August 19, 2009
Many people are involved in getting a single athlete to the CrossFit Games. Rob Orlando from CrossFit Strongman tells his behind-the-scenes story and discovers Jason Khalipa (CrossFit Santa Clara), Eric O’Connor (CrossFit Park City) and Patrick Burke (MBS CrossFit) shared his experience.
Weeks after competing in the 2009 CrossFit Games, many questions are still tumbling around in my head. Among them: is CrossFit really an individual sport? Or is there a team involved? Do athletes compete against themselves or each other? What does it take to get an athlete ready for the CrossFit Games?
I set out to write a personal account about the supporting cast that helped me get to Aromas, California. But then the editors of the CrossFit Journal asked a brilliant question: Is this story specific to me or did other athletes take the same journey to get to the Games?
I sent the following e-mail to all my fellow athletes and quickly found that others had experiences similar to mine:
Each athlete has a “team” that helps them get ready for and compete in the Games. No athlete can do it completely alone. Some of the roles that might have been filled would be: training group, gym members, financial supporters, Oly coaches, fellow competitors, spouses and family members. Every one of these people plays a part in assisting the athlete. They do so selflessly and without expecting any form of payback. And for doing so, they deserve a piece of the spotlight.
CrossFit is a community of special people. We need to spend some time looking around at what an amazing collection of athletes we have playing our sport. It’s a sport where only one athlete competes at a time, but each represents a team of people who have helped along the way. Every athlete, if he or she spent some time, could come up with a long list of people who have played a role in their successes. These people don’t look for the spotlight—but they certainly deserve it.