“Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die.”- Alfred Lord Tennyson
Unvaccinated CrossFit Athletes Face Difficult Decision as Questions Persist about CrossFit’s Handling of Semifinals Seeding
American Jordy Gremillion now finds himself with an incredibly difficult decision if he wants to continue his season in hopes of making the 2022 CrossFit Games.
Gremillion, who finished 121st in the Quarterfinals for North America, is the first to admit that making the actual Games is a long shot, however he never figured he would find himself in the position he is in now either. The Lafayette, LA affiliate owner said the only option remaining in front of him is a ticket to the Atlas Games, which takes place June 10-12 in Montreal, Canada.
Anyone traveling to Canada by air or land is required, by the Canadian government, to be vaccinated. Exemptions are permitted, however they are incredibly rare and require the person to quarantine for up to two weeks on their own dime. Gremillion said he was emailed a mandatory survey from CrossFit after the Quarterfinals where he was asked about his travel restrictions and he said he was quite clear in his response to CrossFit.
“It didn’t ask whether or not you were vaccinated,” said Gremillion. “But I did say that I was not vaccinated, and that is just a personal choice. I’m not trying to get into a political debate at all, that is just my choice… this is not a religious thing or I’m not making a stand or anything like that, I just chose not to get it, and there doesn’t seem to be a need for me to get it now anyways, other than for this.”
Gremillion said a number of decisions from CrossFit about Semifinals are confusing to him, one of them being why Canadian Brent Fikowski is going to the Granite Games, June 3-5 in Eagen, MN. Gremillion said he has nothing against Fikowski or any other athlete, however wonders why CrossFit appears to be playing favorites with the elites and leaving some of the “bubble” athletes with difficult decisions.
On the Talking Elite Fitness podcast on April 21, Director of Competition, Adrian Bozman, clarified that “the first thing we did was try to distribute rank evenly in North America and Europe, obviously you don’t want one Semifinal that’s got a ton of competitive athletes and another region that is less competitive.”
Bozman continued, stating that other factors included ability to travel across borders (including things like vaccine status and visa/passport status) and personal preference. But he clarified that visa/passport and preference were considered far lower than rank and government mandates.
Gremillion has accepted his invitation to the Atlas Games as a backfill, however now faces a conundrum in continuing his season. He is not the only one. In a similar predicament is Will Bennett, who came 125th in North America for the Quarterfinals, four spots behind Gremillion.
Bennett, who lives and trains out of Northeast Louisiana, said he is not vaccinated, however the main issue he has is that now it seems errors with workout 3 are complicating his potential chance to attend a Semifinal, due to the fact that he was also only offered the Atlas Games as a backfill option.
“That’s kind of the frustrating part for me,” said Bennett. “I’m not really mad about the Semifinal stuff because if they would have handled their stuff with the Quarterfinal situation then everything would have played out and been normal. I mean don’t have an online competition if you can’t run it, that’s my perspective.”
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In case you missed it, Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Brian Friend and Patrick Clark about their takes on the Far East Thowdown Semifinal seeding. Friend outlined the reality of CrossFit in 2022 given the global pandemic.
“The bottom line here is there is an up and coming group of athletes in Asia, but because of the dynamics of the world right now we’re not going to get to see the full display of what Asia has to offer.”
The GORUCK Games are over and they were a resounding success. Check out a recap here and find out who made the podium, you may recognize a few names. 😉
Which 2022 Semifinal is the Toughest Road to the Games for Individuals?
Quarterfinals are in the rear view mirror for Individuals, and a majority of the Semifinal fields are set. This is the final and most intense stage of the season for the best CrossFit athletes in the world, all of whom are now vying for the 40 available spots at the Games. The question we set out to answer today is, which Semifinal path to get there is most difficult?
Remind Me: Recently a new way to measure performance was introduced in this article in BarBend and a new method for increasing the likelihood to get the best athletes year in and year out to the Games was discussed here using a Weighted Rating System. This topic was elaborated on a The Bottom Line Discussion as well.
New Metrics such as Leader Average, Performance Rate, and Podium Rate were outlined; but Performance Rate ends up being a uniquely impressive stat that we can apply to the 2022 Semifinal fields.
Ollie Mansbridge, CrossFit’s regional manager for Europe, has noticed an interesting shift this year when it comes to demographic trends.
Mansbridge is the co-founder of CrossFit Bath, which is located about a two hour drive west from London. Bath as a city has a population of less than 100,000 and sits close to the coast, a sleepy town compared to the hustle and bustle of The Big Smoke.
But Mansbridge’s box is booming, part of a trend he’s seeing all over Europe, and quite frankly, the entire world in what could be described as the earliest days of the post-pandemic landscape.
“I live in a town that is about two hours from London and we have seen a massive uptick in membership in terms of people coming to the gym,” said Mansbridge, who has been working for CrossFit since 2019 when he started out as the country manager for the UK. “Because people were just fed up with training at home and in their living rooms, and so that was a huge positive from an affiliate perspective.”
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Mat Fraser hit a beach bench sesh while dropping in at CrossFit Anahola in Kauai, HI — 2 sets of 4 reps at 295 pounds/133.5kg.
Teen athlete, Sophie Shaft from Five Lakes CrossFit in Farmington Hills, MI PR’d all three of her lifts during the Age Group Quarterfinals CrossFit Total: 342 pound/155kg back squat, 130 pound/59kg strict press, and 340 pound/154kg deadlift.
CrossFit Analyst and MCU writer Tommy Marquez put up a lifetime PR in the AGQ with a 1,115 pound/505.5kg CrossFit Total.
Another Analyst and MCU writer Brian Friend hit three new PR’s during CrossFit PFT’s in-house competition this weekend in Highwood, IL: 3RM bench press at 170 pound/77kg, 2RM overhead squat at 200 pound/90.5kg overhead squat, and 1RM power clean at 235 pound/106.5kg.
CrossFit Mandeville in Mandeville, LA hosted a “Lucky Few” fundraiser workout over the weekend. The event raised over $1500 for the UP21 Foundation, which provides support, resources and education to families of individuals with Down syndrome.
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