The 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games headed out of California to Madison, Wisconsin and in the stands were CrossFit 317’s own Maricarmen and Kenny. Besides watching people move fast and pick up heavy things all weekend, MC and Kenny got to check out vendors, meet CrossFit celebs, and enjoy the charming town of Madison. Read on to hear Maricarmen’s recap of the weekend!
Can you share a little about how your trip went overall? Were there special events going on at local businesses? Did you feel like Madison embraced having the CrossFit world descend on their city?
MC: “Our trip to Madison was great. We loved the city, a lot of people, most restaurants and taverns stayed open until late. Downtown Madison is really nice. If there was a TV on, they were transmitting the CrossFit Games. Several windows of local businesses had images of the athletes competing at the games. As soon as you entered the city there were signs signaling where to go for the CrossFit Games. I think Madison has welcomed athletes and fans really well. Most of the locals knew that they were hosting the CrossFit Games.”
Was your experience at the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games as you expected or was it different?
MC: “I really didn’t have an idea of what to expect, but I thought it had to be amazing and it was!
When you enter the venue is like going into the Indiana State Fair, lots of people getting in and you see all this food vendors and people walking in different directions and you hear this voice coming from the speakers and you know somebody is competing at that moment and you have this urge to find out exactly where this is happening, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to watch your favorite athletes competing in front of you.”
How is seeing the events live different from watching them on tv?
MC: “Totally different. You feel like you are part of it all. They are right there in front of you and the excitement is contagious!”
We saw a few times where athletes waved their hands to get the crowd going before a final lift attempt. What was the energy level of the crowd like in general?
MC: “The crowd was amazing and you are part of that crowd that not only cheers for your favorite athlete, but the ones that are left behind and that are trying so hard to get that final effort to complete the event.”
It looks like you met several people that are very famous in the CrossFit world. Most seem to really enjoy meeting the people that come out to watch. Can you tell us a little about who you met and what you talked about with them? Who was your favorite?
MC: “All of them were really awesome and very friendly to the fans, they didn’t seem to bother at all when fans like us stopped them and ask them for a picture.
The first one, we got to meet was Brooke Ence. She was in the media podium, working as a commentator along with Dan Bailey, which we saw too, but missed the opportunity of a picture. I handed her Kenny’s phone and she took a selfie and a little after we had the chance of taking a picture with her side by side.
Our next athlete encounter was with Elijah Muhammad. We were just looking around inside the Paleoethics tent and there he was all smiles and ready for a selfie.
We met Margaux Alvarez inside the Vendors Pavilion, just wandering around and ran into her. She was very happy to meet fans, too. There was no hesitation when asked to have a picture taken with her. We had just seen her competing not too long ago.
We also met Jason Khalipa whom I admired before even knowing about Rich Froning. The night before I saw something he posted on Facebook about being at the Games and that he would be more than happy to meet fans and take pictures with them if you happen to see him and lucky us, we saw him, just by the Rogue pavilion. I was having my fingers taped with Rock Tape and after I was done, I was looking for Kenny and I saw him, so I waited in a small line to finally get a picture with him. Kenny had already taken a picture with him. As soon as it was your turn, he will shake your hand and introduce himself with a “Hi, I am Jason” I asked him how was his daughter doing and if he will ever be back into the Games. He responded that although his daughter was doing well, they still have a long way to go and that he would probably won’t be back. Kenny and I wished him the best.
Meeting Brooke Ence and Jason Khalipa made my CrossFit Games experience!”
Dave Castro is known for programming some incredible Games WODs. Was there a workout that was your favorite to see play out in person?
MC: “I can’t think of a favorite workout. I just enjoyed the whole experience of been able to watch the Games and be one of the thousands of others cheering for the athletes.”
Were there any moments that really stood out where the crowd just went wild?
MC: “The crowd was amazing and with so much energy. We all went wild when we saw that someone needed some extra encouragement to rather finish their event, their 1RM or when the finish was really close in between two athletes.”
Tell us a little about the moment when Stacie Tovar was leaving the stadium floor for the final time. It looked pretty emotional on tv. What was it like to be there for that?
MC: “You can see that she was very emotional and I felt that emotion too.”
Were you able to attend the podium ceremony? What were those closing moments like?
MC: “Unfortunately not. We had to leave before the closing ceremony to make it back home on time.”
How do you feel about who won? Was there a moment where Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser started to be standouts in your mind as likely winners?
MC: “It was obvious that Matt Fraser was going to be the men’s winner, but for the ladies I always had the hope that Katrin Davidsdottir could win more events and move closer to the first place and win again. Even though Tia-Clair Toomey was not my favorite, she worked really hard to win and I think she deserved it.”
Did you have a chance to visit the vendor village? Were there any new products that you got to check out? Any activities or equipment that you got to try?
MC: “It was very interesting visiting the Vendor Village. They were many vendors that are common to all like Bear Complex, Kill Cliff, RX Bar, Rom WOD, CrossFit, Virus, Born Primitive, Junk. I tried this new drink Zevia, they have flavored sparkling water, ginger ale and energy drinks all sweetened with stevia. There was also this company selling an alternative to lifting shoes, I got a pair for me and one for Kenny, it’s called Versa Lift, an insert you put under your shoe insole at the heel to help you with your squats. I tried them there and they felt good. I haven’t had a chance to try them at the gym yet. We were also interested in a folding rack as an alternative to Rogue.
On the other hand, outside the Vendor Village, Reebok, Rogue, Rock Tape, Fit Aid, Second Skin, Paleoethics and Compex had their own tents. Rogue had a building and Reebok, part building, part tent, but it was big.”
Would you attend the CrossFit Games again in the future?
MC: “We definitely would!”
Anything else that you would like to share about your time at the CrossFit Games?
MC: “It is worth being there and be part of the action! Totally different from watching on TV.”