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Why Wodapalooza Was Great For The Sport

Morning Chalk Up

March 5


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. It’s a two Sanctional weekend and with the Australian CrossFit Championship already underway, we have a full preview of the Brazil CrossFit Championship which kicks off tomorrow. And, Tommy Marquez makes the case for why the hype surrounding Wodapalooza and parity in the elite divisions there is a great thing for the sport. Today:

  • Preview: Brazil CrossFit Championship.
  • Parity and investment at Wodapalooza.
  • Registration for the Partner Gauntlet at the Reykjavik CrossFit Championship opens. 

We are always on the lookout for story tips, big lifts, and PRs. Let us know at [email protected].



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Games Invitations Await Athletes at the Brazil CrossFit Championship

 Games Invitations Awaits Athletes at the Brazil CrossFit Championship 

The world-famous Brazil “Carnivale” may have ended over a week ago but another celebration awaits in São Paulo for athletes competing to earn their 2020 CrossFit Games invitation at the Brazil CrossFit Championship. The Sanctional competition takes place on March 6-8 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium.

What’s on the line: The coveted Games invitation is up for grabs for the top male and female individual finisher as well as the top team. Podium finishers will receive a cash prize. The podium finishers also receive a direct invite to the Down Under CrossFit Championship as part of a partnership between the two Sanctionals.

  1. $3,000 USD
  2. $2,000 USD
  3. $1,000 USD

Who to watch: Athletes from 13 different countries are represented in an individual field primarily dominated by competitors from Latin America.

The women’s division: Only two of the 32 women in the field have received their Games invitation. Three women have competed at the Games while 18 have competed at Regionals either as individuals or on a team. The host nation is well represented as 11 of the top 20 Brazilian women who competed in the CrossFit Worldwide Open will be battling for the Games invite.

  • Melina Rodriguez has her Games invitation in hand as the repeat national champion for Argentina finishing an impressive 28th in the Open. She has two Games appearances finishing 97th as an individual last season and competing at the 2017 Games with BIGG CrossFit Recoleta. This is her second Sanctional appearance this season, she finished sixth at the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge. She is one of the top returning athletes from last year’s Brazil CrossFit Championship when she placed sixth.
  • Fellow Argentinian Sasha Nievas secured her very first Games invite through the Open after finishing 36th overall. Last year she placed ninth at the Brazil CrossFit Championship.
  • Another pair of Argentinians, Delfina Ortuno and Sol Lupo, competed as teammates at the 2018 Games with Codigo CrossFit. Ortuno has experience competing as an individual at the Sanctional level. She finished tenth at the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge and eighth at the Brazil CrossFit Championship last year.
  • Anita Pravatti is among the favorites for the host country. The six-time Regional athlete finished fifth in Brazil in the Open. At the 2018 CrossFit Latin America Regional, she placed fifth in the women’s individual division.

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Why Wodapalooza Was Great For The Sport

 Why Wodapalooza Was Great For The Sport 

In sport, sometimes competition is about more than just the competition itself.

The success of a given sport has never been entirely predicated on what happens on the playing field but rather, the atmosphere it generates, the presentation of the product, and the ability to create and maintain a dedicated fanbase in the absence of anything spectacular once the whistle blows.

Looking at the leaderboard, the media highlights and chatter coming from the community after Wodapalooza last weekend, it’s difficult to walk away without a sense of resolve around the events that took place in Miami and what it means for the sport going forward.

But first, the nitty-gritty: Wodapalooza is an “information overload” weekend, but there are a handful of things worth noting that really rise above the fray within the context of the bigger picture for the season.

  • The top spot in all three elite divisions was hotly contested down to the final workout, and for the first time ever, a tiebreaker came into effect after Patrick Vellner and Cole Sager finished deadlocked in points.
  • The timing buzzers had a huge impact, in multiple divisions. A .27 second difference in the final event is what separated Mayhem Freedom and GoWOD overall in the Elite Team division, and just .45 seconds was the difference in the race for the Games invitation between Emily Rolfe and Colleen Fotsch.
  • Over 2,000 athletes registered and took the competition floor in 38 different divisions over the weekend.
  • More than 40,000 fans showed up to the competition over the weekend, packing the stands in four different competition venues at Bayfront Park.
  • 120 brands from across the fitnessphere showed up and showed out, bringing exclusive Wodapalooza themed gear, apparel, and even food options.
  • At least 8 other Sanctional directors (by our count) were present onsite at the event, exchanging ideas and volunteering their time.

Why this is significant: One could argue that Wodapalooza was a major event prior to the new Sanctionals system and the purchase by Loud And Live Sports. In reality, given everything that has transpired in the last year at the Games, at other Sanctionals, and in the Open, these are promising signs.


Compete against Sigmundsdottir and Bosmans in the Partner Gauntlet at Reykjavik CrossFit Championship, Registration Now Open

 Compete against Sigmundsdottir and Bosmans in the Partner Gauntlet at Reykjavik CrossFit Championship, Registration Now Open 

Do you want to compete against Sara Sigmundsdottir and Carmen Bosmans? Well, the Reykjavik CrossFit Championship is offering that chance to fans and athletes at its Sanctional this year.

What is the Partner Gauntlet? A series of workouts in which fans, athletes and spectators can compete against other teams, including the team of Sigmundsdottir and Bosmans.

