This Story is a look at the controversy of the The Canada East Qualifier from the perspective of competitor Mathieu Lalonde.
I entered the arena in Fredericton, New Brunswick, at about 7:15 a.m. It was cold and damp, as if the ice on the rink had melted only yesterday. Perfect! For this Canuck, nothing says "welcome home" like a hockey rink.
I registered at the front desk and grabbed my bib. I pinned No. 39 to my shirt and headed for the scale to get weighed. Shortly after 8 a.m., the first event was announced: 1 RM deadlift. There were no weight classes, but body weight would be used as a tiebreaker.
At this point I just knew I didn't stand a chance. My max deadlift was only 410 lbs, and plenty of heavy athletes were in the competition. I'm not an athlete, and I have no previous athletic background. Heck, I've been a typical sedentary North American male for the greater part of my life. I train at a school gym using the main site WODs. Olympic weightlifting is not allowed. There are no kettlebells or no climbing ropes. I run on treadmills. I still have too many weaknesses.
I didn't get much of a chance to contemplate any of that because controversy was brewing. It turns out Anthony and Jodi Bainbridge, who organized the event, were both known for their heavy deadlifts, and many athletes were crying foul. Many wondered why other lifts had not been chosen, but it quickly became apparent that logistics were an issue. There were an insufficient number of racks to perform other lifts or a CrossFit Total, and we barely had enough judges for the event. Some athletes ended up playing a dual role as both competitors and judges, which sparked even more controversy.