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Sweet Home Alabama for CrossFit Games 2024-27

Morning Chalk Up

October 10   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Zelos Games, coming to Las Vegas and online this November
  • Costa Rican Amalia Ortuno blazing trails for other adaptive CrossFit athletes
  • Sources confirm Birmingham, Alabama for the 2024-27 CrossFit Games
  • Dubai’s online qualifier leaderboard finalized and invites sent out as organizers drop CrossFit partnership
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“The soul that is within me no man can degrade.” - Frederick Douglass

  Zelos Games Coming this November to Las Vegas  

Zelos Games Coming this November to Las Vegas

Zelos Games (pronounced Zay-Los) founded in 2021 by athlete agent, podcaster and entrepreneur, Jared Graybeal, will take place online from November 11-21, and in-person November 12-13. In an innovative, two-part fashion, the competition is structured in a way that brings the community together for an off-season challenge, great earning opportunities for athletes, and unique entertainment for fans globally.

The company was born out of the idea that athletes need more earning opportunities if CrossFit is going to continue to grow, and in an approachable way at that; one that is largely online, and doesn’t burden athletes with travel expenses, visa requirements and the like.

One big thing: In a similar style to an Open announcement event, where you see elite athletes complete the workout and then do it yourself in your own home gym, the Zelos Games invitational will take place in Las Vegas, NV over a weekend with some of the fittest men and women in the CrossFit space duking it out over the course of four workouts.

Then, athletes around the world can complete those same four workouts, across 10 available divisions, until November 21 for a chance to win over $30k in prizes from top industry brands.

A couple key things make this event particularly unique. The first being that Andrew Hiller, who has grown in popularity through his YouTube criticisms of athlete movement and judging standards, will serve as head judge for the competition. All of the judging standards for both parts of the competition will be clearly laid out ahead of time, and there will be radical transparency around the penalty structure in advance of the workouts being completed.

Secondly, the prize purse available rivals that of major competitions in the industry with over with over $30k available for the Elite Division of the competition. And, counter to some recent controversy around delayed payouts from in and off-season competitions, Zelos Games promises to award winners within one week of the competition concluding.

The details: For the in-person invitational, 12 men and 12 women will throw down.

  • So far confirmed athletes include Kelsey Kiel, Kyra Milligan, Brittany Weiss, Alex Gazan, Jorge Fernandez, Sola Sigurdardottir and James Sprague. We’ll post a full invitational roster closer to the event.
  • To spectate at the invitational, one-day and two-day tickets are available and include a free coffee, complimentary samples, entry into a larger raffle, and access to the afterparty, hosted at Marquee
  • On-site at the host venue, Camp Rhino, there will also be food purveyors, brand activations and spectator workouts
  • Download the event official Vegas Travel Guide (including where to stay) here

To get in on the action from home, join the competition! Sign-up now, registration closes at the deadline of the first workout submission (Noon PT on November 15).

For more information on Zelos Games, check out the official competition page and their Instagram page, @zelosgames. And, if you’re a fan of the sport, we encourage you to support the competition in one capacity or another, to contribute to a larger movement.

  • “This is all designed with a greater meaning that if we grow the sport, we can grow the affiliate network, and if we do that, we can change the world,” Graybeal said. “And a fitter world is a better world.”
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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Mike McLean, the event organizer for the CanWest Games, about why he has yet to pay the competition winners more than 12 weeks out from the event.

How good is he?: Rich Froning recently won the Corey LaJoie Kickball Classic tournament. The team was comprised of Froning and some NASCAR drivers. True athlete. 🏆

Interesting post: Wod Science out of Zurich, Switzerland has a thought provoking post about if the CrossFit Games season should be structured differently.

Try to rememberThe New York Times (paywall) has a really compelling piece about the link between certain types of exercise and activities in relation to memory.

  Wodcelona Winner Amalia Ortuno Blazing Trail for Other Adaptive CrossFitters  


Wodcelona Winner Amalia Ortuno Blazing Trail for Other Adaptive CrossFitters

Amalia Ortuno is blazing a trail for adaptive athletes in the hope that future generations will have the spotlight, opportunities to compete and will be taken seriously as athletes.

“It’s important. We are the first generation of adaptive athletes. Part of our work is to be visible and to open this space for the generations that are coming,” she said.

The Costa Rican’s athletic performances do most of the talking. And in September, she won the inaugural Wodcelona, an inclusive competition in Spain, where all athletes, adaptive and otherwise, were given an equal platform.

“Wodcelona had a lot of spectators. In the Games, there’s not so many spectators because [adaptive athletes] still aren’t given that importance,” Ortuno said.

