CrossFit feels slightly different in Asia, according to Adrian Bozman.
“The spirit here is ridiculous. People are just so fired up,” said Bozman, head judge at the Asia Regional in Korea. “It kinda reminds me of the early days at The Ranch.”
He added: “It’s very community minded, and it’s awesome.”
Candice Ford, formerly Candice Howe, was the regional’s 2011 champion. Even she was distracted by the excitement of seeing old friends.
“I love that we can be here and see everybody,” she said, having flown nine hours from the United Arab Emirates for the competition.
“Regionals is the one opportunity, certainly that we have coming in from Dubai, to meet all of the other affiliates, meet all the other people, and that’s never been lost on me,” Ford said.
“Forget warming up, let’s have a chat,” she added.
Despite the warm, fuzzy feelings, athletes were there to compete. And with three-time Games qualifier Mikko Aronpää relocated from Europe to Asia, it was sure to be a memorable battle. But one Games spot was available, and he knew he had his work cut out for him.
“It’s not easier than Europe, for sure,” Aronpää said.
Competitors from all around the world—now living in Asia—made the regional a truly multicultural event as they descended upon Seoul, hoping to show the rest of the world what they’re made of.
“Asians have so much potential,” said Vanessa Fung, of Reebok CrossFit MeWellness in Shanghai, China. “We can really create a reputation here in the CrossFit world.”
Video by Mike Koslap.