On Feb. 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized the invasion of Ukraine. Since then, at least 102 Ukrainian civilians have been killed with more than 300 more injured as of Feb. 28, 2022, according to Reuters. United Nations (UN) Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet remarked a fear that the death toll was “considerably higher” in her address at the opening session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
On March 1, 2022, CrossFit HQ released a statement on Ukraine, which said:
CrossFit unequivocally condemns the Russian military’s actions in Ukraine. We will separate our events and our sport from the national actors involved, but we will continue to support our independent affiliate owners, coaches, and athletes within our global CrossFit community.
The statement goes further to say that CrossFit will “not recognize the governments of Russia or Belarus throughout the  season, and we will remove Russian and Belarusian flags and names from the profiles of individual and team competitors.” Additionally, CrossFit competitions will no longer be produced in either Russia or Belarus and CrossFit will “cease licensing” to either nation.
View this post on Instagram
[Related: Strongman Bobby Thompson Performs the Most Adrenaline-Inducing Atlas Stone Lift You’ll Ever See]
According to Al Jazeera, as of Feb. 26, 2022, over half a million Ukrainian citizens have fled their homes into neighboring countries, including Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia — though all adult men ages 18-60 are banned from fleeing to take up arms against the Russian forces. Per the BBC, the number of Ukrainian refugees climbed to 670,000 by March 1, 2022, with more than half of them entering Poland.
2022 CrossFit Open
The 2022 CrossFit Open is underway, with submissions for workout 22.1 closed on Monday, March 1, 2022. Workout 22.2 will be released on Thursday, March 3, 2022. Per the CrossFit leaderboard, the current highest ranking athletes representing Ukraine after week one of the Open in the Rx’d division are Maksym Chyrkin for the men and Juliia Grygorieva for the women. They are ranked 634th and 898th, respectively, worldwide.
CrossFit has removed the Russian and Belarusian flags from the CrossFit Open leaderboard. Athletes who previously represented those countries are now only listed with the continent they compete on. The highest-ranking athletes previously representing the Russian Federation in the 2022 Open after workout 22.1 are Aleksandar Ilin for the men, ranked 64th worldwide, and Veronika Saidgazyeva for the women, tied for 12th overall with Hattie Kanyo of Canada and Ellie Tarence Hiller of the USA.
Featured image courtesy of CrossFit