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The CrossFit Games COVID Season: How Stage One Came to Be

Morning Chalk Up

October 19


It’s Games Week, welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The NBA and the NFL managed to create a “safe” bubble for athletes. Although it’s only for a week and 10 athletes, the CrossFit Games looks to do the same. Tommy Marquez has more. And, this will go down in the annals as the COVID season, Spenser Mestel charts how stage one and the finals came to be.

  • Barbells for Boobs is in its eleventh year and despite the pandemic, gyms continue to fundraise to fight breast cancer.
  • Finally, O2 and the Community Coalition are offering great deals throughout Games week, make sure your gym is registered and get the deals below.

  Thank you for all the quote suggestions, story tips and PRs. Keep them coming at [email protected].



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“Today, you have 100% of your life left.”” – Tom Landry


Safety First: Athletes Enter The Bubble

  Safety First: Athletes Enter The Bubble  

In past years, onsite preparation for the CrossFit Games athletes and crew began well before the official Games week kicked off.  

The 2020 CrossFit Games are no different, only with a priority placed on individual health and safety due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result the travel, check-in, and behind the scenes protocols for everyone involved will be unlike any other year.

Enter the bubble: The CrossFit Games will be employing a “bubble” system where all athletes and event personnel will be kept isolated from the public for the duration of their stay for the competition week with strict protocols surrounding every aspect of their trip starting before they make the journey to Aromas.


The Mindset of a Champion

The Mindset of a Champion

Tia-Clair Toomey can’t wait to get out on the competition floor today, back at the ranch where it all began. She is laser focused and ready to defend her title as the Fittest Woman on Earth. She has been going to the gym every day and putting in the work. And she has been treating her body right and recovering strong every day, too. Check out the Hyperice App to see how she gets primed and ready to go, and follow along with the exact maintenance and recovery routines she does to perform her absolute best.



The CrossFit Games COVID Season: How Stage One Came to Be

  The CrossFit Games COVID Season: How Stage One Came to Be  

In March, the dominoes fell fast in professional sports. On the 11th, a center for the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus shortly before tipoff. The following day, the NHL, which shares many of its locker rooms with the NBA, announced an indefinite suspension of its season. Two weeks later, the Olympics were postponed.

However, as the virus spread and was upgraded from an epidemic to a pandemic, CrossFit HQ wasn’t in a rush to decide the fate of the Games, says Justin Bergh, who was hired in 2010 as the only employee dedicated full-time to the Games and who’s currently the Games’ General Manager.


Pandemic Doesn’t Stop CrossFit Community from Rallying for Barbells for Boobs

  Pandemic Doesn’t Stop CrossFit Community from Rallying for Barbells for Boobs  

In January 2020, Lori Shaw, wife of RP Strength CEO and founder Nick Shaw, was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.

  • “I had pain in my armpit…it’s your armpit so I didn’t even think about breast cancer,” said Lori on the Behind the Bra podcast. She assumed the “nagging pain” stemmed from something she had done at the gym, or maybe from an infected hair follicle. A second reason neither Lori or her husband Nick considered breast cancer was because “the general vibe we kept hearing was (breast cancer tumors) don’t hurt…So the big takeaway, and what the oncologist told us, is that it’s not always the case,” said Nick, the CEO of Renaissance Periodization, the popular nutrition company that serves tens of thousands of CrossFit athletes.
  • In the months following her diagnosis, Lori underwent radiation, surgery and chemotherapy and is “now in the clear,” Nick said.

Community Coalition’s Fall 50/50 Pledge Hits Midway Point; Partner Brands Step Up for Games Week, Explore Scholarships

  Community Coalition’s Fall 50/50 Pledge Hits Midway Point; Partner Brands Step Up for Games Week, Explore Scholarships  

We are just past the halfway point in O2 and the Community Coalition’s Fall 50/50 Pledge, at this point more than 3500 gyms are registered and their members are taking advantage of partner brand specials while securing 50% profiting sharing with their local box.

One big thing: As we head into the 2020 CrossFit Games finals this week, the partner brands that make up the Community Coalition will be announcing even more exclusive offers and incentives for CrossFitters.

The details: There are now ten brands that make up the Community Coalition, including O2, Born Primitive, Puori, RPM Training, Four Sigmatic, GOWOD, Lesser Evil, GORUCK, C4 and XTEND.




The 2018 CrossFit Games — The CrossFit Total, Final Women’s Heat

The CrossFit Total returns in Event 3 of the 2020 CrossFit Games this Friday. Watch this video of the final women’s heat during the same event in 2018. Four of the five 2020 women’s finalists — Tia-Clair Toomey, Katrin Davidsdottir, Kari Pearce and Brooke Wells — competed in this heat back in 2018.

