an early Sanctional in the 2021 season, has canceled.

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HQ Announces Games Roster and New Qualification Requirements

 HQ Announces Games Roster and New Qualification Requirements 

Saturday afternoon, CrossFit HQ revealed much-anticipated details on the upcoming 2020 CrossFit Games, laying out how many athletes will be invited and specific criteria for those invitations. 

The details:

  • As expected and hinted at by Castro, the 2020 Games field will be reduced.
  • The top 20 men and women from the Open will receive invitations.
  • The ten Sanctional champions will receive invites as well.
  • National champions will not receive invitations.
  • There will be no team competition.
  • The Games will reset at the start of the 2021 season (with national champions, age groups and teams).
  • The field of invited athletes may still be adjusted based on restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Breaking down the announcement:

  • Based on the Open, national champions, sanctional winners and team invitations, the 2020 Games field was comprised of 332 athletes after the cancellation of the Age Group division. The field in Aromas will now include just 60 total athletes (30 men/30 women) barring any further cuts or reductions in the number of participants. This is an 82% reduction.
  • That field will include the top 20 men and women from the Worldwide Open. National champion invites will no longer be honored.
  • New invitations were sent out to the top 20 athletes in both the men and women’s divisions this afternoon as the announcement was made. They have until May 12 to accept or decline. If declined, the invite will then be extended to the next athlete outside the top 20. Per the Games rulebook, the Open invitations would take precedence over a Sanctional invitation.

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Video: CrossFit Announces Games Roster, Niki and Justin on the Bottom Line with Special Guest Patrick Vellner

 Video: CrossFit Announces Games Roster, Niki and Justin on the Bottom Line with Special Guest Patrick Vellner 

These Individuals Will Receive Invitations To The 2020 CrossFit Games

 These Individuals Will Receive Invitations To The 2020 CrossFit Games 

The CrossFit Games team dropped a huge announcement Saturday that the individual invites to the Games in 2020 will reset, and a new protocol will be followed to invite 30 men and 30 women to the finals in Aromas. The top 20 men and women worldwide in the 2020 CrossFit Games Open will receive invitations along with the ten sanctional champions from the events that have concluded so far.

Invites will backfill if an athlete declines, or if one of the Sanctional champions has already qualified through the Open or received an invite through another Sanctional. Travel restrictions for athletes currently outside the United States could also drastically alter who shows up to the Games (presuming they actually happen). This process means that the athletes who will receive the first round of invitations to Aromas have changed. Below we have compiled the full list of men and women who get first crack to head to the birthplace of the CrossFit Games this summer.

Women — The Open

  1. Sara Sigmundsdottir
  2. Annie Thorisdottir – decline, pregnancy
  3. Kristin Holte
  4. Tia-Clair Toomey
  5. Jamie Simmonds (Greene)
  6. Kari Pearce
  7. Emma McQuaid
  8. Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault
  9. Karin Freyova
  10. Laura Horvath
  11. Brooke Wells
  12. Kara Saunders
  13. Camilla Salomonsson Hellman
  14. Kristi Eramo O’Connell
  15. Kendall Vincelette
  16. Andrea Nisler
  17. Gabriela Migala
  18. Dani Speegle
  19. Kristine Best
  20. Katelin Van Zyl
  21. Alanna Fisk Colon — ineligible, drug sanctions
  22. Brooke Haas

Dubai CrossFit Championship Canceled for 2021 Season

 Dubai CrossFit Championship Canceled for 2021 Season 

On Saturday, the organizers of the Dubai CrossFit Championship announced the cancelation of their event this December. This Sanctional is the first casualty of the 2021 CrossFit Games season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One big thing: According to the New York Times Global Coronavirus tracker, the United Arab Emirates, a nation of nearly 10 million people, currently reports 18,198 cases and 198 deaths, that means 189 cases per 100,000 people. For comparison, Georgia, the first state in the United States to begin re-opening, currently reports 300 cases per 100,000 people. The DCC was the third Sanctional to take place this season following the Filthy 150 and the Pandaland CrossFit Challenge. Currently, Ireland reports 474 cases per 100,000 people, while China reports nearly 5000 deaths and was the origin point of the virus. The DCC cancelation raises the question of what might happen to the 2021 season, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another big thing: CrossFit Games athletes just lost a huge payday in the 2021 season. The Dubai CrossFit Championship boasts the biggest prize purse of the season outside the CrossFit Games. While the individual winners receive the same prize — $50,000 — as Wodapalooza and the Rogue Invitational, the DCC pays out for qualification and event wins (that sometimes jump to the tens of thousands of dollars mid-competition). The individual division payouts alone exceeded $520,000 in 2019, before factoring in the teams.