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  Sweet Home Alabama: CrossFit Games to Birmingham for 2024-27  

Sweet Home Alabama: CrossFit Games to Birmingham for 2024-27

The CrossFit Games are heading to Birmingham, AL after next season, and will be staying in the state’s largest city from 2024-27. The Games will be hosted at the Birmingham CrossPlex, a multi-sport complex located downtown.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a city official with knowledge of the agreement confirmed this to Morning Chalk Up. Prior to the 2022 CrossFit Games, the company’s GM of Sport, Justin Bergh announced that 2023 would be their final year in Madison, WI, the city that’s played host since 2017.

CrossFit delivered the following statement when contacted by Morning Chalk Up concerning the report:

  • “We’re not commenting on any potential locations for 2024 and beyond at this point. We’ll be making an announcement soon that will detail the complete 2023 season and we’re looking forward to returning to and celebrating our time in Madison next summer. Once the 2023 season announcement is complete, we’ll be able to confirm future locations before the end of this year.”

Remind me: The Games started at Dave Castro’s family ranch in Aromas, California in 2007, founder and former CEO of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, famously called it “the Woodstock of fitness.”

  • As the Games evolved and grew, it also moved from the Ranch in Aromas to the Home Depot Center (later StubHub Center) in Carson, CA, where it would stay until 2017. The 2017 CrossFit moved to Madison, WI where it has stayed (minus a return trip to Aromas during the disrupted COVID season of 2020) up until this past season for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

Why it matters: For the third time in its history, the CrossFit Games are moving.

  • It’s worth noting that according to, the average temperature in Birmingham at the end of July and beginning of August is 90 degrees fahrenheit, while the average humidity is 75%.
  Sweet Home Alabama: CrossFit Games to Birmingham for 2024-27  

First Take: CrossFit Games 2024 Moving to Birmingham Alabama | The Bottom Line

For the third time in its history, the CrossFit Games are on the move. This time, to Birmingham, Alabama. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil caught up with Dex Hopkins and Brent Fikowski to discuss the details behind the new location, what athletes consider about each new site and some potential programming opportunities that might be in store.

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  Who's Competing at the 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship  

Who's Competing at the 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship

The videos have been reviewed, the scores finalized and Friday morning, the invitations have been sent out to 40 men and women for the ten-year anniversary of the prestigious Dubai Championship being held on December 2-4. The field is a well-balanced mixture of CrossFit Games veterans and young up-and-comers from all corners of the world.


The men’s invitation list features 11 athletes who have competed at the Games including eight from this past year, six as individuals and two on a team.

  1. Fabian Beneito
  2. Giorgos Karavis
  3. Lazar Djukic
  4. Alex Kotoulas
  5. Jonne Koski
  6. Aniol Ekai
  7. Vladimir Sechin
  8. Damian Martinez Satorres
  9. Luka Djukic
  10. Samuel Cournoyer
  11. Luka Vunjak
  12. Ricky Garard
  13. Guillaume Briant
  14. Javier Gonzalez
  15. Victor Hoffer
  16. Reggie Fasa
  17. Michal Wesolowski
  18. Brent Fikowski
  19. Simon Mantyla
  20. Khan Porter
Continue Reading...
  Dubai Fitness Championship Cuts Ties with CrossFit  

Dubai Fitness Championship Cuts Ties with CrossFit

The Dubai Fitness Championship announced on October 8 they will no longer be an official CrossFit licensed event, effective immediately, ending a years-long partnership with CrossFit. The event will return to its original name for this year’s competition, which goes Dec. 2-4.

  • “It’s in the best interest of both,” said Saud Alshamsi, the director of the Dubai Fitness Championship in a statement to Morning Chalk Up.

The big picture: Dubai’s decision to part ways with CrossFit is based, in part, on not seeing the return value for the licensing fee said Alshamsi, which echoes similar concerns shared by North American semifinal event organizers.

One big thing: Dubai is not only one of the three largest and most significant off-season competitions, but they were also the first-ever sanctioned event announced shortly after the 2018 CrossFit Games as part of the new Sanctional season structure which existed for the 2019 and 2020 Games seasons.

  • Over the last 10 years, the event has made Dubai a fitness hub and destination in the middle east.
  • Dubai has featured star-studded rosters of former Games champions and legends in the sport like Mathew Fraser, Brent Fikowski, Annie Thorisdottir, Patrick Vellner, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Sam Briggs.
  • As one of the biggest and most storied off-season competitions, Dubai’s decision to part ways could carry some implications for other events in similar situations.
  • While licensing fees vary depending on what tier of partnership an event chooses from CrossFit, events have reportedly paid between $25,000 and $50,000 to host a Semifinal. The lowest tier for being a licensed event costs $1,000, which allows the event to use the CrossFit name and logo.


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Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

12/9 - 12/10: Space Coast Classic (West Melbourne, FL)
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