  Morning Chalk Up  



Tia’s Ultimate Recovery Tech

Hyperice connects the innovation of technology to the art of movement. They make a full suite of vibration, percussion, compression and thermal tech including the new Hypervolt and Hypervolt Plus (Bluetooth®) that pair with the Hyperice App, the Vyper 2.0 vibrating foam roller, and the Normatec Pulse 2.0 dynamic compression system. Prime your muscles, recover faster, conquer pain, soreness, and inflammation, and get the ultimate massage at home with Hyperice, the tech trusted by the world’s fittest.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Meredith Root Encourage You to Put Yourself in the Shoes of Marginalized Members

Inclusion RX’d is an ongoing podcast/video series hosted by John Wooley and Make Pods Great Again that discusses diversity and inclusion in CrossFit. In this episode, special guest Meredith Root discusses how to be “not not-inclusive”, how a culture of inclusivity starts at the top, the importance of aligning your actions with your values, being sensitive to small details and putting yourself in the shoes of marginalized members.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Your Potential

Ever wonder why some days you feel like you have an extra gear? The secret is in the data. The WHOOP strap and platform is built to help you unlock your potential by monitoring your heart rate 24/7 so you know what you’re putting your body through on a daily basis. Sign up now and get $30 off (no code needed) the WHOOP strap and start optimizing your recovery, training, and sleep.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Apple Pie Bars with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel

Give these healthy apple pie bars with a delicious oat crumble topping and a drizzle of homemade salted vegan peanut butter caramel a try! They are gluten-free and filled with warm, cozy spices. In our search for all the best fall flavors, we may have found the perfect dessert!



Congratulations to Andrew A., who was the first to correctly answer which Games Individual Champion had the highest (worst) place in the Open the year they won the Games. The correct answer was Tia-Clair Toomey. She was 18th Worldwide in the 2017 Open, the year she won her first Games.

  • Today’s question: How many athletes competed as individuals at the Ranch in both the 2009 and 2016 CrossFit Games?

Submit your answer





Good Read: Kari Pearce on Making the Final Five and Trying to Beat Tia-Clair Toomey

Last Friday the South China Morning Post published a profile entitled “Kari Pearce on Her Amazing Abs, Final Five and Trying to Beat Tia-Clair Toomey” by Patrick Blennerhassett and it’s a pretty good read. In it, the writer recounts Pearce’s CrossFit Games career and interviews her about what it will take to win in 2020. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Blennerhassett: “Pearce is no stranger to the finals. In her debut in 2015 she finished 21st. She followed that with a string of impressive finishes, fifth in 2016, 10th in 2017, sixth in 2018 and fifth last year.”
  • “With a background in gymnastics where she spent 18 years training and competing, Pearce said she first found CrossFit in 2014 while living in New York and doing powerlifting. ‘I had a college teammate that kept telling me I should try it, but I didn’t want anything related to gymnastics because I was burnt out of it. I saw the Games on ESPN one day and decided that my teammate was right and I could be pretty good at it,’ [Pearce said].”
  • Pearce on stage one of the 2020 Games: “Competing online has its pros and cons, similar to anything else. It is nice being in a controlled environment. I actually decided to travel to California to do Stage One of the CrossFit Games. The spectators are something that makes an in-person competition so nice because I get amped up hearing all of the cheering. I am lucky in that there is usually a good amount of people that come cheer me on, whether it is during the Open or for the Games.”
  • Pearce on winning the 2020 Games: “Someone beats Toomey by being perfect and also getting some gifts. She is such a well-rounded athlete that no matter what the programming is, you know she will do well. My plan for California is to go out there and do what I know how to do.”

There’s a lot more in the article, so be sure to give it a read.

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10/23: WODTOBERFEST 2020 (Lodi, CA)
10/24 – 10/25: New Zealand Teams Nationals (Cambridge, New Zealand)
10/24: The Garage Games Masters Tour (McKinney, TX)
10/24: Girls Gone Rx Caribbean – Lift Up Series (Curacao, Netherlands Antilles)
10/24: Fittest in the Fall (Indianapolis, IN)
10/25: Krefeld Ravens U19 Tryout (Krefeld, NRW, Germany)
10/28 – 11/10: The Fittest Experience Online Qualifier (Austin, TX)
10/31: Barbells for Boobs (San Antonio, TX)
10/31: Come as You Aren’t (Jacksonville, FL)
10/31: BOA – Season 5 – Challenge of The Decades (Bensenville, IL)
10/31: Halloween Havoc | Kids + Masters Competition (Cedar Falls, IA)
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10/31: WOD-o-WEEN (Minnetonka, MN)
11/6 – 11/7: Strength Wars 2020 (Blacktown, Australia)
11/7 – 11/8: The Bay Games [Unstoppable (online) Edition] (Jervis Bay, Australia)
11/7: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Bedford, TX)
11/7: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Columbia, SC)
11/7: Kilo Crushfest (Hampton, VA)
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11/7: Cactus Kids 2020 (Phoenix, AZ)
11/7: CrossFit Brisbane Hard’n Up Challenge (Coorparoo, QLD, Australia)
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11/7: The FORGE Partner Challenge 2020 (Plantsville, CT)
11/7: 2020 FTX Open (Wheaton, IL)
11/7: Turkey Throwdown (6th Annual) (Limestone, TN)
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11/11: WOD for Warriors (Waite Park, MN)
11/13 – 11/15: ChasingBetter Throwdown 2020 Live Event (Perth, Australia)
11/14: The Garage Games Masters Tour (Fort Wayne, IN)
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