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Emergency Weather Update

By News, WZA Miami

At 1:00 p.m. ET the competition will be temporarily suspended and the park will be closed. Plan on exiting the venue at or before that time. The competition is not canceled. We will provide updates as soon as we have them.

Interview with 2021 OutAthlete Caidin Smith

By News, WZA Miami

Won the 2022 Molly Lenore Inspiration Award from Compete Sports Diversity 

2021 OutAthlete sponsored by the OutFoundation

What’s your story? I joined Crossfit 2 years ago when I was really struggling with major depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts. I had been an athlete my whole life but in the last 10 years really struggled with my mental health. Crossfit has played a role in keeping me alive. As a trans guy it’s helping me build the body I’ve always wanted, and feel really affirmed in my gender identity. I was very afraid to come out at my gym for about a year until I became an OutAthlete and realized that I could really help the community by being out, and proud.

How would you describe the CF Community? To my surprise most people have been really accepting and supportive. I know Crossfit has a history of not being so LGBTQ+ friendly, and it is still very binary oriented so there’s room for growth but I’ve met really great people through Crossfit. 

What’s your inspiration for competing? As an OutAthlete I went to many events to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion in fitness, especially Crossfit. I share my experiences on social media, I wear gay and trans pride colors to the gym and when I’m at competitions to promote awareness. I am purposefully making myself visible as an out gay trans athlete.

I’m competing for my community, to show them that they are capable of anything. I’m also competing to prove to myself that I am strong, worthy, and valued, and as a celebration of how far I’ve come in the last 2 years. I’m excited for the atmosphere, the competition, and seeing the Elite athletes perform.  

What’s your background? I played competitive softball my whole life and earned a division 1 scholarship to the University of Delaware. After I graduated in 2010 I was so depressed and wasn’t able to get involved in anything until I came out as trans in 2016 and started playing flag football in the New York Gay Football League.

What event are you looking forward to most? I think the Row Swim Run. I practiced the kettlebell box step over workout the other day and that was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done but I made it farther than I thought I would. 

Favorite athlete? I think they’re all amazing but I’m definitely in awe of Mat Fraser and what he’s been capable of. I also love all of Noah Ohlsen’s IG posts with his dog!

Favorite CF movement? Favorite movement is power clean and split jerk.

Barbells or DBs? Barbells!

Pancakes or waffles? Buttermilk protein pancakes with blueberries.

Which superpower would you have? I think being trans is a superpower! 

WZA Miami 2022 Tickets On Sale

By News

Don’t miss out on the biggest fitness party of the year!

The celebration of fitness, community, & life returns to Downtown Miami to celebrate its 10-year anniversary!
The WZA Miami Fitness Festival brings together a true diversity of fitness enthusiasts into a jam-packed weekend of health, fitness, sun, and fun.
With 100+ fitness-related brands, 900+ volunteers, 2500+ athletes, and tens of thousands of spectators hailing from all fifty states and over forty countries, WZA promises to be yet another event for the ages.
Members of the global fitness community, take note: You don’t want to miss #WZAMiami 2022.

TICKETS

  • Ticket prices do not include taxes and fees.
  • All tickets must be ordered online, or at an increased price, at the gate.
  • ALL Sales are FINAL. No Refunds, Exchanges, or Rain Checks are allowed. This event is a rain or shine event.
  • Only purchase WZA tickets from the official WZA ticketing page (you’re here!) If you purchase from another source, you risk purchasing a counterfeit or invalid ticket. WZA is not responsible for tickets purchased from unofficial sources.
  • Tickets are valid from January 14-16. Thursday, January 13 is free to the public: No ticket is needed on that date.

CONFIRMATION

  • You will receive an order confirmation email on behalf of WZA. If you do not see this email in your inbox, please make sure to check your spam/junk folder.
  • If you are still unable to find your order confirmation or are having any other technical ticket-related issues, please contact us at [email protected]

RECEIVING YOUR TICKET

  • The ticket can be printed or scanned from a mobile device on-site upon arrival. For each ticket purchase, you will receive one code per ticket. I.e. if you order 5x 3-day passes, you will receive 5 unique codes.
  • Each will be scannable once. Once scanned, you will be granted access into the event.
  • VIP Ticket holders and 3-day General Admission ticket holders will receive a wristband/credential once their tickets are scanned.

