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Huge CrossFit Games Update

Morning Chalk Up

April 17

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Last night CrossFit HQ announced its intention to hold a live competition at the storied “Ranch” in Aromas, CA, Tommy Marquez has more. And, the Rogue Invitational is moving forward with its plans to hold an online event in June, and earlier this week, reached out to confirmed athletes to gather information about access to equipment. Today:

  • CrossFit HQ hopes to hold a live event at the Ranch.
  • Rogue gathers information from athletes as it develops the online Invitational.
  • More good news from CrossFit affiliates in China.

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Breaking: CrossFit Games Focused On Holding Event At The Ranch, Virtual Options

 Breaking: CrossFit Games Focused On Holding Event At The Ranch, Virtual Options 

The CrossFit Games made a major announcement Thursday afternoon, revealing via their Instagram page that they are “fully committed to planning a live competition with live media coverage,” and that they are currently focused on holding a competition at The Ranch in Aromas, CA for the 2020 CrossFit Games, in addition to evaluating options for a virtual competition.

This is huge: After weeks of speculation about the future of the 2020 Games, this announcement brings into focus what’s legitimately in the crosshairs for the CrossFit Games team as they adjust to a new landscape amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement also comes right after the United States President laid out a three-phase guideline for state Governors to begin opening up the country in the future.

What we know: First and foremost, the current restrictions in place in the state of California would need to change. Under the most recent isolation and shelter-in-place orders, the CrossFit Games would legally not be allowed to happen. Undoubtedly the CrossFit Games team is moving forward with the assumption that restrictions will have eased up by the time the Games begin in 3.5 months if a live event will be possible.

  • The Games will not be public meaning no spectators, and anyone who purchased tickets, campsites, and hospitality packages will be issued a refund by Ticketmaster. Additionally, any exhibitors who have purchased spots for the Games will be issued refunds as well.
  • There will be live media coverage, which would be provided in lieu of having spectators, to allow fans access to watch the competition unfold.
  • Logistically this makes the most sense because CrossFit HQ is just 36 miles away from the Ranch, it’s in a remote location on private property, and regularly hosts seminars with plenty of space to host the competition. The 2008 Games for example, had over 300 athletes onsite.

What we don’t know: Quite a bit actually, and for as much as the announcement was revealing big picture-wise, it has spawned multiple logistical questions and details about what the competition would look like.


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Rogue Invitational Seeks Athlete Input in Advance of Online Competition

 Rogue Invitational Seeks Athlete Input in Advance of Online Competition 

Rogue Invitational event organizers sent out an email to their confirmed and invited individual athletes on Wednesday afternoon. The email asked the athletes to fill out a survey as they continue to prepare to hold their online competition on June 13-14.

The bottom line: Multiple athletes who the Morning Chalk Up reached out to regarding the email and the linked survey confirmed that the survey asked them to list the type and kinds of equipment they had access to and whether they were still planning on competing at the event.

  • The email also gave the athletes an April 21 deadline to answer the questions on the survey, stating that further information would be available soon regarding the details of the competition.
  • After initially changing their date from May 15-17 to June 13-14, the Rogue Invitational then announced they were switching to an online format.
  • The move online forfeited the Rogue Invitational’s automatic invites to the Games that CrossFit sanctioned events receive for both individuals and team winners.
  • Rogue has announced that the prize money would not change despite the shift online.
  • With an individual prize purse of over $350,000 including $5,000 for event wins on the line, it’s hard to see any of the confirmed athletes in the star-studded roster turning down the potential of earning money.
  • With the status of the Sanctional season in doubt, a huge source of revenue in the form of prize money has been eliminated for athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rogue prize purse could be one of the last chances athletes get to earn money from competing in the 2020 Games season.
  • The format for the competition is still being worked out, but Rogue did state that all athletes will do the required workouts in their respective locations and that fans will be able to watch the competition through a live stream.
  • We reached out to multiple team athletes who were confirmed to compete at the Rogue Invitational and they stated that they have not received any information from Rogue on whether or not the team division would be included.
  • With CrossFit HQ announcing that it is concentrating its efforts on throwing a live competition at “the Ranch” in Aromas, CA, as well as considering virtual and online competitions, the success of the online Rogue Invitational could play a factor in how it approaches the 2020 Games. HQ could use the Rogue Invitational as a blueprint they can and cannot do as they look to crown the Fittest on Earth.

UPDATE: CrossFitters in China Getting Back On Their Feet

 UPDATE: CrossFitters in China Getting Back On Their Feet 

The city of Wuhan — where the Coronavirus outbreak began — has lifted its 76-day lockdown. No new cases have been reported — according to China’s National Health Commission — since April 8 and affiliates on the ground say now they’ve been able to reopen, the community is “tighter than ever.”

Following up after our recent check-in with Max Ma of the Asia CrossFit Championship, we also caught up with Eric Zhu of CrossFit Tianfu in the province of Chengdu — home of the Pandaland CrossFit Challenge.

Eric Zhu said domestic travel restrictions have been lifted and “affiliates [there] are all back to business with an even tighter community.”

  • But life isn’t completely unchanged, Eric explains. Chinese citizens are required to carry around a health report card through a smartphone app called Health Code and are subject to temperature checks anywhere, anytime.
  • “The public attention on health and fitness has definitely raised a lot,” he added “We have started getting new business inquiries already,” as a result.

That should be music to the ears of affiliates worldwide, who are struggling amid mandated closures.

  • Authorities in most provinces globally are yet to give a definite timeline as to when restrictions will ease and gyms will reopen.
  • “It was hard at first indeed, then people stayed together, fought together,” Eric Zhu said.

His advice to both members and fellow affiliate owners alike? “Eat well, sleep well, stay strong, stay healthy stay positive…We will win this battle together.”




Kristi Eramo O’Connell Takes on “Linda”

Earlier this week Kristi Eramo O’Connell wanted to lift…a lot. And, what better way get a bunch of lifting in than to take on the “Three Bars of Death.” She also announced that she would be doing a cool giveaway once the channel hits 25k subscribers (and they are already there)!

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Guessing About the Games on Talking Elite Fitness

This week, Tommy Marquez and Sean Woodland give their thoughts on what the CrossFit Games may look like this year. An important conversation following the CrossFit HQ tweet that “The Fittest on Earth will be crowned.” And, they introduce a new segment called “Podium Picks of the Week” where they rank their top 3 Open workouts.

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Top Trending Stories at the Morning Chalk Up

Here are five of the top trending stories from the past week:

  • Brittney Kleyn gives us an update from China as CrossFit affiliates begin to re-open, post COVID-19 lockdown.
  • The Reebok Nano X will be available on May 5, but we’ve got a first look.
  • The question on everyone’s mind is, what will the CrossFit Games look like in 2020? Tommy Marquez makes some suggestions.
  • Looking for home gym equipment, you might have to wait awhile as production and supply chains are over-taxed by gym rats trying to make quarantine gains.
  • Following John Krasinski’s lead, Jacob Heppner has created “FRAN,” a video series focused on “fitness-related, awesome news.”

Bonus: Inside the Reebok Nano X with Tal Short, Tommy Marquez, Niki Brazier and Justin LoFranco.

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