• Emelye Dwyer

17.1... and definitely not done.


It’s Thursday the 2nd March 2017 and the day of the release of The CrossFit Games Open workout 17.2… but after a string of technical errors with CrossFit HQ and their website shitting itself (aka crashing due to insufficient testing and overloading from thousands of people entering their scores) some people are using this opportunity to re-do 17.1 again.

17.1 (I’ll remind you in-case the memory of it is so terrible it has been erased from your brain) was… For Time:

  • 10 DB alt 1am DB snatches

  • 15 Burpee box-jump overs

  • 20 DB alt 1am DB snatches

  • 15 Burpee box-jump overs

  • 30 DB alt 1am DB snatches

  • 15 Burpee box-jump overs

  • 40 DB alt 1am DB snatches

  • 15 Burpee box-jump overs

  • 50 DB alt 1am DB snatches

  • 15 Burpee box-jump overs

The crowds went wild!

"I could kiss Dave Castro!" Ashley, UK

They loved it.

I loved it… more so the first time round… but not one tiny little bit the day after. Holy shit. Suddenly Castro’s cryptic Instagram ‘clue’ picture of all the gargoyles hunched over the top of a church turret made sense. No one could bloody stand up. “USE YOUR LEGS!” I cried to the athletes taking it on Saturday and Sunday… trying desperately to impart my wisdom from the day before… shouldn’t have bloody bothered. It still crippled them and all.

I’m doing that digressing thing again… back to the matter in hand that has caused me, and several others a little bit of agro.

CrossFit Games HQ decided, that as a result of the website failing to meet requirements – they would extend the submissions deadline by 1 day, til Tuesday 28th Feb 5pm PT and the affiliate validation date by 3 days to Thursday 2nd March 5pm PT - due to a large amount of people being unable to submit their scores, and affiliates being unable to approve them.

Oh sweet JESUS! People went crazy...

CrossFit knew the demands! Not enough testing of the site when you take so much money is inexcusable!” – Stacey, California

Pushing back the deadline is ridiculous. You had the option to email the score. Sorry that y'all have to deal with all the emails but a timeline is a timeline.” Jordan, Delta State

But some people were delighted… WHY! Cause they saw this as an opportunity to do the workout AGAIN. And potentially better their score…

CHEATING! We all cried!

Well, some of us did.

I cannot lie to you, when I saw the first extension I sat there and the 2 sides of my little self-had a chat between them (I refer to these brains as Rational Mind and Ration-HELL NO Mind, but we will just call them RM and RHNM for the time being):

RHNM: “Damn… I did it twice; I went a second quicker the second time… I had real heavy legs… I feel fresh now, maybe I could shave a minute!”

RM: “Don’t be a dick – you fried your lower back doing it the first time & cried like a baby, you have better things to work on, 17.2 is coming and you may only go 3 or 4 seconds faster, or worse still – SLOWER!!”

RHNM: “Yes! But that 1 second put you ahead didn’t it? How much do you want this mate?”

RM: “That is not the point – and anyway, it would be cheating! You know it is the submission deadline, to withdraw and resubmit now would be wrong to the core”

RHMN: “Yes but… victory though”

RM: “Piss off – integrity is one of our cornerstones… MATE!”

I hoped to myself that only 24 hours extra would mean that actually, people wouldn’t have time to plan to re-do it again & would ultimately let their score lie and deadline extension would purely cover those that were affected by the website failing.

Wrong.

Scores were withdrawn and resubmitted… the whole time.

Worse still the issues still hadn’t been resolved by 5pm PT and thus the submissions deadline was extended again… for a further 24 hours!

CrossFit refused to comment on athletes and affiliates concerns for the new opportunity – the had nothing to say on the potentiality of cheating that had arisen. There were calls to make the leader board ‘blind’ until closed so all athletes would be in the same boat. But no… their ‘new’ system wouldn’t allow this.

CrossFit made it the sole responsibility of all Open entered athletes and their affiliates to make an ethical decision on how they would deal with this.

I watched, avidly, as it shook communities:

What I struggle to understand is how it's any different to people who had the chance to repeat it numerous times before Monday...? #UseItToYourAdvantage” Chris, Canada

I feel that you should do it within the [initially] allocated time. It's unfortunate that CrossFit HQ haven't learned any lessons from last year when it comes to their IT but in the spirit of the games you get a slot. If you can't complete it in that time, then it's a missed score.” Diane, UK

Totally contrasting view points and without CrossFit Games clarification, both totally valid. But what I resonated with was the below – from Erica, an athlete who I know pretty well and admire for both her integrity, application of effort, kindness and overall diplomacy in ALL situations:

I have no feelings about the technical error- the Amazon service took down over 100,000 sites and shit happens. What I *do* have an issue with is any judge who allows/judges/validates any score that was attempted after the original cut off.

We all know that practice makes perfect and with each fresh attempt our muscle memory improves, we learn from the technical errors of others, our confidence in our ability grows and we know how much is left in the tank for that last little push.

Enabling a re-do after the original submission is also a kick in the teeth for those athletes who already had to make sacrifices in order to secure their first attempt.

It's also an insult to the unregistered athletes who graciously went higher or lower with weights, or sacrificed a full WOD in order to participate in 'heats' in class to enable registered athletes a chance to give it 100%.

It also fails to recognise the support of others - for example those who took flexitime from work to come in and judge. Or those who popped round to a friend to give the kids their breakfast so that Mummy/daddy could squeeze in a pre-work attempt at personal glory.”

I have highlighted the key points here – and that is injustice all round: to the athletes keeping to

the rules, to the affiliate owner under pressure for a black or white answer on requests to re-do the workout, to the athlete re-doing it and receiving abuse (they are within their rights to remember…? CrossFit haven’t said a thing) and mostly to those athletes who have sunk down the leader board 10, 20, 30 places… and not just as a result of the original scores (achieved in the correct time frame) only just going through.

I have seen multiple times withdrawn and a better one appear in its place since. It crumbles me to the core.

Was it cheating… maybe? Is it the same as taking PED’s or even lying about your score? No – in this instance CrossFit moved the goal posts and made room for us to all feel a little uncomfortable – nudging our moral compass for an answer.

But ultimately… the purity of the rules has been tarnished.

And I am feeling more than a little butt hurt!

“There is no right and wrong, after all it is just fitness, not life or death. However, there is a moral obligation question in regard to community or self in this particular instance.” Steve, UK

In a nutshell – my feelings are:

  • If anyone were to use this extension to their advantage (in which I mean to 're-do' the workout again having already submitted their score) would be to lose all respect as an 'athlete' and in my eyes be deemed as ‘cheating’

  • Any affiliate that allowed the above to happen and approved any re-submitted scores would be ‘cheating’ and worse - advocating cheating to its members.

The integrity of The Open must remain strong - it is the foundation of all CrossFit competitions and should therefore be the absolute example of standards expected.

We are known for, after all, doing the common – uncommonly well… let’s never forget that.

The CrossFit Games - The Open

Where grassroots meets greatness: Compete with hundreds of thousands of athletes in five workouts over five weeks. Do it for fun, your affiliate family, fitness or to reach regionals and fight for a chance to make it to the CrossFit Games.

#CrossFit #TheOpen #competing #feelings

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