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Vellner, Sigmundsdottir Win Open

Morning Chalk Up

January 7

RP Strength

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. CrossFit HQ officially announced the winners of the 2020 Open and 237 national champions yesterday moving one step closer to finalizing the leaderboard. And, we now have a full picture of the prize purses offered by the five Live and Loud Sanctionals. Today: 

  • Official congratulations to Pat Vellner, Sara Sigmundsdottir and 237 others.
  • Big money and athlete investment by Loud And Live Sports.
  • Good Read: The Joy of Movement.
  • News and notes on Sanctionals and more.

Send your big lifts, PRs, and story tips to [email protected].



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“Champions are made from something they have deep inside them–a desire, a dream, a vision.”

— Muhammad Ali


Vellner, Sigmundsdottir Win Open. National Champions Crowned

  Vellner, Sigmundsdottir Win Open. National Champions Crowned  

CrossFit concluded their final video review from the 10th CrossFit Open and announced the overall winners and 237 national champions from 124 countries. Additionally, the top 20 worldwide is set and those invites have gone out.

One big thing: The deadline for the top 20 to register is Monday, January 13 at 5:00 PM, which means that any athletes declining to go team will have just under a week to make that decision. CrossFit HQ will backfill those positions until a total of 20 athletes are invited. 

  • Men in the top 20 we expect to go team: Brandon Luckett, Rich Froning and Roy Gamboa. Both Luckett and Gamboa have already earned invites on teams and for Froning it just ain’t happening no matter how hard we try. 
  • Men in line for those three spots: Sean Sweeney, Connor Duddy and Brent Fikowski. 
  • Women in the top 20 we expect to go team: Andrea Nisler, Brooke Haas and Taylor Williamson. Nisler and Williamson secured their team spots in Dubai and Haas in Ireland. 
  • Women in line for those three spots: Marykay Dreisilker, Sasha Nievas and Danielle Brandon. 

One thing that’s confusing people: If Patrick Vellner won the Open, then why is Jeffrey Adler the Canadian national champion?

  • It doesn’t matter how well you do worldwide in a workout because the national champion race only takes into account how you perform against your countrymen and women. 
  • Take 20.5 for example: Vellner beat Adler by 41 spots worldwide, which is equal to 41 points on the worldwide leaderboard. However, Vellner only beat Adler by three spots among Canadian competitors, which is equal to only three points.
  • Adler actually has a lower average finish than Vellner when you compare the two: 2.6 to Vellner’s 3.0. Take a look.

For what it’s worth: The press release announced that the Games will be held from Wednesday, July 29 through Sunday, August 2, which is an update from their original release which listed the dates as Monday, July 27 through Sunday, August 2. 

Fun Facts: 

  • Sara Sigmundsdottir has now won her second straight CrossFit Open. Only Sam Briggs has accomplished that feat in 2013 and 2014. She has also won the Open for her third time, the most of any female athlete. 
  • Patrick Vellner is the first Canadian man to win the Open. He is also the first non-American man to win. 
  • Ben Smith qualifies for his 12th consecutive CrossFit Games, the longest stream of any male or female athlete. 
  • 116 athletes — 56 men and 60 women — are repeating as national champions. 

Loud And Live Brings The Green

  Loud And Live Brings The Green  

Over the December break, while most of the CrossFit world was recovering from an overload of holiday cheer, the Granite Games announced details regarding their prize payouts for the individual and team of 4 divisions this season. 

The Granite Games are one of five events that are part of the Loud And Live Sports family, and the announcement brings into focus the full scope of the financial investment through prize purses that Loud And Live Sports has made for athletes this season.

The breakdown: Wodapalooza leads the way with the biggest purse of the bunch, but new to this season is the top team prize for the Madrid CrossFit Championship which stands at $100,000 – by far the largest of any Sanctional and equal to the CrossFit Games team champions prize.

  • Wodapalooza CrossFit Festival: $399,860 total prize purse.
  • West Coast Classic: $323,500 total prize purse.
  • Granite Games: $250,000 total prize purse.
  • Madrid CrossFit Championship: $260,000 total prize purse.
  • Mayan CrossFit Classic: $51,500 total prize purse.
  • Cumulative total: $1,284,860 prize purse.

President of Loud And Live Sports Matt O’keefe: “We want to provide greater revenue generating opportunities for the athletes of our sport. In the process, we are striving to develop the platforms for athletes to showcase their talent and brands, many of which provide them an opportunity to earn. Simultaneously we’re providing platforms to brands and enthusiasts to interact and express themselves. We feel this approach expands on what the CrossFit Games has built; growth and support for the entire ecosystem.”

Why this matters: Reebok’s title sponsorship of the Games ends after this season and questions remain about the effect it will have on the more than three million dollars that make up the Games prize purse that Reebok covers as part of the deal.

  • It’s worth noting that per the 2020 rulebook, the prize purse remained flat this season and it was the first time the purse wasn’t increased since 2012.
  • Additional uncertainty around the format of the Games competition – which included drastic cuts last season that shuffled the leaderboard – also factors into how much money an athlete walks away with at season’s end.

