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Central and South America are not as small as some may imagine. Our main cities may be separated by four flight hours.

Up to June 2009 there are only four gyms affiliated to CrossFit: three in South America and one in Central America.

To get equipment as bumper plates is not easy in this part of the world. The organization of our games had to face the austere conditions of our training facilities. But we know that CrossFit never gets easy.

We bought equipment such us Olympic barbells and bumper plates. We estimated that the stock would arrive one month and a half before the event.

I was planning to design WODs with classic CrossFit features, if such a thing really exists.

Meanwhile, we made contacts with CrossFitters from Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, Panama and other countries. All of them were willing to participate as competitors or judges. The help of Joel Fridman, an instructor of CrossFit Vancouver, was invaluable.

The unpredictable
One month before the "D" day we knew that the equipment we had purchased had just set sailed from Shanghai. It meant that in the day of our games the equipment would have been crossing the Pacific Ocean. We had to redesign the WODs with local equipment, without international standards.

Would our barbells be strong enough? May the iron plates break? Would the two rower machines that we bought arrive on time? These doubts may seem superfluous, but I am sure the other regional coordinators understand my worries.

We had to be prepared for the unknown, and we decided, along with the best CrossFit tradition, that the motto for our games will be: Be prepared for the unpredictable.

The scarcity of equipment was solved with duets on a head-to-head modality: only two persons were going to compete at the same time. Hence, we only needed three barbells games and iron plates: two for the competitors and another one as back up.

The WODs were designed to ensure the integrity and cleanliness of the competence: the barbells and plates would not be in risk of getting broken if WODs were made on sand; besides, if we asked the competitors to assume the total control of the bar weight to, at least, below their knees.

The predictable
The predictable was that we knew that there was going to be a friendly atmosphere. 20 men and two women decided to compete. The event was held in one day. The general format was Every Second Counts.

The first WOD started at 8.30 am; .we took the Fight Gone Bad task priority as a model, and the outcome was:

1 round for time of:
20 Calories row
20 Push Press, 40 kg /25 kg
20 Box Jump, 24´´ /20´´
20 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
20 Thruster

The second WOD started at 12.30 pm; it was based on the Deadlift/Burpee from the 2008 CF Games. The outcome was:

5 rounds for time of:
5 Clean & Jerk, 60 kg /35 kg
10 Burpee

The third WOD started at 4.30 pm. It included a short run with a medicine ball. The exercise and its repetitions were decided by a hooper method. The outcome was:

12 Overhead Squat, 40 kg /25 kg
40 meters run with a medicine ball, 8 kg /6 kg
40 meters run

9 Overhead Squat
40 meters run with a medicine ball
40 meters run

6 Overhead Squat
40 meters run with a medicine ball
40 meters run

Since we are used to watch CrossFit videos in English, it was strange but encouraging to listen, during our event, loud shouts in Spanish as "Vamos" (Go!), "¿Puedes o no puedes?" (Can you or you can not?), "¡Camina hacia la luz!" (Go to the light!), "Agarra esa barra, ya!" (Get that barbell, now!)

The winners Carlos Andrade, Geoffrey Tudisco and Nelson Barriga (male) and Susana Baca (female) have now the responsibility to demonstrate in Aromas, California, that CrossFit can be cheered, suffered, enjoyed, hated, loved, and written in Spanish.

Jaime Arashiro
Lima, June 2009

7 comments on this entry.

1. Mariana wrote...

June 8, 2009 10:46 AM

It feels great to be part of this!!! Excelente Jaime!

2. Reno_Ty wrote...

June 8, 2009 11:02 AM

Buena suerte en Aromas! No me importa cual ideoma estas hablando. Fuerte es fuerte!

3. GMT-BOG wrote...

June 8, 2009 3:51 PM

Jaime, you did an amazing job. My favorite part was learning that "arena" meant "sand" when I arrived at the event site! Prepare for the unpredictable was right!

Ya Vamos!

June 9, 2009 2:00 AM

Outstanding Job! la verdad es que, ustedes hiceron tremendo esfuerzo!( the truth is you guys did a great job) y terminaron con una competencia exitosa! (and finish with a successful event)
Felicidades! (congrats)

5. Maggie - CF Fairfax wrote...

June 9, 2009 6:45 AM

Awesome job guys and gals! It was a privilege being there and watch them compete!

Buena suerte a todos y nos vemos en Arenas!

6. Pavel Saenz wrote...

June 9, 2009 12:33 PM

Fue tremenda experiencia, esperemos se pueda repetir y podamos juntarnos nuevamente los hermanos de esta region. Gracias Jaime!

7. Carlos Andrade wrote...

June 9, 2009 3:15 PM

Grande Jaime!!! Gracias por todo, la experiencia fue de lo mejor, parte de nuestro corazon se quedo en Lima y ahora a competir al lado de los monstruos!!! Gracias a la labor de Jaime!!!