Alumni in DCC Field Speak Volumes

Written by Brian Friend

It doesn’t matter what industry is being discussed, if the best in the world consistently come back year after year, it’s suggestive of a high quality production. This is the second year Dubai has played host to a Sanctioned event, but the competition itself has been going on for much longer. In this year’s field of individuals over half the participants will be competing for at least their second time in the UAE.

4+ Year Club 3 Year Club 2 Year Club
Alessandra Pichelli Gabriela Migala Carole Castellani, Christina Agerbeck
Eik Gylfadottir Jamie Greene Karin Frey, Manon Angonese
Mikaela Norman Sara Sigmundsdottir Shahad Budebs, Alex Kotoulas
Samantha Briggs Alexandre Caron Chandler Smith, Giorgos Karavis
Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson Elliot Simmonds Jeffrey Adler, Jonne Koski
Jason Smith Willy Georges Lazar Dukic, Mahmood Shalan
Travis Mayer Kari Pearce Roman Khrennikov, Tola Morakinyo
Annie Thorisdottir, Laura Horvath   Uldis Upenieks

The athletes that make up these lists aren’t mere names. They are Games champions and podium finishers. Regional and Sanctionals winners. They are multiple time national champions and DCC champions. They are amongst the fittest in the world, and they come back year after year.

Dubai is a destination on many bucket lists, but having visited it once, or twice, many would set their sites on other destinations. And yet, these athletes continue to return. Why?

Perhaps it’s the weather this time of year. Perhaps it’s the prize money they offer. Perhaps it’s the high level of competitive programming, or the depth of talent in the field they want to test themselves against. Returning athletes often talk about the exceptional facilities, venues, and medical care that’s provided in Dubai. Lastly, the schedule is typically structured with the understanding that athletes visiting the region also want to explore the city; the schedule is intentionally arranged accordingly creating a low stress atmosphere in which time is provided for athletes and their families to enjoy the city during the downtime between competition. Likely, it’s a combination of all these things.

Strategically positioned in the previous system as a tune up prior to the push towards the Open, and similarly well-positioned now as a marquee event just after the new, October Open. Athletes can maintain, and even continue the level they had elevated to, enjoy a trip to one of the world’s premier destinations, earn some money along the way, and then return home, wherever that may be, for the holidays with their families and friends

Regardless of the reasons the athletes continue to attend every year, for fans of the high level CrossFit, the Dubai CrossFit Championship is marked on the calendar as one of the two or three events each year that guarantees the highest level of competition featuring fan favorites who are, the fittest on earth.

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