2019 CrossFit Games Men’s runner-up Noah Ohlsen and fellow Games competitor Chandler Smith have both announced on Instagram that they will not participate in the 2020 CrossFit Games under the current circumstances. Both of their withdrawals come on the heels of Greg Glassman’s controversial tweet that was posted on June 6 but tensions regarding past comments and actions surrounding issues of race are what are believed to have ultimately led to these decisions.
Both men shared the same “I’m out” image on their posts. Smith’s was accompanied by the following comments.
“Until changes to @CrossFit are made, I will not be participating in the 2020 Games. I have yet to speak on anything going on for fear of retribution and must remain apolitical due to the nature of my job. This decision puts me in a very vulnerable position with both work and my desired future career as a @CrossFitGames athlete. However, I do not believe choosing to avoid participation in this years event is a violation of duties: to my job, to the sport, or to my ethics. It is my hope that others join me in applying pressure to HQ in order to improve the organization we love and make it better going forward. “I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards—and I set my own standards. I inherit nothing. I stand at the end of no tradition. I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.” “
Ohlsen’s post had the following statement.
“My participation in the 2020 @crossfitgames will be contingent upon major changes being made. I LOVE competing, I LOVE training, I LOVE being able to challenge myself and become better from it.
I also LOVE people. This is probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. It’s been weighing on me for days. I’ve consulted many of my closest supporters. All of that said, I’ve decided that I cannot, in good conscience, compete during this time for a company that hasn’t shown themselves to have values that I align with. I’ve been talking a lot about this movement and my strong desire to stand up and fight for equality. Right now, I’m taking action. The repercussions of this could be huge. I’ve weighed them and my belief in this is stronger than their potential outcomes.”
While many athletes have denounced and expressed frustration with the recent situation caused by the founder of their sport, Ohlsen and Smith were the first known athletes to officially withdraw from participating in the biggest event of that sport.
Smith finished 15th at the Games in 2019 and was 22nd overall in this year’s Open. Ohlsen finished in second place to eventual champion Mat Fraser last year. If there are changes made before this year’s competition, they have both said they may reconsider.
Featured Image: Instagram/blacksmifff