Ecuador was one of the first countries in the Latin American Region that embraced CrossFit. And the Andrade family is a staple in Ecuador when it comes to CrossFit.
It all began with 37-year-old Carlos Andrade Salazar, owner ofCrossFit Guayaquil, a box that could very easily be referred to as the epicenter of CrossFit in the country. Carlos discovered CrossFit around 2007 while surfing the web for a new angle for his family business, which in those times was a globo gym.
He completed Fran, but wasn’t convinced this was for him. His curiosity lingered and a short time thereafter he involved his wifeCarola, his brother David, and a small group of friends who became his guinea pig on which he started experimenting with the main site workouts.
Eventually, word got out and the sessions became increasingly larger. For Carlos, CrossFit was the best thing that could have happened. His family is also on board – they are all CrossFitters.
The Andrades’ vast athletic background extends back to several generations. They have pursued amateur and professional sports ranging from swimming to cycling. Now, with CrossFit, they have added to their pursuit the disciplines of Olympic lifting, gymnastics and general physical preparedness. Parents, brothers, sons, daughters, uncles and cousins all share a common goal, theme and lifestyle.
It appears the plans Carlos has made with CrossFit and the direction his family has taken is very clear in his mind. In 2011, he took his team to the Latin America Regional in Panama. Seventy percent of the team was his family. They had an impressive performance, but failed to qualify for the CrossFit Games by only 1 point.
This year, they plan to take a team composed primarily of family members and they promise to not concede any ground to anyone, as they are eager to go to the 2012 CrossFit Games. CrossFit Guayaquil´s team finished 1st in the Region after the Open.
Carola, 34, is a key player in that team and is described by others as having tremendous power and strength. These qualities blend well with her character and she is perceived by her peers as being almost undefeatable.
Aunt Zaira a 43-year-old retired professional swimmer who represented her country in the Pan-American Games. She has been involved with CrossFit for two years and is a tremendous inspiration for all the other women in CrossFit Guayaquil for her tenacity and consistency. “I enjoyed the Open very much because my children were there participating with me and standing behind me every step of the way,” she says.
What she enjoys more about CrossFit is the way everybody supports each other during the workouts, a support she felt was even greater during the Open. She is thrilled with the community she finds at CrossFit Guayaquil.
Zaira’s 21-year-old son, Jose “Pepe” Over, finished 4th for Latin America in the Open. He has only been CrossFitting for two years and those who know him define his movements as virtuous. He is extremely technical in his Olympic lifts. Gymnastics Subject Matter Expert Carl Paoli watched him complete Workout 12.5, gave him props in his gymnastics efforts.
Ana Paula is Carlos´ 14-year-old daughter. She began CrossFit at age 11, quickly developing the characteristics inherited from her mother Carola. Those who train with Ana Paula are certain she will be at the top of the Leaderboard in the future. For the meantime though, her dad is focused on CrossFit being fun for her.
Luis Fernando is a cousin who also competed in the Open at 14. He managed to PR by putting 135 pounds over his head in Workout 12.2. He says this triumph motivated him and made him more committed to work on his development as CrossFitter. He acknowledges he has not been incredibly constant in the past two years he’s been CrossFitting, but the experience of the Open has changed all that for him now.
Linda Salazar, Carlos´ mother, at 56 years old, competed in the Open as a Masters athlete. She has always led a very athletic life and has also been CrossFitting for two years. Her other son David Andrade owns CrossFit Quito, a city he moved to in order to open up a box and help spread the CrossFit lifestyle in as many places in their country as possible. His name should be familiar – he finished in 2nd place in Latin America.
Rocio Barros Salazar is yet another aunt of the family and now owner of CrossFit Cuenca in Cuenca, Ecuador. She is also another self-proclaimed CrossFit addict and member of the Andrade Clan. She and her husband have not been operating their box for too long, but their enthusiasm and methodology could guarantee success.
With CrossFit still in its infancy in the Latin America Region, our guess would most probably be an understatement. What is certain though is that CrossFit definitely runs in the blood of the Andrades.