Wodapalooza 2021 is canceled. On Jan. 13, 2021, President of Loud and Live Sports Matt O’Keefe announced the news on the Make Pods Great Again podcast, hosted by John Wooley and Niki Brazier. Then, a post on the Wodapalooza Instagram account confirmed that the iconic event, which takes place in Miami, FL, and is coming up on its 10th anniversary, will pick back up in 2022. Check out the Instagram post below.
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“That event [Wodapalooza] we’re going to push outside the system and go back to where it was, and live on its own,” O’Keefe said at the 22:10 mark of the podcast. “We would love to collaborate with CrossFit in some way, and I think we will, but that’s going to go back to January and be this standalone spectacle event.”
The cancellation of Wodapalooza is due to COVID-19, which O’Keefe made clear he’s cautious about.
“We have a lot of data. We’re probably going to be virtual, and, at best, we can get a lot of athletes to compete on a floor that we can broadcast. “O’Keefe said. “I flipped. I was this gritty anti-COVID guy at the beginning — ‘we’re fine, we’re going to do this’ — but a lot of people are hurting from it. We have to be responsible and want to be responsible. We’re not going to put people in a dangerous situation.”
Earlier in the conversation, O’Keefe mentions collaborating with CrossFit again, which is in reference to the fact that Wodapalooza, along with a handful of other events, will not be a part of the 2021 CrossFit season. This is the second time the two companies have drifted apart. (Though, again, O’Keefe made it clear that he wants to work with CrossFit.) In the summer of 2020, Wodapalooza disassociated with the brand after CrossFit Founder and then-CEO Greg Glassman set out a controversial tweet. Glassman’s comments sparked backlash within the community, including a handful of athletes refusing to participate in the Games until leadership was changed.
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In the past, Wodapalooza served as a CrossFit Sanctionals event. Like the Dubai CrossFit Championships and Rogue Invitational, CrossFitters who won Sanctional events qualified for the CrossFit Games. This year, however, the 2021 CrossFit season is different. There’s a three-phase qualification process that athletes must undergo.
To qualify for the 2021 Games, athletes will have to place within the top 10% of athletes on their continent in the Open — which kicks off on March 11, 2021 — and then pass the Quarterfinals and the Semifinals. There’s also a Last chance Qualifer for competitors who barely missed the cut in the semis. Regionals and Sanctionals aren’t factors in the 2021 Games.
To adapt to both the pandemic and the fact that they’re no longer partnered with CrossFit (for the time being), O’Keefe mentioned that Loud and Live Sports is experimenting with virtual competitions. Most recently, Loud and Live launched The Trials, which runs from Dec. 4, 2020, through Jan. 17, 2021. O’Keefe said on the podcast, the idea is to use The Trials as a test run so that Loud and Live can create more robust digital competitions.
For now, fans of Wodapalooza will have to wait until next year for the competition. But, it’s safe to assume — with a motivated president and enthusiastic community — that Wodapalooza 2022 will be worth the wait.
Featured image: @wodapalooza on Instagram