JumpNRope CrossFit Games Highlights (Video)
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about the 2017 JumpRope CrossFit Games are the events. For me, they were a great way to see how well athletes are prepared for such challenges. There was no doubt that these athletes had been training hard and preparing themselves for this event since it started back in 2015.
I have to admit though, there were some things that I didn’t like about the event. First off, the course was too easy. You could go through it in less than 5 minutes if you wanted to do so. Second, there weren’t enough obstacles or elements that would make you want to stop and watch them all over again.
Thirdly, I felt like the judges were biased towards certain athletes and teams during their judging process. Fourthly, I felt like the crowd noise was excessive at times. Fifthly, I thought that the music used during the event wasn’t appropriate for what was going on.
Now, let’s get into my opinion of each individual athlete involved in this year’s events:
Ryan Hill – Ryan Hill is one of the most decorated athletes from last years event. He won gold medals at both the 2013 and 2014 events. He finished third place in 2015 and 2016 respectively. He’s been on a roll lately and I believe that he will continue that streak this year.
Drew Dinkmeyer – It seems like this man is determined to win the event this year. Not only did he post the fastest time during the open but he also posted the FASTEST time during the finale. If I were a gambling man, I’d put all my money on him to win this event.
Chris Spealler – It’s no secret that Spealler has been training for this event for quite some time now. He placed second last year and I expect him to get first this year or at least place within the top 3.
Spencer Hendel – It’s also no secret that this man has been training for this event for a long time as well. However, two things are working against him: his injury and age. I don’t think either of those are going to stop him from placing within the top 3 though.
Mathew Fraser – If there was ever a poster boy for CrossFit, it’s this man right here. He’s been all over CrossFit media and coverage since 2014. He had a rough go at the 2014 event when he failed the drinking element and had to be dragged into an ambulance. Since then, he’s placed within the top 10 for each year since.
He may have been preparing and training for this event for the past 4 years but will all that time take a toll on him?
Only time will tell.
Ally Beasley – This is a woman to watch out for this year. She’s a veteran of CrossFit and has been competing in it since 2012. She placed within the top 5 for each year since. She seems to have really stepped up her training for this year as she not only placed first during the open but also during the finale as well.
She might be a real contender to win this years event.
Mike Arnold – One of the more controversial people in CrossFit, Mike has made many headlines over the years, most of them being due to his victories in the 2013 and 2015 CrossFit Games. While he didn’t qualify for the 2014 games, many people believed that he had been cheating during that year’s open due to his immense popularity. He proved them otherwise and went on to win 3rd place at that years games. This year, he’s got a lot to prove.
He has to prove that he deserves to be in the games and not just there because of his fan base. He has to prove that he is a dominant athlete and not just somebody who won through popularity. He’s in the twilight years of his career now and after a 4th place finish last year, he really needs to step it up this year.
Can he do it?
We will see.
Gerd Gottner – This is a man who has been placing within the top 10 for each year since 2013. He had a rough go at the 2014 games only placing 20th but has placed within the top 5 for each year since.
Will he finally get into the top 3 this year?
He’s got the drive and the experience so it really is just all about how hard he’s been training.
Jackie Rahm – This woman had a rough go at last year’s games only placing 24th. However, it seems like she’s been working hard this past year as she placed first during the open and once again during the finale. If she keeps this determined mindset then she’ll place within the top 3 for sure.
Jake Klesh – This is a man who has only been doing CrossFit for 2 years. He had a rough go at the 2015 games only placing 23rd. However, like many others, he seems to have stepped up his training since then as he placed 5th during the 2016 open and once again during the finale. If he keeps this determined mindset then he’ll place within the top 3 for sure.
Randi Rush – This year’s top athlete coming out of the Open. She placed first in 15.3 and 15.5, putting her well on the way to an easy first place.
While she didn’t quite match that in the finale, she still made a strong showing and earned herself a solid second place for the year. A former elite gymnast, Randi is no stranger to high-intensity performances. Her experience should serve her well this year.
Mattias Olsson – He was a dark horse coming into this year. Placing well for an overweight computer programmer, but he proved that he was no slouch by placing 6th in last year’s games. This year, he came out swinging, dominating the Open and finishing first. With his Games experience and his strong showing in the Open, he could easily take home the $1 million this year.
