CrossFit Games draw people into gyms, and into Madison

Published: Jul. 30, 2019 at 9:06 PM CDT
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The Reebok CrossFit Games are drawing people into local CrossFit gyms, and drawing athletes and spectators alike into Madison, serving as a boost to the local economy.

Rob Gard, Director of PR and Communications with Destination Madison, said the Games positively impact the local economy.

"We have these tremendous restaurants and these great hotels here in Madison that are really buoyed when you have something like the CrossFit Games come in and people from all around the world spending that kind of money," Gard said.

Gard said people are spending money to the tune of millions of dollars.

"Dane County and Madison benefit tremendously from the CrossFit Games," Gard said. "Over the course of the week that CrossFit happens, plus or minus a couple of days when people come in before or after, there's actually about 12 million dollars spent locally, and that has a tremendous impact on our economy, but also our quality of life."

Gard said in hosting the Games, Madison has shown the sports world what it is capable of.

"The biggest selling point to get CrossFit to Madison from a major place like Lost Angeles was the fact that we are innately a very active community," he said. "When they came here for site visits, they would see people out running, riding their bikes, and kayaking, and just having a very active lifestyle."

For Chardae Mara, owner and coach at CrossFit Connex in Madison, watching the competitions inspired her.

"Personally, when I got into CrossFit for myself, that's what kept me going, these people are awesome, they're really intense and they're the top of their field," she said. "In general, just really encouraged me to keep working towards things."

Mara said the Games have allowed her to meet people from all over the world in the CrossFit community, and have also brought local gyms together.

Whether watching the games or in her own facility, Mara said she has seen the impact CrossFit can make on people.

"They're just capable of doing these challenging things, getting out of their comfort zone over and over, it's great being a coach and being able to see that," she said.

The CrossFit Games begin in Madison on Thursday.