Faced with challenging new movement standards, dozens of voices from the CrossFit community have expressed shock, discouragement, and concern for the future of the Open.
In a recent Instagram post, Jacob Heppner announced that his forearm length has prevented him from placing high enough in the Open to move to Regionals. Many of Heppner’s fans expressed outrage over the idea that an individual’s anthropometry might effect sports performance.
“You don’t see this in other sports,” said one Instagram user. “If CrossFit was fair, you would see the same diversity of body types at the top of the leaderboard as you do in sumo-wrestling, or women’s gymnastics.”
One fan even started a GoFundMe account for Heppner, aiming to raise $60,000 to pay for the Games veteran to have forearm-shortening surgery.
While some Open participants have argued that CrossFit should make sure movement standards present an equal challenge to all body types, others have argued that such standards should be done away with entirely.
“Requiring everyone in the Open to follow the same strict movement standards ignores the reality of our physical differences, which should be celebrated,” said Miles Lewis, a student at UC Berkeley. “I have long tibias, and telling me where my handstand push-up has to start and end is not only oppressive, it constitutes a form of violence.”
Another athlete, Scott Whitney, who previously petitioned the NBA to lower basketball goals to accommodate his 5’7″ frame, calls the new handstand push-up standard an “injustice.”
“The real world changes to accommodate my personal preferences and abilities all the time. I think I’m entitled to a CrossFit Open season that does the same thing.”