Bob Booker – This year’s defending champion has his work cut out for him. Unlike last year, where he came into the games with barely any prior experience, he’s now got a target on his back. His showing during the open wasn’t bad by any means, but it certainly wasn’t dominant like last years showing.
Will the stress of defending his title cause him to choke or will he repeat?
Allison Mann – The only woman to ever win the CrossFit Games, Allison has a permanent place in the gyms’ history books. However, this year, she’s looking at potentially getting bumped off that pedestal. Her showing during the open was weak, and while she managed to finish 4th in the finale, it wasn’t enough to reassure anybody that she won’t be following in Camille’s footsteps out of the games. She needs a good showing this year or else people might start forgetting about her.
Stefan: Wow, you got a lot of information about everyone.
Tell me, why do you care so much?
You smirk a bit as you move to sit next to her on the couch. You grab the remote and turn on the TV before replying.
You: Why wouldn’t I care? I’m living here aren’t I?
You change the channel until you find what you’re looking for. A picture of a voluptuous redhead fills the screen, and you turn up the volume a bit. Allison looks at you with a confused expression as you turn to her.
You: Tell me, have you ever heard of Camille Braxton?
Allison: Yeah, she won last year.
She’s that hot British chick, right?
You: One and the same.
You know what else she’s famous for?
Being the first and only female winner of the CrossFit games.
Allison: Yeah, but there’s a reason for that. There are way more men in the sport than women.
You: Maybe so, but it doesn’t change the fact that she was the only woman to ever win it.
Now tell me, do you want to be just another runner up or do you want to be the best? Be remembered?
Allison: I want to win.
You: Then you best be prepared, because as of right now, you’re not looking like the favorite. I’ve seen the numbers, and if you want my honest opinion, I don’t think you’ll be winning this year.
Allison: But the games haven’t even started yet! I can still improve a lot between now and then!
You: And you probably will, but the others won’t.
Let’s look at this objectively for a moment, shall we?
Out of the ten events, you’ve consistently been in the top three for all of them. The only event that you haven’t done so for is the Deadlift, and that’s only because you’re a smaller woman and don’t have as much weight to throw around. Even so, you’ve still managed to match the 4th place person, which was Matt. Now, let’s look at the others.
You grab your laptop and projector and hook it up to the TV as you find the file you’re looking for. You open it up as you turn back to Allison who is watching the screen in anticipation. You push play as you point to the pictures as they go by.
You: These are pictures of each of the other nine competitors in their respective events. See if you can guess which place they came in said event.
Allison: Uhh, that’s definitely first place, umm that’s second, oh that’s fourth, and that one’s third.
You: Close! The top 2 are the ones in the middle. Guess again.
Allison: I don’t know then, how about you tell me?
You: Fine. The one in first place is Camille, second is Matthew, third is Hrvoje, fourth is John, fifth is…well you’ll see in a moment.
You stop the clip and point to the screen as it shows the men with the numbers on their backs.
You: This year they’ve added numbers for the first time. Each person has a number from one to five, and whatever number corresponds to what place they got. So in this picture, Camille is one, Matthew is two, Hrvoje is three, John is four, and so on.
You with me so far?
You: Then let’s find out where you fared. Press play.
Allison does as told as she watches the screen. After the clip plays, she turns to you in confusion.
Allison: I don’t get it. I came in fourth in my event and third in Matthew’s, but I’m not third place. It doesn’t add up.
You: You’re right, it doesn’t. You see, the games are rigged. For the past five years they have been rigged in a specific way. The people who make the events all come from the same company, BBG.
They are all connected in some way, and most likely have shares in the company.
Allison: How do you know this?
You: Because my father owns the company.
Allison is taken back as she stares at you in disbelief.
You mean your dad…
You: Rigged the games?
Of course he did, don’t be silly. He’s not some frivolous rich boy spending his daddy’s money. He runs a company, and he does what he needs to in order to make money. And right now, the games are making him a lot of money. I mean the whole point of it is to entertain the masses and give them some fun and lighthearted entertainment. However, there is a much more sinister purpose behind it all.