  • On Friday, April 3, the organizers will open up the competition floor to teams that have registered for the event.
  • Same-sex teams of two will compete in three workouts consecutively during a one-hour window between the elite competition events.
  • The top five male and female teams will then advance to the Ragnar Gauntlet which will take place on Sunday, April 5.
  • Teams that advance to the Ragnar Gauntlet will receive full access passes for Saturday and Sunday’s competition.
  • The Ragnar Gauntlet on Sunday will be streamed live online and on Icelandic national TV.
  • Scaled and RX divisions are available.
  • There is a limited number of spots, and registration will close on March 31.
  • More information on the Gauntlet and the Reykjavik CrossFit Championship are available on the event website.

Share the floor with two champions:

  • Sigmundsdottir repeated as winner of the worldwide CrossFit Games Open and also repeated as the national champion of her native Iceland. The five-time Games athlete has competed in three Sanctionals this year, recording podium finishes at all of them.
  • Bosmans competed in her first Games last season after finishing the 2019 Open as the national champion of Belgium. In her rookie season, the six-time Regional qualifier finished 44th at the 2019 Games.

The Reykjavik CrossFit Championship takes place April 3-5. The Morning Chalk Up will provide exclusive coverage and analysis for the Sanctional as part of our official  media partnership.





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Inside the WOD with Phil Hesketh and Gabi Migala

Phil Hesketh, Program Director for the Norwegian CrossFit Championship, explains how he designed events four and five in a discussion with Tommy Marquez, while overall event winner Gabriela Migala performs the entire workout. Video shot by Niko Ronnow.

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Armen Hammer on Eddie Hall’s World Record Isabel Time

In this episode, Armen Hammer breaks down former World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall’s world record-breaking Isabel attempt. At 50.9 seconds, the beast crushed it. From Armen: “Did you see that?”

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Two Good Reads

In the past week, both Men’s Health and Shape Magazine online have featured stories that focused on CrossFit. Here’s a quick synopsis of each one, but be sure to check them out.

  • Mark Hay‘s profile in Men’s Health, “Why CrossFit is Going after your Grandpa,” examines the CrossFit, Inc. pivot to the CrossFit Health initiative.
    • “Shirtless, sweaty, and extremely jacked: Over the past decade, that’s been CrossFit’s public image, manifested at the Olympic-style CrossFit Games, which drew an estimated 11.6 million viewers in 2019 on its Facebook and YouTube livestreams alone.” is how the article begins, but Hay soon gets to his primary question: “So why exactly is CrossFit, Inc., the brand’s parent company, now putting its spotlight on old and (largely) less fit people?”
    • From there the article profiles Greg Glassman‘s early approach to building a training methodology and then a brand, highlighting the idea that he always intended on “starting with the SEALs and then work on the grandmothers.” In that sense, there is not much surprising about the seemingly abrupt shift the company made almost two years ago.
    • Hay charts the development of the CrossFit Games, from being “a test kitchen where we can prove our concepts,” as Kelly Starrett, affiliate owner and former CrossFit subject matter expert, put it, to a “distraction” for affiliates trying to entice an older clientele.
    • Ultimately, the article concludes that the shift is good marketing and a strategic business move for the brand. Although there are certainly many different opinions on this issue, Hay’s article is well-researched and worth a read.
  • In Shape Magazine online, Faith Brar shares Lisa Nunley‘s story in the article “CrossFit Helped Me Take Back Control after Multiple Sclerosis Nearly Crippled Me.”
    • In 1999, Nunley was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The 30-year-old fought the disease using medicine and medical treatment for 12 years, but in 2011, she took matters into her own hands.
    • Her health deteriorated and she struggled to maintain her balance. “Once the walker came into the picture, I knew a wheelchair was on the horizon.” She said she then “took a leap of faith and decided to go off all my MS medication and prioritize my health in other ways.”
    • Her new approach included a paleo-style diet and beginning in 2012, CrossFit. From that point she strengthened her body miraculously, competing in the CrossFit Open in 2013, 2014, and 2016. In 2014 she finished 75th in the world in the masters 45-49 division.
    • Nunley notes that her approach might not be for everyone, but it works for her. “When people ask how I do all this given my diagnosis my answer is always ‘I don’t know,'” she said. “I have no idea how I’ve made it to this point. When I made the decision to change my outlook and my habits, no one told me what my limits would be, so I kept testing them, and step-by-step my body and strength continued to surprise me,” she concluded.
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CrossFit Hermitage Digs Out of the Rubble

Yesterday we brought you the story of the direct tornado hit on CrossFit Hermitage in Hermitage, TN. Information is still coming in, but it is clear that the local affiliate community is mobilizing to help the CrossFit Hermitage owners, Brandi and Tom Forbes, as well as the athletes there. Here’s what learned today:

  • Brandi Forbes uploaded a video giving a tour of the devastation the tornado caused to CrossFit Hermitage on their gym Facebook page. In the video, Forbes said “It’s gonna be a fresh start, everything has to be replaced.”
  • The local affiliate owners in the area have opened their doors to the displaced athletes of CrossFit Hermitage and are welcoming them into their classes for the month of March.
  • CrossFit Trivium and Battle of the Barbells have scheduled a Tornado Relief Fundraiser, set to take place on April 4. All proceeds from the event will go to CrossFit Hermitage to help them rebuild. More details will be released soon.  
  • CrossFit Mayhem has also begun a T-shirt fundraiser to benefit relief efforts in Cookeville, TN and the surrounding area and are using the hashtag #cookevillestrong.
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