How it Works: All The Details On Open Registration

By News, Online Challenge

Athletes who don’t qualify during the WZAOC (Online Challenge & Qualifier) have another chance to compete on the floor at WZA Miami through Open Registration.

On a pre-identified date, registration for Scaled & Beginner divisions will open to all eligible athletes who completed the WZOAC in its entirety (completing all workouts, submitting required videos, etc.). Athletes are invited to race against other eligible athletes to sign up and secure their spot to compete at WZA Miami.

WHO’S ELIGIBLE?

  • To become eligible to register for Open Registration, all athletes must complete all WZAOC workouts for their appropriate division (individual and/or team), submit their scores for all workouts and any requested videos (prior to the video submission deadline) in order to be eligible to register for Open Registration.
  • On specific dates (see a full list of important dates and deadlines here!), athletes are invited to race against the rest of the eligible athletes to try and sign up and secure their spot to compete at WZA Miami within the Scaled or Beginner division.
  • In years past, it has sold out within seconds. While we don’t want anyone unhappy with the process, unfortunately not everybody is guaranteed a spot. These spots are first-come, first-serve, and extremely limited. There is a huge demand, and they will literally fly off of the shelves.
  • Only those eligible (that submitted all their scores & the required videos) will receive an email with the link and passcode 48 hours before Open Registration launches.

Number of Open Registration SPOTS:

  • Individual Scaled – 30 Spots Per Gender
  • Individual Beginner – 20 Spots Per Gender
  • Adaptive Seated – 6 Spots Per Gender
  • Adaptive Standing – 6 Spots Per Gender
  • Team of 3 Scaled – 50 Spots Per Gender
  • Team of 3 Beginner – 20 Spots Per Gender

OPEN REGISTRATION TIPS & TRICKS:

  • To get ahead of the game, prior to the start of Open Registration, go to www.competitioncorner.net and sign in using your same account information for the WZA Online Challenge & Qualifier. Then click on the registration link. Please note, your Wodapalooza account is the same as your Competition Corner account.
  • As soon as Open Registration opens, select your division and type in the unique case-sensitive passcode provided in your email (this will be sent out to eligible athletes 48 hours before Open Registration begins), and click Proceed.
  • By signing in beforehand the registration form will be pre-populated with most of the information you’ve already provided, saving you time in completing the process.
  • Once you’re on the registration page, it will notify you if you’ve secured one of the limited spots. Proceed through registration and payment, and you’re good to go!

2021 WZA Season Updates

By News

Wodapalooza is fast approaching, and with it, the qualifying piece to earn a spot to compete on the Miami floor is set to begin: The WZA Online Challenge & Qualifier.

WZAOC INDY CHALLENGE BEGINS: OCT 4th
WZAOC TEAM CHALLENGE BEGINS: NOV 1st 

Take a look at some of the changes to this year’s online challenge!

*NEW* Taking it back to Teams of 3!

  • With our 10th year here, we’re going back to our roots and celebrating the tight-knit teams that make up our community.
  • Grab your two best buds and test your fitness on the most fun stage in the fitness world!
  • No need to be together to compete in the WZA Team OC! Team members can register and compete from across the world with hopes of meeting together on the competition floor in Miami!

*NEW* Beginner Team of 3 Divisions

  • In order to accommodate the vast diversity of abilities with athletes, now the true CrossFit beginners are eligible to compete in a division that best suits them: Beginner.
  • Open Registration” is still also an alternative to what has become a very competitive Scaled division at Wodapalooza.

*NEW* More Spots for Master’s in Miami

  • Master’s 65+ division has been added!
  • We want to give more opportunities for Master’s to compete and now they can along with a greater chance to qualify to compete in Miami!

Everyone Must Compete in the Online Challenge

  • This isn’t a change, but still worth noting! Whether looking to compete in beginner, scaled, elite, or Rx, the first step is completing the WZAOC in its entirety. Unless you fall into one of these groups… Who Receives Invites to WZA Miami?

While WZA seeks to stay true to our roots, it’s important to continue to grow and adapt. These changes seek to keep Wodapalooza ahead of the competitive curve and to provide the very best experience to athletes as part of the Online Challenge & Qualifier, as well as the event in Miami.

There is only one thing left to do. When registration opens, sign up, and get ready to throw down. If planning on vying for a team, grab two friends and prepare for exciting workouts over ten days.

The WZA Online Challenge & Qualifier registration opens Monday, August 30th!