Allison: And what’s that?
You: Ratings. The higher the ratings get, the more companies want to advertise during our broadcasts. The more companies that want to advertise, the more money my father makes. It’s a vicious cycle, but one that is very profitable.
Allison: But what does this have to do with rigging the games?
You: It’s all about pleasing the people and giving them what they want.
You know how in football the most popular players are quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers?
You: Well games in Thunder League are set up very similar to football. We have our star players, or quarterbacks, who get all the attention. However, the team can’t just revolve around one player. In order to be successful, you need a strong offensive line to protect your star quarterback.
Those would be the guards and the centers. After that you have your running backs who can also become receiving threats out of the back field. After that you have your wide receivers, players like Camille who catch the ball a lot and do more with their talent than just block. Then last but not least you have your tight ends, like John for example. Those are your big bodies that can also be major threats in the red zone. Now think of the riggers as linebackers and defensive linemen who mess up the plays and get in there to cause chaos.
Allison: I see…so where do
I fit in?
You: You’re the star quarterback baby. Without you, everything falls apart. Actually, you’re more like the center. The center is sort of a general for the offensive line, and that’s what you were for your team. You coordinated things, got the ball to your play makers, and directed everyone as a leader should. But as I said, without a strong offensive line, the quarterback can’t succeed. This is where your guards and tackles come in. They need to do a good job of protecting the center, so that the center can do his job effectively. Without those tackles, the quarterback is going to get sacked, and without those guards he’s going to get hit on both sides. If you played football, those would be the guys you should be thanking for doing their jobs properly.
Allison: Interesting. Well I guess Camille and John are guards then.
What would a tackle be then?
You: Well, you had Leopold and Wyatt on your team, so I’d say they were your main tackles. However, the most important part of any line is the center, as without them, nothing else matters. That would be you.
Am I to take it then that your position on the team was also vital?
You: Not exactly. I wouldn’t say my role was vital. My role was also very limited. I was the kick specialist, so all I really did was kick the ball off and try to land field goals. However, I wouldn’t have been able to do that without my holder, so the role of the holder is also just as important in my opinion.
Allison: So who’s that then?
You: Kyle was our team holder. He was also one of your guards. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been able to kick field goals and we would’ve lost a lot more close games.
Allison: So…you’re saying that
Kyle is as important as me?
You: (Sigh) No, not exactly. While Kyle was vital to my role on the team, I don’t think he’d be able to do his job properly if I wasn’t there. I’d say that you and I are more or less equal when it comes to importance, but that would only be in our respected roles. Kyle and I together formed a more complex role, but without him, I would’ve been completely lost.
Allison: Hrm, interesting.
You: Anyway, that’s how Thunder League works. Next question.
Allison: What was your relationship with your coach?
You: My relationship with my coach was…complicated. It started out fine. Coach Landon was a very good coach, and I think he genuinely cared about all of his players. However, as time went on he started yelling at me more to cut down on mistakes. This wasn’t limited to just me though. He yelled at everyone a lot, it wasn’t just me saying that. Anyways, after he yelled at one of the players for fumbling the ball during practice one day, that player quit the team. I think his name was David. He and I were actually good friends, but that’s besides the point. This made things a lot worse for me, since after he left, the coach seemed to single me out even more.
Allison: What did you do?
You: Nothing, but I always felt bad that my best friend left over something I had caused. I guess the only thing I really did was try to talk him into staying. I dunno what I would’ve done if he hadn’t though. This all eventually culminated one day after practice when I was taking the team through drills. We were running sprints that day. Some of the players really hated these kinds of days, but I always felt it was beneficial to us. During one of the breaks between sprints, one of the lineman, Alan, threw up.
Allison: Oh no.
You: It actually wasn’t that bad. I’ve seen people throw up after our sprint days before, so it wasn’t anything new. As I said, Alan was a lineman, and we didn’t rely on him for speed, so it wasn’t a big deal if he threw up. This was a misjudgment on my part.
I saw him leaning over a trash can, so I approached him to see if he was okay.
Allison: What did he say?