Athletes are the lifeblood of this new system, the success of which depends on both the ability of the athletes to make a decent living, and independent Sanctionals to attract athletes to stay afloat. Investments by Sanctionals in significant prize purses check both those boxes, and fans of the sport are rewarded with deeper athlete fields and more of their favorites competing.

Invested interest: Loud And Live Sports now operates four of the top six events in terms of prize purses (Dubai and Rogue are the other two), and has established itself as a leader in the marketplace for athletes looking for quality competition and compensation.

  • On average there is about a month timeframe separating each event, which affords athletes enough time to participate in at least 2-3 events if they choose depending on their qualification status for the Games.

The total prize purse investment by Loud And Live Sports may not fully replace the Games, but a 1.28 million dollar combined purse is significant enough to provide athletes alternative options for financial sustainability in a sporting environment that has largely been in flux for the past 18 months. The professional athletes of our sport deserve professionalism on all levels, and investments like this are a major step in the right direction.


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The CBD Difference

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A Day of Training with Alec Smith

Alec Smith and Craig Richey headed down to Bali to meet up with some friends on a little WOD getaway. Besides, who doesn’t want to be on a tropical island right now?

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Backstage at TEDx with Ben Bergeron

Coach Ben Bergeron goes behind the scenes at his recent TEDx talk and shares how he prepared for his first talk, the process of cutting it from 50 minutes to 12 and working with a coach to help improve his performance.

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The Best Chicken Soup You’ll Ever Eat

Cold and flu season meet chicken soup — your arch-nemesis and all-around cure-all. This chicken soup recipe from Ambitious Kitchen adds ginger, turmeric and garlic for extra anti-inflammatory goodness.





Good Read: “The Joy of Movement,” By Dr. Kelly McGonigal

On December 31, 2019, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, published The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage.” In the book, McGonigal investigates everything from Tough Mudder races to yoga, and American Ninja Warrior to CrossFit, and shows how movement is intertwined with self-expression and social connection and can serve as a powerful antidote to depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

  • Katie Norris, a Unitarian Universalist minister and a CrossFit coach, serves as one of the author’s case studies in Chapter 5: “Overcoming Obstacles.” Norris began her CrossFit journey with little self-confidence in her abilities and struggled with body self-image.
  • According to McGonigal, CrossFit gave Norris a new self-confidence and chronicles her journey from a newbie struggling to gain the courage to do a partner carry, to a coach inspiring athletes to deadlift heavy barbells.
  • Last week we covered an article recapping some negative media attention CrossFit received in the early years, The Joy of Movement presents a much more positive picture. Order a copy above, or check out the kindle version, it’s currently rated #1 in the Exercise and Fitness category.       
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What Else is Trending

  • LAUNCHED: Sammy Moniz is expanding Feeding the Frasers to include an online retail store, kicking off with totes and tea towels. 
  • QUALS: Jacob Heppner calls this Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge the hardest online qualifier WOD he’s ever done. Week 1 scores were due yesterday at 5:00 PM PT. Week 2 workouts will be released tomorrow at 5:00 PM PT. 
  • AD THIS: The Chestee drops their first 90-second ad spot featuring brand ambassador Kelsey Kiel in this Dollar Shave Club-esque montage. 
  • REGISTER: Registration for the second International Online Qualifier opens tomorrow. The qualifier will award spots to the Granite Games, Asbury Park Games, Madrid CrossFit Championship and Mayan CrossFit Classic.


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1/11: Unbroken Ocala (Ocala, FL)
1/11: Strongfit Fundamentals Course (San Diego, CA)
1/11 – 1/12: CrossFit Ft Vancouver Championship (Vancouver, WA)
1/11: 3rd Annual In-Law Competition (Keene, NH)
1/11: Older, Wiser, Stronger, Faster – Individual (Ann Arbor, MI)
1/17: A Grand Day at Frantic (Cannington, Australia)
1/18: The Force Wars 2020 (Pembroke Pines, FL)
1/18: 3rd annual Battle For The Axe (Brainerd, MN)
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1/18: NCK Throwdown 2020 (Concordia, KS)
1/18: Lone Star Shootout (Dallas, TX)
1/18: CrossFit Krypton V.2 (Chesapeake, VA)
1/25: The Blizzard Brawl (Waite Park, MN)
1/25: Cerberus Powerlifting (Blue Springs, MO)
1/25: Reindeer Gainz III (Donna, TX)
1/25: 2020 Winter Swolestice (Fayetteville, AR)
1/25: Lost River Rumble II (Bowling Green, KY)
1/25: Cold Steel Classic (Oswego, IL)
1/25: HYROX Chicago (Chicago, IL)
1/25: Battle of the Ages (Norwood, MA)
2/1: Krypton’s Compete for a Cure (Chesapeake, VA)
2/1: Warrior Affiliate League Fantastic 4 (Chino Hills, CA)
2/1: Wodi Gras 2020 (New Orleans, LA)
2/1: Great Lakes Games 2020 (Plymouth, MI)
2/8: Thoroughbred Throwdown (Ocala, Florida)
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2/8 – 2/9: The Ice Bowl 2020 (Green Bay, WI)

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