In Athletes, CrossFit Games, Videos

July 13, 2010

Video Article

Closing in on Los Angeles, Ian Wittenber still has a lot of ground to cover considering the number of athletes out west who will be competing at the 2010 CrossFit Games. After a round of interviews in Colorado, Wittenber finds himself in Utah to chat with top athletes from the Northwest.

Chris Spealler and Eric O’Connor both own and operate CrossFit Park City, and when they aren’t training their athletes they’re preparing for this year’s Games. Both have multiple years of Games experience, and Spealler is one of only a handful of athletes who competed in all three previous Games. Speal’s plan for this year’s event? “I wanna be better than Mikko. I want to beat him.”

Tommy Hackenbruck of Ute CrossFit finished second overall last year, just behind Mikko Salo. While Hackenbruck hasn’t actually participated in any individual competitions in the off season, he’s certainly been training hard and rounding out his program to the best of his abilities.

Will it be Spealler’s year? Can Hackenbruck climb up one more spot on the podium? Will O’Connor prove to be a dark horse?

17min 05sec

Additional reading: Northwest Regional Weekend Wrap-Up.

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13 Comments on “All Over the Map: Spealler, O'Connor and Hackenbruck”


Brandon Nugent wrote …

Good luck to Tommy, Eric and Chris! Had a chance to meet Eric at the Reno CrossFit Cert this last weekend - stellar dude.

As a relatively new dad, I can both relate and wonder at how these guys are capable of doing what they're doing - peanut M&M's and strong women!



wrote …'s the problem with the Crossfit Games - there are too many deserving winners.

Too many beastly athletes, too many humble champions, too many people to root for.

I love the idea of an elite series and it seems to be the next logical step for the sport. Maybe a monthly event?


replied to comment from Nick Williams

With as many competitors that we saw at the regionals this year, i wouldn't be surprised that they make a mini season out of the games. Probably a sectional, regional, then national event, spaced by 45 days or something.


wrote …

The humility, the inspiration, the awe - CrossFit Games Competitors!


wrote …

It's awesome to see people be honest about the struggles of balancing running a box and having a family. The fact that they do it and then excel as athlete's is inspirational. It shows that the "only thing you can't do is what you don't try" (great quote from the IMG video).


wrote …

I agree Nick.

To many amazing athletes, all with great strengths and weaknesses...all good, humble human beings.

Maybe a monthly or 6 monthly games is the go?


wrote …

Like you say, so many worthy winners. However I really would like Spealler to win, just the way he talks about it makes me feel like he wants it the most, having been so close in previous years, and to be so frustrated with the heavy stuff as a little guy. Having said that, I'll be thrilled for whoever wins it and I'm sure he would too. Go Crossfit!!


wrote …

A mini-series would be awesome, I always wish I could see more of the competitors at the sectionals and regionals, especially those who don't fare so well simply because I like to see if not everyone who competes at them is a beast to boost my confidence a little haha.


Tracy Coughlin wrote …

I totally agree with Chris in that the Games aren't fair - but how can they be? Life isn't fair. Chris seems to have such a great attitude and outlook on CF, family, and life in general. I think they are ALL winners as corny as it sounds. Good luck to all!


Bart Pair wrote …

These videos leading up to the games have been awesome. But unlike most, instead of it making me want all competitors to win, it has helped me narrow down my favorites.

Hackenbruck is my first choice. He just comes across very grounded, with the right perspective on the games.


wrote …

I say this mostly in jest but I think the Games need a Villain. Rooting for everyone is a little exhausting a creates a situation where you're mostly happy regardless of the outcome... but if there was someone to root against!! The Games would be carried on Versus or ESPN 8 in no time.


wrote …

Lots of great competitors this year,,, again. I enjoy all of these pre-game interviews. One great competitor we're not hearing much about (and I'm not the first to mention this) is James "OPT" Fitzgerald. I really can't wait to see how he does this year. Finishing in the top 16 last year with only a few weeks of concentrated preparation, and beating 2 or 3 guys without even competing in the last event. He's an amazing athlete, has great training, great drive, etc... Can't wait to see what he does this year.


wrote …

Okay, I'll be the villain. Chris says that 'everybody who's going can win if the rep ranges/events are right', but, if that's true, wouldn't that detract from the meaning of the Games? Surely if the games are well designed, then the top man - the fittest man on the planet - should win. Sure whatever the selection of events is will favour someone, but if every event was bodyweight, it would be a bad games. Ditto if every event was a one-rep max, or a run. No?

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