“Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?”- T. S. Eliot
Looking Back at Rich Froning’s Career (So Far)
Earlier this week, Rich Froning appeared on the Sevan Podcast to discuss his plans for the 2023 CrossFit Games and announced that he was officially retiring from the Team division.
This seems like a perfect moment to recap Froning’s career and take stock of all the Cookeville champ has accomplished over the past 12 years.
But first: Froning made some important statements during the interview that are worth noting:
“I’ve exhausted that point in my career—doing teams. I enjoyed it, loved every minute of it,” Froning said.
“If I can get (my shoulder) back to good and feel like I can still compete at a level I want to I’ll definitely do the Open, do the Age Group Online Qualifiers, and then Semifinals for Masters,” he continued.
“Then, if I feel like it’s not going to take away from the summer with the kids, and doing some fun stuff, then year to year I’ll decide if I’m going to compete or not.”
Froning also revealed that he has been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury for the past two years and that recently it has gotten worse. Froning plans to spend the next several months rehabbing the shoulder and as long as surgery is not needed, he may compete in the Masters 35-39 division this year.
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Jason Khalipa and Jared Graybeal to get their predictions for the women’s division at the 2022 Rogue Invitational, which kicks off tonight with the first event.
Rogue update: More details have emerged about today’s offsite event to kick off Rogue and it requires running shoes and a change of clothes. 🧐
In the know: Keep your eyes on Rich Froning’s Instagram today for a special announcement. Also check out our news story on his recent announcement that he will no longer be competing in the team division.
Swag alert: Check out all the cool stuff Rogue competitors get: baseball gear (a customized jersey with each competitors name and the number 22 and a bat), sYeti stuff, a ruck bag, even a way cool belt buckle. 🤩
Comp update: The Down Under Championship has released its event schedule for the Nov. 18-20 event in Australia.
The Spectator's Guide to the 2022 Rogue Invitational
If you’re heading to the Austin, TX area for the Rogue Invitational this weekend, we’ve got everything you need to know to maximize your spectator experience. Grab a local coffee and let’s dive in!
Kick things off by grabbing a beer at the Iron Game Launch Party, hosted at Zilker Brewery. Taking place from 6PM-9PM on Wednesday, October 26th, there will be a live DJ, games and minglinging at one of the most iconic Austin breweries.
Is it on the competition? Should the athletes assist? Who is going to help get sports fans in those seats at events? Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Niki Brazier, CrossFit sideline reporter and sports agent Benji Hull to discuss solutions to increasing in-person viewership. Whether athletes should be contractually obligated to compete once they’re on the roster or if CrossFit HQ should be assisting in marketing efforts, ideas were brought up on how changes can be made.
Banned CrossFit Athlete Nasser Alruwayeh Wins Event Three Months After Positive Drug Test
Kuwait’s Nasser Alruwayeh, the runner-up at the 2022 Far East Throwdown, received a four year ban after testing positive for GW1516 (also known as cardarine and endurobol), a metabolic modulator. Three months following his failed drug test, Alruwayeh took first place in a local, non-licensed event.
The details: Alruwayeh competed at WOD Mayhem, which promotes itself as “Bahrain’s Premier Fitness Event.”
WOD Mayhem is organized by CrossFit HQ employee Ahmed Alsharaf, who is a member of the CrossFit Seminar Staff, and owner of CrossFit Delmon in Barbar, Bahrain.
Alruwayeh still denies any knowledge of taking the banned substance and is in the process of appealing the decision. He has not been cleared for tainted supplements or medication, but was allowed to compete and win prize money.
One big thing: Alruwayeh is banned from competing in all official CrossFit events, including the Open or any licensed event. WOD Mayhem is an independent event, meaning Alruwayeh was not in violation for competing in this competition.
The controversy: Allowing a banned athlete to compete and win prize money is already a touchy subject to begin with, but having the event being organized and run by a CrossFit HQ employee definitely muddies the waters on this controversial topic.
What they’re saying: Event organizer Ahmed Alsharaf spoke with The Morning Chalk Up regarding Alruwayeh’s participation in WOD Mayhem.
“We had a small local event and we don’t see a reason to ban anyone from competing. At the end of the day we are not here to judge anyone but hope to allow individuals to redeem themselves,” said Alsharaf.
“Everyone deserves a second chance, especially if they’re going under the appeals process. The local athletes attending took it as a challenge to beat him and they got very close,” said Alsharaf.
Alsharaf mentioned that they’ve received positive feedback from all competitors and the competition was a close race for first place at one point in the competition.
The bottom line: Is it a conflict of interest that the event organizer works for CrossFit HQ? Alsharaf may not have violated any parameters of Alruwayeh’s ban, but did allow him to take the top prize purse just three months after his initial failed test. The CrossFit Games team continues to make updates to the structure of the qualification process, while updating and refining the rulebook. Could this ethical gray area be a topic that is addressed by HQ in the future?
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Why Fall is the Most Important Season to Nurture Your Members.
Find out which are the top four months gyms gain members and which are the top four months gyms lose numbers. HINT: It's right about now...for both. How and when can you prepare for an influx of new members? And how can you prevent current members from leaving?
There's a lot of coverage at the Games on what's happening on the field, but what it’s like on the other end of the lens? Vicki Mcleod recounts her first Games experience as The Progrm's "one woman media machine" covering their roster of elite athletes from Europe: Gabriela Migala, Jacqueline Dahlstrom, Solveig Sigurdardottir, and Moritz Fiebig. It’s a behind the scenes look into Madison and what it’s like to travel from far away to cover the sport of fitness.
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