Atlas Games preview: a virtual reality

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On March 12, 2020, athletes, coaches, members of the media team and event organizers gathered for an emergency session at the plant of what was supposed to be the first sanctioned iteration of the Games. of Atlas.

Hours before the athlete registration was underway, vendors were setting up stands and the Morning Chalk Up team was preparing for the first of three consecutive road sanction weekends, with the West Coast Classic and German Throwdown in the coming weeks.

The briefing confirmed everyone’s worst fears, the Atlas Games were postponed indefinitely, and after news of the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Sophie, giving a positive early that day, it looked like everyone was heading for a close. The next day the United States declared a state of emergency, and since then the world has not been the same.


The Atlas Games had the unfortunate honor of being the sanctioning event of 2020 that the pandemic left on the altar, which no doubt called into question future iterations of the event. A year later, they will continue to move forward despite the still-present restrictions of the same pandemic, but with a virtual format that has served as grace for the season.

From top to bottom the event is full of talent, and look no further than the 21 athletes with individual experience from the Games competing this weekend, and that excludes Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault, who is retiring due to injury but would certainly have been in the mix. This number is reinforced by the fact that 4 more athletes from the field have qualified in the teen divisions.

The favorites

Women: Emily Rolfe, Caroline Prevost and Chyna Cho they all have experience in the games, but have also remained active within the sport during the madness of the last two seasons. Rolfe recently won the virtual competition The Trials, Prevost has been at home competing online, finishing third in the world at the Open, and whether Scott Panchiks ’performance at the MACC is any indication of how long the Mayhem team can make for people, Chyna Cho should have a clear navigation.

Men: Jeffrey Adler, Patrick Vellner, Samuel Cournoyer, Brent Fikowski, Logan Collins, Alexandre Caron. Thank God, there is an additional place for the Last Chance Online Classifier (LCQ) to be distributed here because the male field is loaded. Adler excels in virtual competition, reaching the first stage of the 2020 Games and then winning in 2021, and Vellner, when healthy, is as good as any other sport, regardless of format. Cournoyer, Caron and Collins are a shrewd selection, not only to qualify but also to make noise at the Games and without putting the cart in front of the horse, all three have finished within the top 10 in the world at the Open. Fikowski may not love online competition, but he will love time domains and / or four-workout formats enough to take advantage.

Wedding Weddings

All of these athletes could qualify and leave big names outside looking for the Games. Most have one or two individual appearances, but they have variables present in their physical journey that could have a factor.

Women: Mekenzie Riley, Paige Semenza, Dani Horan-Jenny, Mckenzie Flinchum, Alexis Johnson. All four have individual gaming experience, all but Flinchum are several years old, but there are question marks around their maximum form. Johnson and Horan-Jenny have been injured, Riley is pregnant and Flinchum skipped the 2020 season for personal health reasons. Semenza is a player and appears to be performing better in live competition, but her only live appearance last season was plagued by illness before she was one of the athletes scheduled for the 2020 Atlas Games. The potential of this group is huge, which should make it a much better race for the top 5 and the LCQ.

Men: Jason Carroll, Alex Vigneault, Griffin Roelle, Adam Davidson, Peter Shaw, Tyler Christophel. History similar to that of the women here, could end very well among the top five or LCQ. Roelle, Davidson, Shaw and Christophel first qualified last season, under a very different system than we have now, but they certainly have talent and just need more playing tape to perform at the highest level in live competitions to raise -se to the next level. Carroll is cold and hot depending on the season it seems, but he has several appearances in the game and can light up some of those tests. Vigneault is an enigma because, at best, he is one of the top 10 athletes at the Games, but it was in 2016 and for some years now.

The wildcards

Women: Emma Lawson, Anikha Greer, Sydney Michalyshen, Kaela Stephano. Michalyshen is the oldest in the group at 21 and last season won the Rx division at Wodapalooza, but with results that were competitive in the elite division in events that were the same between divisions. Lawson still has this season and next season in the teen division, and even if he doesn’t qualify at 16, he will likely win the 16 to 17 teen division in Madison. Stephano twice beat Haley Adams in the teen divisions, but he hasn’t been as focused on the sport since, but he definitely has the potential to shake things up in the future. Greer was one of my options at the beginning of the year to have a breakout season, and I think an LCQ spot is very much within reach.

Men: Cole Greashaber, Dane Smith, Paul Tremblay. Greashaber is a young gun to watch who finished on the podiums in the teen division at the Games and who is part of our staff selection also earlier this season, and will have a good chance to stir things up in his continued progression towards rupture as an individual. Dane Smith carries the genealogy of his last name, but has been relatively quiet in his quest to be the third Smith brother to qualify since he finished 12th in the 2018 Atlantic Regional. Tremblay is a human hand grenade in the classification and will probably finish in the top three or five in events 1 and 5, but will need every ounce of his “father strength” to extend his season.

The division by teams

Here are the teams to watch for the 2021 Atlas Games:

CrossFit Resurrection: After finishing fourth in the team’s quarterfinals and 25th in the world at the Open, Resurrection comes as the number one top-ranked team in this year’s Atlas Games.

  • Your list of equipment features the third most suitable 40- to 44-year-old woman of 2019, Deanna Furnival, as well as seven-time regional athlete Jasmine Sheehan.

Pro-1 Montreal: The second team is no stranger to high-level competition. If they qualify for the Games this year, this will be their third team trip.

  • This Canadian-based team finished fifth in the team quarterfinals this year and features a roster of athlete Manon Lesur (who competed with Pro-1 in his two Games appearances) and individual Games athlete Chloe Gauvin-David, who also competed with Pro-1 on 2019.
  • With the two women leading their team to 9th place finish in 2019 at the Games back this year, the Pro-1 has a solid chance not only to win a ticket to the Games, but also to sit on the podium this weekend. week.

1855: The 1855 team piles up with former Regional East veterans. With a total of 14 years of combined regional experience, the 1855 team is looking for a solid opportunity to earn its place in the CrossFit Games.

Koda Team: One of the five Koda CrossFit teams that qualifies for the semifinals, the Koda team is the best ranked Koda team and the one most likely to get a ticket to the Games.

  • Still, with Novative Lab having placed just one spot below the team’s quarterfinals, they will have to fight to get that final ticket to the Games this weekend.

Novative Lab: During the quarterfinals of the team, the Koda team and Novative Lab were ranked consecutively between the 24th and 25th. This close placement of the two teams allows the fourth and fifth place teams to reach the foot of equal as they enter this competition weekend.

One more team to see: While his sister teams, the Invictus team and the Invictus Unconquerable, are battling for a podium position in the West Coast Classic this weekend, Invictus Sorrento Valley will compete from their gym in California.

  • Although they are currently ranked eleventh, if they get and qualify for this weekend’s Games and their two sister teams meet their skills at the West Coast Classic, this weekend they could produce three Invictus teams at the CrossFit Games.

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