Three-and-a-half more observations from the 2013 Games…
4) The amount of “shock-and-awe” was shocking. When “Pendleton” was announced last year, we all threw up in our mouths a little. However, everything from that point on was fairly reasonable and unsurprising. This year it seemed like there were multiple jaw-droppers at every turn.
I will not comment on whether I liked or dis-liked the programming this year—my personal preferences are completely irrelevant. We compete in a sport that makes its own rules. A legless rope climb, 405# deadlift, and marathon row are ALL within the parameters of the event. You think those were bad? There could have been backflips, ring muscle-ups to HSPU, a punt-pass-kick contest, or a 50 mile ruck march. Guess what? Those were ALL mentioned as “strong” rumors before the 2012 and 2013 Games (except the punt-pass-kick, I just like to think about the Euros doing that one). You think flipping a bright green steel box is hard? Try carrying a 24kg Kettlebell 50m across a pool. Yep, that was actually the biggest rumor last year.
None of the events were too far over the top, but they did provide enough of an “holy s**t” factor to allow the athletes to look, at times, like superheroes. I believe this is only the tip of the iceberg. Dave and the boys now know that these athletes can do almost anything (except swim – lulz), so they will continue to push the envelope of creativity, showmanship, and human performance. Three years from now we may look back at what many of us saw as a fairly extreme 2013 Games, and laugh.
5) CrossFitters can Clean, but they still can’t Jerk. Yes, this is a broad and sweeping statement. No it doesn’t really apply to the women’s side (except a very few), and frankly it only applies to a some of the men—but it’s pretty drastic when it does.
Twenty-nine out of forty-four men show a .1 after their final weight for the Clean & Jerk event. That means they missed the Jerk. Four of the top ten overall men this year were at least twenty pounds under their max Clean from last year’s ladder. The top two men from last year’s ladder completed Clean & Jerks this year that were forty and thirty pounds BELOW their maxes last year—that’s a lot of points left on the bar for a fairly easy lift.
Guess who hit the exact same number this year, that they did last year? Yep… Rich. If any of the other four top-ten men had matched the weight they Cleaned last year, they would have picked up from twenty-seven to fourty-nine points on the leaderboard. For all but one of them, it would have given them an extra thousand dollars in prize money. For Marcus Hendren (sorry Marcus, not picking on you), it would have meant a podium, and $27,000.
Watch the money wave bye-bye…
5.5) The most impressive performance of the Games was Amanda Goodman’s Clean & Jerk, (followed closely by Lucas Parker’s @ 86kg BW). She went head-to-head with two of the best lifters in America (not an exaggeration), who both outweighed her by a weight class plus, and put up a number that no one could catch. Her Clean was impressive, but she looked like she could have kept going on the Jerk indefinitely.
Editorial note: I decided not to comment on Elisabeth’s “Cinco 1” because she is my athlete, and obviously I’m biased. You guys all saw it. Besides, who cares? It’s just my stupid opinion.
6) Rich Froning is the most dominant athlete on earth.
Discuss amongst yourselves. More on this tomorrow…