“Good questions outrank easy answers.”- Paul Samuelson
The 2022 CrossFit Games Season Recap: Bozman’s Debut, Khrennikov’s Visa, Ropegate, and The Iconic Capitol Event
Now that the season is over, the champagne has been popped and all the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games athletes are taking much needed vacations to recover and take stock of their years (unless they’re gearing up for what is a super busy off-season), it’s a good time for us to look back as well.
The 2022 season was one filled with a number of notable events, occurrences, controversies, and also feel good stories. Far from some of the years we’ve had in the past five, given Covid and the massive leadership/ownership changes that took place, you could say 2022 was quiet, and a return to normal in what seems like the new post-pandemic landscape – whatever that means.
So, was it a success, or a failure for CrossFit, and the sport in general? That answer is a subjective one that lies in the hearts and minds of each fan, athlete, coach and affiliate owner, but it’s safe to say this year gave us a lot to chew on.
The 2022 CrossFit Open was preceded by the very public firing of Dave Castro in early January, which meant for the first time in, well, ever, there would be a new programmer at the helm for the remainder of the Games season. With the Open looming just around the corner, CrossFit needed to act quickly. Though he had been behind the scenes for years, it was here that we got our first look at Adrian Bozman as the new face of the CrossFit Games. With only a few tweaks to the Open workouts, the season was off and running…almost.
Just one week after the 2022 Open kicked off, the sport of CrossFit found that like everyone else on the planet, it was impossible to ignore what will surely be the biggest global news story of the year with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
CrossFit announced it would be banning the use of Russian and Belarusian flags for competitors during sanctioned competitions, and the Ukrainian CrossFit community was swift in action, in both condemning the invasion, voicing their opinions and also pulling together help for those on the front lines of the war.
On top of this was the news that Russian athlete Roman Khrennikov, who was seen as a potential podium threat, had finally, after years of trying, secured an athlete’s visa to compete in the US for the next five years.
Though Khrennikov was the target of online attacks and death threats, he continuously handled the situation like a consummate professional, and we now know how everything turned out for him at the Games— a Hollywood ending that included a silver medal alongside his wife and newborn son.
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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Morning Chalk Up analyst Brian Friend about why there are some very notable names who will not be competing at the 2022 Rogue Invitational this year.
Onto the next career: The one and only Sam Briggs is once again officially a firefighter, how cool is this? 👩🏻🚒
National love: The USA Today posted a video about what has now become an iconic moment: Rebecca Fuselier finishing off The Capitol with the crowd support.
Local love: Great piece in the Austin Daily Herald about a writer taking in Summer Slam IV and maybe catching the CrossFit bug.
How Accurate Were Our Composite Power Rankings?
Following the Last Chance Qualifier in July, six CrossFit analysts put power rankings out for the 40 athletes competing in the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games men’s and women’s fields. In case you missed them:
Jason Khalipa on Growing Your Staff: “If You Find the Right Person for Your First Hire, I Bet You They Will Regain Their Salary Within 90 Days”
CrossFit elder statesman Jason Khalipa recently sat down with Morning Chalk Up staff writer Preslie Hirsch for the re-release of our series Coffee Break Conversations, which is available exclusively for Rx members, and dropped some serious nuggets of wisdom.
Remind me: Khalipa first rose to fame after winning the 2008 CrossFit Games, and opened his first gym, CrossFit Santa Clara, one month later. He went on to compete at the CrossFit Games seven consecutive times (6 individual and 1 team appearance), has since opened 20 gym locations, founded NCFIT (previously NorCal CrossFit), wrote a book and launched the Effort Over Everything Podcast.
Khalipa has helped countless CEOs and affiliate owners alike run better, more successful operations. While his company is geared largely toward functional fitness purveyors, his background began in conventional gym ownership and that experience has informed his business-forward mindset.
“I started working at the front desk when I was in high school. And then when I graduated from high school, I ended up going to a junior college and knew I needed to get my stuff together. I found an opportunity in that gym to work full-time in sales, and that was a really cool experience because I had some great business mentors who took me under their wing and taught me a lot about sales in regards to fitness,” Khalipa said.
“And then I found CrossFit in 2006 and it really changed my life, because I was introduced to this idea of a coach and a community — and it really started getting people results.”
With extensive trial and error in growing gyms, and having scaled to corporate wellness programs, an app, formal session plans and more, Khalipa’s NCFIT is no stranger to the myriad of responsibilities and challenges a gym owner might face.
Annie Thorisdottir: “I’ve had a great year so far. But yeah, it’s been really hard.”
2x CrossFit Games champ and veteran of the sport, Annie Thorisdottir, had a much different experience in Madison this year. Opting out of the individual division to make a run for the podium on Team CrossFit Reykjavík, the results were not was Thorisdottir and her team expected. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Thorisdottir to discuss some of the challenges the team faced, how Katrín Davíðsdóttir almost ended up on the team, and where her head is at heading into the 2023 season.
Wodify Blueprint is offering a webinar open to all those who want to take advantage of this free learning opportunity. The webinar, “Take the First Step to Cut Back from Coaching Full-time” features the NCFIT team and can be accessed now.
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Adrian Bozman definitely threw a curveball this year at the Games with the new strict handstand push up. Some athletes didn’t skip a beat. And some reminded us just how challenging trying a new movement for the first time can be. Have you tried them yet?
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