The bottom line: Citing “ongoing circumstances and international conditions” the organizers of the Dubai CrossFit Championship made the call to cancel before their scheduled event qualifier in June.

  • One of the premier Sanctionals, the Dubai CrossFit Championship was planned for December, just under eight months away.
  • The Dubai CrossFit Championship is unique from most Sanctionals in that a large part of their athlete field comes from not just outside their country but outside of their region.
  • With travel restrictions possibly extending into next year for some countries including their own, logistically it would be hard to hold an international event.
  • This year’s event was planned to be unique from any other Sanctional. Organizers had planned on covering all expenses for all qualifiers and the event itself would include different tests of fitness outside of traditional CrossFit workouts.
  • CrossFit HQ effectively ended the 2020 Sanctional season on Saturday when it announced it would only extend Games invitations to the eligible athletes from the ten Sanctionals that hosted in-person competitions.
  • Before HQ’s announcement, eight Sanctionals had been canceled with another eight postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



A Classic Video — “Days in the Life of Rich Froning”

With the big announcement from CrossFit HQ over the weekend, resetting the Games invitations and canceling the team division, many began speculating that Rich Froning might return as an individual. He won’t. But, check out this classic video from 2012 focusing on Rich’s (and Dan Bailey’s) training.

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The Reebok Speed TR

Reebok’s versatile Speed TR is on sale for just $37 until May 12. If you haven’t experienced the Speed TR now’s the perfect time to pick it up and put it through a few tests. Pick up a pair now and use the code “SPEED” to get them for just $37.

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Chase Ingraham and Bill Grundler Discuss 2020 Games Programming with Tommy and Sean

On this bonus/crossover episode of Talking Elite Fitness and Get with the Programming, the hosts talk about the 2020 CrossFit Games and using events from 2007 to 2009, they put together a test that not only crowns the Fittest on Earth but also pays homage to CrossFit’s past.

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The Best Protein Breakfast Shake with Margeaux Alvarez

Games veteran Margeaux Alvarez’s YouTube channel usually features workouts you can do at home, yoga and fitness, but in this episode, she teaches you how to make her quick, go-to breakfast shake that can also serve as a post-workout recovery and refueling supplement. It’s packed with calories and macronutrients to keep you running.



Friday’s question stumped everyone. The correct answer to the question, which Master’s athlete (female or male) has won the most Opens in their age division, was Bill Grundler with six career Open wins.

  • Today’s question: When was the last year the Games did not hold an organized Team competition separate from the Individual division?

Submit your answer.





Affiliate Owners, Gym Members Take Care of Each Other

Here are a couple of stories we’ve learned about recently that shine a bright spotlight on how the CrossFit community takes care of its own:

  • CrossFit DFW Community Supports Owners: Inspired by University Place CrossFit (whose efforts we covered previously), coach Bonnie Billingsley and the community at CrossFit DFW in Keller, TX rallied together to raise money for affiliate owners Lance and Courtney Giles. On Saturday, May 9, they held a parking lot parade with dozens of cars and community members gathered (socially distancing) to present the Giles with a check for $5800 to show appreciation for all the hard work they’ve put into the community.
  • CrossFit Bison Uses the “Support Your Local Box Fundraiser” to Help Another: David Syvertsen, owner of CrossFit Bison in Midland Park, NJ, had a great idea. Feeling confident in his gym’s ability to weather the COVID-19 financial storm, he decided to encourage his community members to sign up for CrossFit HQ’s Support Your Box fundraiser but asked them to choose CrossFit Hermitage, the Hermitage, TN gym that was leveled by the tornadoes that ripped through the area in early-March, just before the pandemic spread through the United States. They had a huge turnout for the fundraiser and were able to provide over $4000 to Hermitage owners Brandi and Tom Forbes.
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