The CrossFit Open: Who Knows Where You’ll End Up

By Duncan McNeill of ACF

We are about to jump into week 1 of the CrossFit Open and our year’s biggest event the Alchemy Open kicks off Friday. 

If this is your first year, I am so excited for you. With complete certainty I can say you will be propelled to new heights being surrounded by your peers and it may stoke a flame in you that you never knew you had.

One of my favourite aspects of the Open is that it is a completely level playing field. I have never been anywhere close to moving beyond our gym level in the competition but still had the chance to go head to head with some of the top people in the world.

During my first year in 2013, I remember getting an email from a person asking to drop in and do the week’s event at our Hamilton location. I looked up his name on the worldwide leaderboard and he was only a few spots away from where I was, so I ended up following along to see how he did. Disappointingly, he beat me by about 50 spots that year. 

His name is Patrick Vellner and he has gone on to finish top 10 at the CrossFit Games 7 times in the last 8 years.

The following year I remember watching a tall lanky athlete in the Canada West Regional competition. He was so good at the endurance events but struggled with strength, which sounded a lot like me! I messaged him on Facebook and we talked back and forth a bunch of times about what he does and the challenges of being tall in the sport. 

His name is Brent Fikowski and he hasn’t been outside of the top 25 Fittest people in the world since 2016

In 2016 I had one of my best Open’s ever and finished 133rd in Canada East (yay for me!). Flash forward to 2018 and a new Canadian athlete popped onto the scene. We met him at his gym in Montreal and saw him compete that year in New York at a Regional competition. The next year he made it to the CrossFit Games. I knew I recognized his name and looked back and in 2016 he was the person who finished one spot behind me in 2016.

His name is Jeff Adler and he won the CrossFit Games last year.

No other sport I can think of can put you in a position to know exactly how you stack up against the people you can watch on ESPN and I love that.

Also, I beat the World’s Fittest Man once upon a time and don’t you forget it!


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