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Victory Grips' Athletes Respond to CrossFit Games changes

by Anna Harrell on October 29, 2018
The changes to the CrossFit Games continues to be NEW news with updates that continue to be released. But, for all that information we recommend you watch ArmenHammerTV to catch up with all the latest and greatest details.

What we want to share with you is what our athletes think of the changes and what it means for their future in CrossFit. Will anything change specifically in their training? Will they focus on specific sanctioned events? Will they continue to complete? Find out all these answers and more below.

Travis Mayer (4x CrossFit Games Athlete)
I think the changes to the Crossfit Games will be a great opportunity. Right now I think the unknown of how it will all play out scares people however I think that if you qualify at a sanctioned event you will have a longer time frame to prep for the Games and much less stress leading up to the Games.

For my training, I plan to pick one sanctioned event and focus on that first. If I don’t place well at that event, my next goal will be to qualify through the new open format. Anything outside of that will remain the same. Attacking weakness and getting better every day!


Kari Pearce (4x CrossFit Games Athlete, 2018 Fittest American Woman) 
My training won’t be changing too much due to the announcement about the different format for the Games. I know I will put more emphasis on my Open performance for this year than any other year in the past. This is due to how heavily the Open will impact your chances of qualifying for the Games. I was planning on competing in Dubai and Wodapalooza but I think I’ll just go to Miami and focus more on that. That won’t change my mentality toward training. I’m still going to give it my all every day.


Scott Panchik  (7x Crossfit Games Athlete) 
I am very excited about the new changes to the Crossfit Season. I will miss the energy from Regionals, but now we have many opportunities to qualify to the Games. This format gives athletes from around the world the opportunity to come and represent their affiliate and country. The team division becomes more competitive now that we can create super teams. Sixteen events open the door to get the very best athletes to Madison. We still don’t know all the details, but what I do know, is that I can’t control them. What I can control is getting better every day. I know the test will be Crossfit and I will be ready for whatever comes my way.


Elijah Muhammad (4x CrossFit Games Athlete) 
Well, there are many changes going on within the sport and frankly, I don’t care. Change is good and always needed. Whether good or bad. Whether it helps or hurts me personally, it is probably helping someone else.

I’m for change! Due to the fact that we don’t know the exact changes and the process in which is athletes have to take to get back to the Crossfit Games is a bit frustrating. But like I always say in sports, “You can be mad at the ref all you want, you can scream, pout and allow your frustration to get the best of you. It won’t change the call”. So for me, the call has been made. Just prepare and get ready, and as of right now, I will do that in the same fashion as before until more details are released.


Björk Ódinsdóttir (2x CrossFit Games Athlete) 
We are all so afraid of changes but I think in this case a change needed to be made eventually. Of course, it sucks for some of us like Canada, USA, and Iceland but at the same time we get more opportunity to do other competitions around the world with is so much fun.

I’m excited about these changes and I think it will just make the sport more of a sport.


Tennil Reed-Beuerleiin (3x CrossFit Games Athlete, 2017 Fittest American Woman)
When I first heard the announcement I was initially shocked, I had never imagined the Crossfit season would ever change. It took a few days for these announcements to sink in. Once it did, I was able to think about how this affected me, and it’s simple, this changes nothing for me. I will continue to control what I can and work to be my best self. Luckily for me, I don’t have to program for myself, so I’ll leave all that up to my coach. Change is a good thing, and I’m looking forward to watching these changes play out.


Jake Marconi (2018 Regional Athlete)
For me, these changes truly excite me, they have given me something to refocus my energy on this offseason. With the announcement of the changes, I thought that I would feel a more immediate and visceral reaction of opposition but such was not the case. When the news broke I didn't really give it much thought until about a week or two later when there was more information. When I finally did sit down with my coach, Adam Molano, to map out the next few months of training we discussed whether anything would really change in how training would go... questions such as, Will we peak early? Will we back off at different times? Are we still training for the open?

The answer to all these questions ended up being no different then they were prior to the announcement. We decided that, at least for the 2019 season, nothing will change and our training will remain focused on continuing to get stronger over time while maintaining aerobic ability and peaking closer to competitions. The only small change in plans was that we peaked for the Open last year in 2018 and were planning on dampening that peak for the 2019 Open so we could focus on coming into Regionals as prepared as possible but since Regionals are now gone and the Open could serve as an avenue straight to the games we decided it would be best to peak again for the Open in 2019.

In the long term, nothing really changes in terms of training except for the timing of events throughout the year.


Emily Bridgers (5x CrossFit Games Athlete)
Overall, the announcement of all the changes to the CrossFit Games simply makes me happy to be done competing even more than I was before. I am glad to not have to be consumed by it anymore, especially with an even bigger component of "unknown and unknowable"! I don't think all the changes are necessarily bad, but it is a little disappointing that all the information seems to be relayed to us through a third party, instead of through the CrossFit Games themselves, especially when so many athletes have devoted so many years to the CrossFit Games season. I've had many questions from others about how I feel about all the changes, but it's hard to give a real answer when so many details seem unanswered.

With what we know, it appears that CrossFit and CrossFit Games will continue to grow around the world. Ultimately, this will be a good thing, but it's most likely going to take some time for other countries to "catch up". In the immediate future, it seems like the U.S. athletes will be the ones that take the biggest hit. There were 21-22 women at the Games this past year, and it sounds like that will be a near-impossible feat in the future. The others with a big pill to swallow are those who have competed at regionals for years, with hopes of making it to the Games. It will be a much more expensive and time-consuming process to try to get there now. Over the past couple of years, I personally thought the Open is what needed changing and regionals were amazing the way it was. The Open leaves a lot of room for questioning of other athletes' standards, especially as the Sport grows and it becomes more and more difficult to make it to the next phase. Regionals were generally my favorite competition of the year, where the crowd was intimate and loud, and the workouts were mostly ones that the fans could directly relate to. I will miss seeing regionals as an athlete and as someone who was planning to coach regionals athletes this season.

With that said, I'm eager to watch the CrossFit season play out over the next 5 years, and trust that there is a bigger plan that will continue to evolve as the Sport has for the past 10 years. Change is uncomfortable, but sometimes necessary, even if we can't see it yet. I'll always be thankful for what CrossFit has done and continues to do in my life!


Marcus Filly (6x CrossFit Games Athlete)
A new competitive landscape means a fresh start, a new opportunity to define what this means to me and to others that I support. I welcome opportunities to learn and grow and this is just another one. Opportunity awaits so I'll make sure I keep doing what has always created success for me! Honesty, Commitment, Persistence.

Marcus has elaborated in further detail on this topic. Find out how his competitive fitness journey continues as the CrossFit Games changes continue to unfold.

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