“Are you willing to sprint when the distance is unknown?”- Lewis Caralla, Georgia Tech Strength Coach
The Affiliate Cup: Europe Has Arrived, the Brits are Coming
With the 2022 CrossFit Games season dates announced and the Affiliate Cup remaining in play, let’s take a look back at the top of the 2021 Games leaderboard. It’s looking significantly more international, with a strong showing from Europe. Looking closer it seems teams from the UK are making significant gains on the European Leaderboards.
For the 2021 CrossFit Games season, we saw the return of the Affiliate Cup and with it we’ve seen a break in the long-time dominance of North American teams in the upper echelons of the Games leaderboard.
Yes, CrossFit Mayhem topped the podium for a fifth time, but if we look at the flags of the top-10 teams this year, it’s distinctly more international than it has been in the past.During Sanctionals, the 2019 and the ill-fated 2020 season, teams were geographically free to both construct and compete as they wish, and one could argue the strength of North America in the sport of fitness would allow more teams from this region to both make it to the Games and excel once there.
However, even in 2017 and 2018, when the Teams were expected to “primarily train at the same gym” we saw near if not total dominance by North America in the top-10 final placing.
Fast-forward to 2021 and it’s looking very different. Europe placed four of its 10 teams in the top-10 and three in the top-5. CrossFit Nordic were back in the top 10 for the first time since 2016, joined by fellow Scandinavian team CrossFit Oslo in 2nd. France debuted on the podium with CrossFit Genas whilst Motion Training (CrossFit Surbiton) finished in 4th. Oceania managed an impressive conversion of its three teams into two top-10 finishes – Plus64 CrossFit (6th) and CrossFit Urban Energy (7th); CrossFit Awaside were just outside in 11th.
There’s a reasonable hypothesis that the long-acknowledged strength of the European field is forging strong teams as well as individuals; but the author, who’d want to support that with data, will take a more general look at Europe and more specifically a surge of teams from the UK, who sent three of the 10 European teams to the Games and had an even stronger presence at Semifinals.
Brandon: “I felt an instant and natural connection to the Tru Grit Fitness team, and I’m so excited to have their support and incredible equipment as I start working towards the upcoming season.”
Matt Piva, co-founder and chief marketing officer: “There was no grittier competitor at the 2021 CrossFit Games than Danielle Brandon, we are stoked to welcome her into the Tru Grit family. DB is a rising star in CrossFit and an incredible athlete who values top performance. She has a huge future ahead of her as a competitor, and we’re thrilled to support her journey.”
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Two More Games Athletes Receive Drug Sanctions, 4 Year Suspensions
Late Friday evening CrossFit announced two more athletes would officially be receiving four year suspensions from CrossFit Games competition as a result of positive drug tests for banned substances.
The announcement brings the total number of athletes sanctioned during the 2021 calendar year to 10, following the appeals of both athletes and subsequent denial of those appeals by CrossFit.
Bernard Luzi, winner of the men’s 50-54 division at the 2021 Gameswas previously announced to have tested positive for meldonium, a banned substance classified as a hormone and metabolic modulator. Luzi was tested at the Games on July 29, the final day of competition, and the effective start date of his suspension.
Svetlana Kubyshkina, an 2021 individual qualifier out of the Asia continent, tested positive for methenolone and its metabolite, furosemide, and trimetazidine. Methenolone is an anabolic steroid classified as an anabolic agent. Furosemide is listed in the class of diuretics and masking agents, and trimetazidine is classified as a hormone and metabolic modulator.
Kubyshkina was unable to competeat the 2021 Games due to travel restrictions stemming from issues obtaining a visa. She was tested out-of-competition following the Games on August 28, which is the official start date of her suspension.
The Russian native previously competed in the Open for three seasons prior to 2021, but the quarterfinals this season marked the first time she advanced in the season beyond the Open before winning the CrossFit Asia Invitational.
She has previously competed on a national level in Russia for weightlifting, and on the Russian national team for at the 2019 World Championships for the International Functional Fitness Federation.
There has yet to be a public announcement, but the failed appeal and suspension of Luzi means he will forfeit his win at the 2021 Games, making runner-up Kevin Koester the champion of the division for a third time. Late last month Koester posted the news and correspondence from CrossFit to his social media.
Luzi, a native of Italy, is the second current or former masters champion to be sanctioned during the 2021 season. Four champions in total from the masters divisions have received drug sanctions since 2018.
The big picture: While double-digit drug sanctions may seem like a considerable amount, the number more so reflects a return to more consistent and steady testing year-round following the tumultuous 2020 season. For reference, 17 athletes will be returning from suspensions in the 2022 calendar year that were handed down during 2018.
Will Moorad: “She wanted to get a workout in, the same day as chemo, so we did that together"
As three-time CrossFit Games athlete Will Moorad was competing at the CrossFit Games this past year, his wife Cass was preparing for her own battle — one that the two of them didn’t fully know the extent of yet — breast cancer.
“Once we found out that she was going to have to get the exam she was like, ‘hey, I felt something at the Games,’ like a mass in her breast. She didn’t tell me that at the Games,” Moorad told me during an interview.
The exam and biopsy were scheduled for Cass once they returned home to Brentwood, Tennessee shortly after the Games. It was late August when they found out she had invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer. More than three months after the diagnosis, she’s three chemo treatments in.
“We’re halfway done with chemo which is a good thing, it’s kind of a milestone and we’ll just keep doing everything we can to get through this. She’s a badass so she’s been dealing with it a lot easier than it probably is.”
Feel hunched over and like you're just one big ball of tension? It's time to feel some relief and get some separation in your vertebrae. Give these four hanging exercises a try to instantly fix your back pain and get long-lasting relief.
Need the perfect gift for the food-loving CrossFitter in your life? This limited edition Fit Boxx is packed with some of Sammy's favorite brands and products that they are sure to love. Perfect for a CrossFit lover, a food lover, or as a treat for yourself.
How Spartan's World Champion Trains Using CrossFit
A World Championship has long eluded Ryan Atkins...not anymore. Our very own Patrick Clark witnessed as Ryan conquered all in Abu Dhabi and caught up with him afterward to recap his performance, talk training, and fellow World Champion (and wife) Lindsay Webster.
A Free WHOOP Strap 4.0 And First Month's Membership
Stay on top of your training this holiday season by tracking your body's performance with a free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and first month's membership. WHOOP measures your body's data over 100 times a second to provide personalized feedback on your recovery, strain, and sleep.
Creamy, sweet, and savory roasted sweet potato hummus with warm spices in every bite. This flavorful sweet potato hummus recipe has a whole roasted sweet potato blended right in for a boost of micronutrients. Perfect for taking to holiday parties or snacking on at home.
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