Local Madison gym hosts CrossFit athletes prior to games
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games runs August 3-7 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, where some of the top athletes in the world will compete for the title of Fittest On Earth.
In preparation for the games, many of the athletes make their way to Madison more than a week in advance to acclimate to the weather, time zone and get into a routine. Part of that routine includes finding a local gym to continue their training.
The Saturday before the games, Twisted Fitness Gym was flooded with CrossFit athletes, all preparing to compete on CrossFit’s biggest stage.
Sonya and Mark Plavcan own Twisted Fitness and said they posted last year on social media inviting the athletes to come to their gym, but never expected the turnout they’d have.
“I remember last year on Saturday the doors opened and in walked all these people I started recognizing and I was like OK this is happening,” Mark said. “And two hours later the gym is crazy.”
The Plavcans opened Twisted Fitness in 2019, and just four months later the COVID-19 pandemic would force them to close their doors. Since reopening, guests can not only workout in their CrossFit area, but participate in powerlifting, strongman club, Jiu-Jitsu, Olympic weightlifting and Muay Thai.
Specifically for the CrossFit games, Mark said they open their gym to the athletes and offer massage therapy and physical therapy.
“This is their moment you know and so for us to be able to support that in any way and we don’t need credit for it,” Mark said. “We don’t need anything it’s just you want to see these people succeed in their goal in life and to be able to help with that is awesome.”
One of the athletes training at Twisted Fitness before the games was last year’s second place finisher, Patrick Vellner.
Vellner said what’s special about the week of the games is the opportunity to see other athletes that you don’t see for most of the year.
“Everybody kind of comes together and as competitive as it is, it’s really fun for everybody to be able to come and show off the hard work you put in for 12 months of the year,” Vellner said.
This is Vellner’s eighth time competing in the games and he said he loves coming to Madison because of how welcoming the community is.
“It makes you feel special for lack of a better word,” Vellner said. “We work really hard and it’s cool to have everyone get behind it and get really involved and appreciate us, and we appreciate it a ton.”
The Plavcans said it’s surreal to think about where they came from when the gym first opened, and now seeing athletes from around the globe enjoy their gym just as much as they do.
“It’s amazing to be able to watch them,” Sonya said. “The people that are at the pinnacle of their sport come in and train, but also it feels really special to have them in the facility we worked so hard to build.”
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