You: He said he was fine, but he still felt sick. I offered to help him back to the locker room, but he said he just needed a couple minutes. So I walked back to the rest of the team and continued with our drills. Alan never did make it back to the locker room. I’m not sure if the throwing up caused him to feel dizzy, or if he just fainted. But it turned out he passed out on his way back to the locker room and hit his head on a rock. He died instantly.
Allison: Oh my god! That’s horrible!
You: I know. After that happened, I decided I couldn’t stay on the team any longer. I quit the next week during practice when everyone was watching. It was…a really uncomfortable situation.
Allison: Well I’m sure you had your reasons. Football can be really dangerous, I suppose that’s why they call it a contact sport.
You: (Sigh) Yeah…
The two of you continue to make small talk while you wait for the others. You learn that Allison grew up in a single parent household with her mother, but her father lives in another state and she hasn’t seen him in years. It’s obvious that she prefers not to talk about her family, so you don’t ask any more questions.
Soon, the elevator doors open up and reveal standing in front of you is Nick and the rest of the group.
Oh, did we lose them?”
Otis says when he sees you.
“Nope, we’re all right here,” Becca retorts. “Let’s get a move on.”
The group continues down to the next floor. It is another hotel room, but not the plain ones that most of you have been in before. This one is very extravagant with a giant bed and fancy furniture. A large flat screen TV hangs on the wall.
“Holy crap,” you say in amazement. “I didn’t even know these rooms existed.”
“Me either,” Nick says. “I guess the manager must be staying here or something.”
The rest of the group begins looking around at all the expensive items in the room. Nick walks up to the TV and flicks it on.
“Yeah, there’s no cable, but there’s some entertainment system Billy must have set up. Let’s see…we’ve got a lot of movies…oh, here’s what we’re looking for.”
On the screen, a video of Billy appears as the soundtrack of his voice spills out of the TV’s speakers.
“Hello everyone. I hope you’re enjoying your stay at the hotel. On the table next to this note you will find tickets. Your challenge for tonight is to find the room that matches the tickets you have been given.
Each ticket has a different theme. If you are correct, then you may proceed to the next round. Good luck.”
Nick picks up the tickets on the table.
“Well, that wasn’t hard,” he says. “Let’s see, I’ve got ‘Ancient History,’ ‘Medical Mysteries,’ and ‘Murder Most Foul.’
Anyone else get those?”
The rest of the group confirms they have the same tickets.
“Looks like we all have the same ones. OK, the only room that would match these is the ‘Murder Most Foul’ rooms.”
You and Allison exchange glances.
“Hey guys, maybe that’s not such a good idea,” you say. “It sounds a lot more dangerous than the other rooms.”
“Oh come on, it can’t be that bad,” Becca says. “Let’s just go already.”
The group heads out of the hotel room and to the exit of the hotel. Nick leads you all into the parking lot where you see an empty space next to an older model car. A sign in the front seat reads ‘Hotel Parking Only.’
“Shit, I was hoping to get one of the nice big parking spots,” Nick says as he gets in the car. “Make room everyone.”
You all cram into the car and begin making your way to the hotel. You’re not quite sure where you are, but it certainly isn’t the best area of town. Allison sits in the front next to Nick, while the rest of you sit in the back.
So, what’s the deal with you and Becca?”
Connor suddenly asks. You and Becca both jump at the question. You really wish he hadn’t decided to ask that now.
What do you mean?”
I mean, are you just friends or do you want to be more than friends?”
“Um…I don’t know. I guess I never really thought about it.”
You’re not exactly enthusiastic about this topic, but you decide to chime in anyway.
“Yeah, I mean I always figured you weren’t into the whole dating thing,” you say.
“Nah, she’s just playing hard to get,” Nick suddenly says from the front seat.
“I am not!” Becca says, even though it sounds like she’s agreeing with Nick.
“Well, I can think of one way to find out if she’s playing hard to get or not,” Connor says.
As he says this, the car pulls into the parking lot of the hotel. Before you can ask what he means, Nick pulls in and Connor opens his car door. Before you or Becca can react, Connor jumps out of the car, runs over to your side, and opens the door.
“Come on, get out,” he says.
What the hell, man?
I don’t like this,” you say.
“Don’t be such a coward…or are you just not into
Becca like you say?”
