April 9, 2012
Christian Gligo: Another Darkhorse
By Thomas Patton

Christian Gligo is well known inside the CrossFit community of the Republic of Panama where he has been coaching for the past three years in CrossFit Briga.

He was only known within the nation’s borders until recently. In 2011, Gligo could not compete in the Open due to a knee injury, which resulted in surgery. Now, those from outside Panama know his name – he finished 9th in Latin America and will advance to Regionals in Colombia.

Gligo, 37, swam regularly for 15 years and played basketball throughout high school. “I was certainly not expecting to finish with such a good ranking on the Leaderboard,” he says.

He managed to surprise those in his box and in his country with his performance. “I was training a lot of CrossFit Endurance to help me a lot with my injury and my cardio,” he says.

Gligo says he appreciated the programming during the Open. “Overall, I enjoyed every workout and the fact that in CrossFit, all the workouts are different, you can always learn something new,” he says.

He began the Open with 115 burpees, a score that already put him in qualifying range. He says he experiencde a small reality check because he hoped to maintain a pace of 20 burpees per minute for a total of 140. “I still felt a little heavy for Workout 12.1, so I have dieted down from 205 to 195,” he says.

During Workout 12.2, he managed 64 reps. “I had done a 185-pound 1-rep max, but the heaviest snatch I had done in a workout was 115 pounds,” he says.

In Workout 12.3, Gligo just went for it, he says. He felt confident. “I was happy with my results and the fact that I could do all of the push press unbroken,” he says. “The toes-to-bar hurt a little in the grip, and I struggled a little with the box jumps because of my weight, but was satisfied overall,” he says of his 8-plus rounds.

“Workout 12.4 was the worst,” Gligo says. He says he hated the wall balls, but got through them, as well as the double-unders. He had three minutes left to do muscle-ups and completed 14, for a score of 254.

Workout 12.5 was his favorite. “[Workout] 12.5 was the easiest for me because I love pull-ups and thrusters,” he says. “The 100-pound thrusters were perfect. A little more and it would have been a whole different deal.”

This dark horse certainly has the winner mentality. “You have to try it, nothing is impossible, anyone can accomplish anything, always train hard and remember, ‘no pain no gain,’” is a set of slogans he lives by. “I love the feeling of getting crushed and ending up like a baby in the fetal position.”

Following his own principles, Gligo is training hard and feels ready for the challenge. Despite his strengths, momentum and die hard attitude, this dark horse accepts that “winning will be tough. It’s Trejo´s time, but no one knows what is going to happen.”