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Mat Fraser on the Mic at Granite Games

Morning Chalk Up

June 8   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Five big takeaways from the second weekend of the 2021 CrossFit Games Semifinals.
  • Games veteran and elite coach Michele Letendre takes on triathlons.
  • Venezuelan teen athlete, Amato Mazzocca placed 10th in the AGOQ, but the biggest challenge is affording the trip to Madison.

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

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“Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” - Francis of Assisi

  Five Takeaways From the Second CrossFit Games Semifinals Weekend 

Five Takeaways From the Second CrossFit Games Semifinals Weekend

Week two of the NOBULL CrossFit Games Semifinals had its fill of compelling storylines whether it was the teens and potential Games newcomers making a push for their invites, record-breaking lifts, a man and his mullet making a run for the Games, or a mom winning an individual title to punch her ticket to Madison.

Here are five more takeaways from the Granite Games and the Fittest in Cape Town.

1. Matthew Fraser, Ambassador for CrossFit

When Fraser announced his retirement back in February he stated, “I’ll always be involved in CrossFit. I just won’t be doing it from the competition floor any longer.” This weekend at the Granite Games he kept his word as he hosted free community workouts at TCO Stadium on both Saturday and Sunday morning, even going head-to-head against our very own Brian Friend in burpee-box-overs. But it wasn’t just the workouts, the five-time reigning and defending Fittest Man on Earth (yes he is still technically defending until we crown a 2021 champion) was engaging the crowd all weekend. Stopping to take pictures, sign autographs and talking with the fans who appreciate his accomplishments and his humility.

The highlight was Saturday when he had 20 fans come down to the field for a dead-hang challenge from the rig. He grabbed a microphone and looked comfortable behind it as he smiled and played to the crowd. When he noticed a 10-year old girl as one of the final ones holding on for dear life for a chance to win two Games tickets he immediately rooted her on. When she out-lasted the competition, young Bennett was helped by Fraser from the pull-up bar to her disbelief. She was soon joined by her mother who said the reason why she entered the contest was the chance to meet the champ.

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Katrin Davidsdottir Trusts Ascent For Her Muscle Health

Katrin Davidsdottir Trusts Ascent For Her Muscle Health

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2021 CrossFit Games Semifinals Update:

Several athletes who competed at the Granite Games posted a rundown of the weekend to Instagram yesterday:

  • Chandler Smith reflected on the past year and announced that he would donate half of his prize money to The CJ Morgan Foundation and UliftU.
  • Steph Chung revealed that she suffered an elbow injury on her 200-pound snatch attempt in event one of the weekend and questioned whether or not she would have to withdraw before every event after that. She went into the weekend with a podium goal and came out of it happy to have made the Last Chance Qualifier, given the injury.
  • Emma Cary discussed the lessons she learned from her time on the competition floor and how they will help her moving forward.
  • Mal O’Brien declared “MADISON BOUND, more words to come.”

Here are a few more speed reads:

  • This week on the Clydesdale Fitness and Friends PodcastBethany Shadburne and her coach Justin Cotler reflect on how they ended up working together and what’s to come this season.
    • Bethany on Justin: “The support that I get from Justin is way different than I have from some of the other coaches I’ve had in the past.”
    • Justin on Bethany: “I got to watch her in stage 1 of the games and honestly, she was broken. And it wasn’t just physically, she was broken emotionally and mentally. And when you see somebody who’s as talented as she is and you’re a coach and you see them struggling, you can’t help but, I can’t help but want to help them.  And the fact that she’s such a good person…you can just tell a vibe from somebody”
  • The Rogue Fitness “Bella Complex” Challenge wrapped up and the winners in each bracket have been released. Notable: Taylor Williamson, one of the new members of CrossFit Mayhem Freedom this season, won again. This was her third Rogue Challenge win.
  • Eleiko Sports, manufacturer of Olympic weightlifting equipment, opened a new 18,000-square-meter logistics and production facility.
  Michele Letendre Partners With Brava Endurance To Bring Endurance Racing To CrossFitters 


Michele Letendre Partners With Brava Endurance To Bring Endurance Racing To CrossFitters

The final sentence of CrossFit’s “Fitness in 100 Words” reads: “regularly play and learn new sports.”

For years, CrossFitters all the way from elite Games athletes to weekend warriors have taken that to heart. Over time, we’ve seen Games athletes compete in levels all the way up to the Olympics in a variety of sports, from bobsledding to weightlifting to sailing. What’s more, is that mentality has trickled down to the average CrossFitter, as we’ve seen gyms organize group 5ks races,implement Olympic Weightlifting programs and more.

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  Venezuelan Teen Hopes to Overcome Travel Restrictions, Financial Challenges to Get to Madison 

Venezuelan Teen Hopes to Overcome Travel Restrictions, Financial Challenges to Get to Madison

In 2019, Amato Mazzocca became the first Venezuelan CrossFit athlete to win a medal at the CrossFit Games when he placed second in the 14-15 year-old division.

  • After that, he returned home to Madrid, Spain and was “fuelled by the desire to stand atop the podium” the following year, explained Mazzocca’s coach, Connor Martin, who started working with Mazzocca after the 2019 Games.
  • Things were looking good for Mazzocca last season, but then the pandemic hit and Mazzocca never had the chance to head back to Madison, WI.

2021 challenges: This summer, Mazzocca is finally hoping to compete and ultimately get back to the podium — this time in the 16-17 year-old division — however, financial and logistical challenges are making it difficult.

  • Even though Mazzocca works part-time in the evenings to help out with the family’s financial situation, it’s unlikely Mazzocca’s mother can afford to send her son to Madison without “substantial assistance,” Martin said.
  • This is why Martin has set up a GoFundMe page for his athlete with the hopes of raising $5,000 to cover the costs of flights, food and lodging.
  • To add to the financial costs, because of continued COVID-19 European travel restrictions, Mazzocca will have to travel to another country for two weeks prior to entering into the United States this July.
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Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

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2/4 - 2/5: Modena Challenge: Intermediate and Rx (Modena, Italy)

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