You don’t have a chance to respond before Becca jumps out of the car as well.
“OK, OK, I’m out.
What the hell is your problem, Connor?”
“My problem is this has been a long time coming. Just admit you like her.”
“I don’t have time for this,” Becca says walking away towards the hotel. You run after her and catch up to walk beside her.
Are you OK?”
“Yeah…” Becca slowly says before turning to you. “…but I don’t want to talk about it…I just want to get this stupid game over with.”
“Hey, me too.”
After a short walk, you’ve finally reached your destination.
The hotel is only a few years old and it boasts a large glass entryway, a full service restaurant, and valet parking. You’ve only been here once before on a class trip when you were younger. Even back then, you weren’t old enough to appreciate what the inside of the hotel looked like.
“Well, we made it,” you say to Becca as you look up at the building.
Becca doesn’t respond, she just walks through the sliding glass door and into the hotel. You follow after her and are amazed by what you see inside. The hotel is decorated with paintings and lush red carpeting. Illuminated flowers float in a pond near the front desk.
“Hey, I’ve been here before,” you say.
Oh yeah? When?”
“My class visited here when I was ten.”
Did you like it?”
“I don’t remember much, but I know I wanted to come back sometime.”
“Let’s just hope we can get a room here someday…well, I’m going to find the others, better than waiting outside in the cold.”
Becca leaves you at the front desk and walks towards the restaurant. You walk over to the lady behind the front desk.
Can I help you?”
“Yes, I have a reservation.”
The lady fumbles through a few pieces of paper before looking up at you.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t see your name on the list.”
“That’s because I just made the reservation.
Do you think I would forget something like that?”
“I suppose not, sir.
How many in your party?”
“Two, but one of them just went to look for the others.”
“I’ll have a room ready for you as soon as she gets here.
In the meantime, is there somewhere you’d like to sit and wait?
We have a lovely restaurant on the top floor that overlooks the city. If you don’t have access to the roof at your own home, this would be the perfect chance for you to see the city from above.”
“That sounds great. I’ll just wait over there,” you point to a row of chairs across from the front desk.
“Very good sir. Someone will come get you when your room is ready.
You take your seat and wait. Several people walk in and out of the hotel, but none of them are your friends. After a while, you begin to get worried. Surely they all didn’t get arrested.
Maybe they went to another hotel. If they did, you don’t know what you’ll do…beg for a ride back home maybe?
You’re so wrapped up in your thoughts that you don’t even notice when someone comes up behind you.
Hey, is this seat taken?”
a girl asks.
You turn around and are surprised to see Allison. She’s wearing a dark red dress that comes just above her knees and backless shoes. Her long blond hair is down rather than in its usual ponytail. You always thought she was pretty, but in this outfit she’s breathtaking.
“Allison, you look amazing!
What’s the occasion?”
“Thank you. I just thought I needed a change.
Are you ready to go?”
“Yep, just waiting for you.”
You both walk over to the front desk where you check out. The lady that was working when you got there smiles and tells Allison she looks beautiful. After you get your key card, the two of you head up to your room.
So, where are your friends?”
“I don’t know, I’m really worried. When I didn’t see them come in, I got worried and came to look for them.”
Did you try calling any of them?”
I haven’t gotten my phone charged yet, can you send a mass text to everyone asking where they are?”
Allison sends out a text and within a minute, Owen, Becca, and Garrison all answer back saying they’re fine and will see you at the hotel. Allison sends another text and tells you everyone is coming to the restaurant. Once again, she’s the center of attention, and everyone loves her. She sits next to you and seems as happy as can be.
Once you’re done eating, you all head to your hotel. You go to the roof and find that a party is already going on. Every student that stayed at this hotel is up here. The roof even been sectioned off into sections, each one with its own color lighting scheme.
A DJ is set up and currently playing music. You see a path of white lights strung overhead and leading towards the door leading to the elevator.
“I don’t think I’m supposed to be here,” Allison says.
“Doesn’t look like they care.”
You walk over to the bar and get yourself a drink. All sorts of alcohol is provided. A few students see you walking around with a glass and offer you shots. You don’t really like the taste of any of it, but you drink them anyway.
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