WZA Stories: Natalia Volya

By News, WZA Miami

“I have learned so much about myself, my abilities and what my body can do. A year ago, I fully recommitted myself to it and could not be happier. My trainers are the best and believe in me so much. You need that.” Russian athlete Natalia suffered an accident by electrocution at just 13 years old, which resulted in the loss of her legs. Yet, she chose to stay active, and found CrossFit 4-5 years ago.

“At first, my mom was skeptical, but she now sees how much CrossFit has done for me. I remember that she said something about being nervous about me getting bulky and becoming too muscular.” In Russia, women often battle the perception that they should dedicate themselves to more feminine pursuits. “It is definitely not as progressive [in Russia] as here. But now, my mom sees that’s not the case, that I’ll get bulky. Now, my husband does it, my son, my mother-in-law. It’s a family affair.”

Natalia can jump rope, walk on her hands. There seem to be more things she CAN do than she can’t. How does she take on something new and get this good at it? “I just try things, and figure out a way that I can do them. In my gym, I have my own set-ups; I don’t require help, no one looks at me differently. For example, my weights are my problem. If I need to grab plates or put them away, I do it myself, I like that. Someone gifted me a jump rope, I brought it to my coach laughing and said what are we going to do with that. She said, we are going to jump. And here we are!”

Asked about her Wodapalooza experience, Natalia reflects, “I can’t even describe it. I had no idea I would have this kind of support from complete strangers. The workout on The Deck got me through it and kept me moving. I thought I should have signed up for scaled, at that moment I was reminded why I didn’t. I never expected so many photos, so many people talking to me, messaging me. I am so humbled and grateful.

“It was so amazing to meet other adaptive athletes, to learn from them and see how they adapt to certain workouts, the equipment they used. I definitely need to get one of those cushions for my lap. It’s just been a great experience and I am overwhelmed with kindness, unexpected attention, and other athletes.”

Natalia’s advice for other adaptive athletes looking to start? “Find a gym, find a good trainer, and then you just do it. That’s what my trainers did for me, I said, ‘I will work if you will work.’ And here we are.”

WZA Stories: Emma Cary

By News, WZA Miami

Emma Cary is a 2019 CrossFit Games Champ in the 14-15 age groups. Without a doubt, teens are the future of the sport, so we asked Emma what she’s hoping to show the youth who look up to her.

Emma: I hope to show the youth we shouldn’t limit ourselves. I mean, even in this year’s Open, I didn’t want to look at the leaderboard cause I felt like I wasn’t going to do very well in the adult division. Just because it didn’t seem like I could. And that was a limit I placed on myself. And once I took that limit off myself, I did some really cool things.

You can surprise yourself when you’re not worried about failing. And I’ve learned that failing teaches you and that you shouldn’t be afraid of it because if you don’t fail, you’re really not going to learn. And if you don’t learn, you can’t get better.

And as for where Emma hopes to see the sport go?

Emma: I love competing. I love the community of competition and I hope to see the sport have more people competing and not even just competing at the high level, but competing even at local competition shows you where you can go.”

To compete at this level, Emma has to dedicate herself to hours of training, recovery and specific nutrition intake. We asked where she finds the drive to pursue her goals with such laser focus at only 14.

Emma: I like to be a better version of myself. That’s what I ask myself, ‘Is this making me better?’ Whenever there’s a day when I might not want to train, I ask myself, ‘Will just sitting here make me better?’ And then it’s like, no, so I need to get better, because everybody else is getting better. And I want to win. Winning isn’t my only goal, but I know if I’m not the very best version of myself, I won’t win. And if I am the best version of myself, I’m going to try really hard. And if I don’t, I still can’t complain cause I did everything I could.

Wondering what a typical day looks like for an athlete like Emma? Same. So we asked her.

Emma: I usually wake up around five to hit an hour and a half-ish of conditioning work before school and then I go to school, come home, have a quick snack and then train from about four to seven, do some homework real quick and go to bed. I try to get all my homework done that I can at school by managing my time well. So if I finish something else early, instead of playing a game or looking at Instagram, I look at what I can do now that I will be happy I did later.

Is it possible for her to squeeze anything else into her busy days?

Emma: I coach a kids class at our gym. I love working with kids, I want to be a pediatrician. We have about 14 8-12 year olds. I just love helping people, whether that’s inspiring them or coaching them or just encouraging them. That is what I like to do.

