Thousands expected to attend CrossFit Games in Madison next week

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 11:32 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Next week, hundreds of athletes from all over the world and thousands of fans are expected to make their way to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison for the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

The event was canceled in Madison in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘Fittest on Earth’ were instead crowned at a private, small event in California.

On Friday, crews worked to set up for the competition, set to start Tuesday and runs until Aug. 1.

CrossFit officials say they have a network of over 12,000 gyms worldwide, including several in Madison. Coach at CrossFit Recursive, Olivia Luedke, said they are preparing for the influx of people into the city, by adding additional classes throughout the week.

“We’ve been preparing for months both mentally and in the space here,” Luedke said. “We’ve got to hire the extra staff, we’ve got to re-arrange the room, we’ve got to do special programming.”

CrossFit officials expect more than 10,000 fans to watch the competitions each day. Madison Area Sports Commission Vice President Jamie Patrick helped bring the games to the city in 2017. He said from hotels, restaurants and local gyms, it is a $12 million economic impact to the community.

“There’s going to be 660 competitors, typically we have had 55,000 spectators come in to watch,” Patrick said.

There will be changes amid the pandemic, such as less international spectators.

“In terms of competition on the fields, the courts, and wherever else, I think it will be the same feel,” Patrick said.

For the first time, adaptive athletes will be included in the games this year.

With safety precautions in place, the excitement remains for local gyms ready to welcome back visitors from outside the area. However, Luedke said people will have to sign-up for classes, and they will not offer open gym time this year.

For their members, it is a chance to see how big the CrossFit community is.

“This is a great way for them to see the rest of the CrossFit world,” Luedke said. “They are going to see other people who are just as into this crazy form of fitness as they are.”

Single-day tickets for the games are still on sale. For additional information click HERE.

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