April 10, 2013
The Open in Chile
By Carolina Lorca

Chile is representing well in this year's Open.

Photo by: Rodrigo Valenzuela

Photo by: Carolina Lorca

Landscape photo by: Luis Casali

For the past five weeks, Chile has witnessed men and women of all ages struggling to reach their goals. In this case, goals come in the form of AMRAPs.

Some athletes gave their best efforts to accomplish the dream of going to Regionals, while others simply gave it their best.

Early on in the Open, Chilean competitors began to position well on the Leaderboard, as in the case of Rodrigo Valenzuela who, after 13.5, finished with a solid second place in the region. Sebastian Stange, another Chilean, finished high on the Latin America Leaderboard in fourth place.

For the women, Marilyn Rojas ended the Open in ninth place and Ignacia Larraín finished 25th. Despite only CrossFitting for a few months before the Open, Larraín will be a key player for her team, CrossFit BEF, at Regionals.

Most impressive though, is the sentiment of accomplishment felt in every affiliate where the Open workouts were hosted. These stories include all sorts of PRs — whether it’s a new one-rep max, an unbroken set or a better performance on a second attempt of an Open workout.

These results are not by chance.

Competitors like David Silva (25th), Joaquin Jadue (41st) and Claudio Poblete (39th) are good examples of athletes who have dedicated 100 percent of their hearts to training. The three have been methodical in their workouts and their diets over the past year.

"No wonder the second place in Latin America is from Chile,” Pavel Saenz, coach of CrossFit Santiago, says.

There has been a grassroots movement of local throwdowns among all the affiliates in the country in preparation for the Open, with a conscious effort on raising the bar.

The amount of Chilean competitors in comparison to last year has tripled.

"There are 25 people competing (at our box), eight will say they believe they have a shot, but there are another 17 who registered just to see if they could pull the weights and improve. Everyone is excited because the Open is a special occasion. Unlike a regular (workout), here you feel a little more pressure and more people strive to reach a little further without taking those 10 seconds of rest they usually do,” says Luis Casali, owner of CrossFit 1810.

Some athletes competed for the first time after being motivated by the challenge, while others simply wanted to be part of the community.  

“Anyone can participate in the Open, and this is the best aspect of it,” says Jorge Manterola, coach in CrossFit Santiago.

"The Open is a good chance for athletes to understand the sport,” says Marco Casali, head coach at CrossFit Atakama.

Each Open workout provided a different challenge for coaches, judges and athletes. The struggle for every valid rep was not easy.

CrossFit in Chile is just beginning. The 2013 Open showed there is a new generation of young competitors, ages 15 to 19, who are preparing to take on the competitive side of our sport.

Nineteen-year-old Andres Nazal finished 199th in Latin America, while 17-year-old Tamara Muñoz came in 50th among the women. Fifteen-year-old Lia Navarrete finished 265th in the region.

These newcomers are the future of Chilean CrossFitters and the 2013 Open provided them a platform from which to begin.