So, what is Emma most proud of in her young career as an athlete?

Emma: I am most proud of being dedicated to improvement. I don’t chase being perfect. I used to, but I know that I’m not going to be perfect, so instead of quitting because I’m not perfect, I relentlessly chase improving. I’m just going to believe I can do it. And if I believe with everything I have, I’m going to work with everything I have and then I’m going to do it.

WZA Stories: Guilherme Malheiros

By News

Odds are, you’ve run across a video of Guilherme Malheiros pulling unreal weights on Instagram. The Brazilian Beast, as he’s known by many, is just 20 years old and already at the top of his game in his home country and rapidly gaining recognition globally. We dug into his background (and the story behind his mismatched shoes).

“I started Crossfit when I was 10 years old in 2015. I used to play basketball. So then I started to do Crossfit to improve my basketball game. In the end, I got better in CrossFit than in basketball. So I made this change.” Guilherme climbed to the top of the teenage division and didn’t stop there. “I went from scaled in the beginning of the year to elite in the final of the year, with the big dogs in Brazil. Guys who were 22, 24 years old. And I was 16 years old. And I always fight with them.”

Unfortunately, injuries don’t politely wait for athletes at the finish line. “2018 was a year of lessons. I learned a lot. I had an injury, so it made me grow as a person and an athlete. So today I’m more smart than I was in 2017.” Guilherme injured his lower back and was unable to move in many of the ways he wanted, throwing his training plans for a loop. It would be easy to get discouraged when your plan A goes out the window, but the champ had some great advice for anyone struggling through hard times. “Use this time off your program to learn about yourself and to learn about your body, what your body needs.”

The Brazilian Beast held himself accountable throughout his recovery. “I have to improve, and if I don’t, it is my fault.” His training came full circle when he was once again forced to work on what some call the most dreaded aspect of any sport: conditioning. Through tough days and a lot of running, Malheiros came out the other side and wants you to know that you can, too. “An injury can be good. Just has to be that put your mind that it’s an opportunity to grow.”

Today, Guilherme is applying what he learned from his time recovering to not only be the best athlete he can be, but doing it in style. He sometimes wears two different colors of the same shoe to compete, but not because he feels it gives him a competitive edge. Smiling ear to ear, the 20-year-old crowd favorite says, “People love it.”

WZA Stories: Josie Portell

By News, WZA Miami

Josie Portell is a 2x WZA Champion vying for her 3rd title this weekend. Watching her on the competition floor, her intensity is unmistakable. We asked her about the phrase, “Never whine, never complain, never make excuses,” stitched on her chair.

“There’s going to be no point in doing that [whining]. So why do it? It’s just going to hurt you in the long run. Like, if something doesn’t go my way in a workout or the weight’s heavier than I thought or something, let it go and don’t complain or anything. Because it’s just going to hurt you.

Josie and her father, Bob, started Bar X adaptive, a program for athletes of all ages and ability levels. Bob explains, “We started with Josie as basically our first athlete and that was I guess almost two years ago. Now we’re probably at 15 athletes and we’ve got a bunch of new kids coming in now, but the main thing about our program is it’s inclusive. The athletes come in and do the same classes as everybody else. We just adapt the workouts. They’re in with all the other athletes and everybody else, so it’s not a separate adaptive class, it’s inclusive.” The future of Bar X Adaptive is also looking bright. When asked if Bob and Josie would ever take Bar X Adaptive on the road to reach more athletes, they said, “If the opportunity presented itself, we would obviously entertain, but right now, we’re trying to be the best we can with the athletes we have.”

Bob was also the inspiring force that sparked Josie’s CrossFit journey. Bob began CrossFit first, and Josie said she wanted to do it, as well. “She wanted to come to the gym and I started doing research. The gym owner was nice enough for her to come in and that’s kind of where it all started. I just started finding out how to adapt the movements and such, which is where we are today.”

 

Josie and Bob originally viewed CrossFit as a great way for Josie to condition for her basketball season. Being a natural athlete, Josie excelled and added CrossFit to her schedule which, at one point, also included school, basketball, track, and cheer. Now, as she begins to look at colleges, she now “just want[s] to keep growing, doing sports and just fine-tuning.”

Josie is hoping to take her talents to the University of Illinois and play Women’s Wheelchair Basketball for the Fighting Illini, and Bob will continue to grow their gym and adaptive program.