May 24, 2012
Yurii Hanson is Prepared
By Liv Swant-Johnson

"It's an exciting time of the year for the whole gym. Everyone is amped up ..."

Photos by: Liv Swant-Johnson

Kerry Hanson laughs as she recalls signing her husband, Yurii Hanson up for the 2011 CrossFit Games Open without his knowledge. 

Kerry wanted her husband to compete alongside her, so we didn’t have to complete alone. Yurii, a local firefighter, as well as the owner of CrossFit Billings, wasn’t amused. “He wasn’t very happy with me,” she says. He was really into the CrossFit Football program, and was upset that the Games would interfere with that schedule of workouts.”
Yurii, having no other option, participated. After the first few Open workouts, it was clear he had a fighting chance. 
During last year’s Open, 700 men submitted scores in the North West Region. Of those 700 men, the top 60 were invited to compete at the North West Regional competition in Puyallup, Wash.
At the Regional competition, Yurii placed 5th, missing a spot to the CrossFit Games by two places. Even though he came close, just missing the cut is not a sore subject in the Hanson household.
“I was very pleased with how far I got in the Games [season] last year,” he says. “The men at [the Games] were incredible. My whole goal for this year is just to make it through Regionals to the [CrossFit Games]. I’m much more prepared this year.”
This year’s competition is already shaping up to be a good one for Yurii. After the five Open Workouts, he finished 7th in the North West Region out of 1,200 competitors. The North West Region consists of Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Idaho. Yurii is placed 119th in the World, where more than 65,000 athletes entered scores. 
Yurii will be on his way, along with Briana Sands, a fellow CrossFit Billings trainer and firefighter, to Puyallup, Wash., for the Regional this weekend.
In preparation for Regionals, Yurii has been training twice a day, four to five days a week. He eats a strict diet, consisting of meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and drinks water per the paleo diet in Zone blocks.
Yurii has had a tremendous support group going into competition. “It’s been unbelievable,” he says. “My friends and family have been so supportive.” 
Kerry says the competition season has revved up the members of CrossFit Billings and everyone has gotten more involved due to Yurii’s success in the competition. “It’s an exciting time of the year for the whole gym,” she explains. “Everyone is amped up, achieving new personal records, working harder, seeing success on all levels and doing things they never thought they could. That’s what CrossFit is all about.”