While the worldwide CrossFit community was riddled with change, uncertainty, and even criticism in the months following the 2018 CrossFit Games, the focus narrowed in on the DCC as the first ‘answer’ to these questions and critiques as Dubai was the kick-off of the restructured 2019 season.
This is the story of the very first CrossFit Sanctional, which took place in Dubai in December 2018. Fittest in Dubai sets a new standard for fitness documentaries; the introduction alone is captivating and inspiring enough to make me want to be in Dubai for this year’s Finals. The spectacular shots of dramatic landscapes, stunning architecture of the city, and even some unexpected clips of wildlife, string together the story of this competition which takes place in a location that is undoubtedly second to none. The striking first scenes help to visually explain why so many of the world’s fittest flock to Dubai year after year.
From the ocean on day one, to the desert on day two, to the tennis stadium for the remainder of the events, Fittest in Dubai, features athletes, coaches, event organizers, and analysts who shed light into what an experience like this can be like for each of them...
“It’s cool to use your fitness in something that is just in the nature.” Sara Sigmundsdottir
“You just got your teeth kicked it, and now we’re going to do it again.” Chase Ingraham
“Athletes are forced to adapt, some do that really well and some do not.” Tommy Marquez
“The next level is those who can pull it out on game day.” Jamie Greene
“I could not walk off the floor, that’s how bad that was. And then it got worse.” Streat Hoerner
“Survival mode; whatever you have to do to get across.” Sammy Moniz
“There’s absolutely no thinking; are you willing to suffer or not?” Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson
“These are basically superhumans.” Tommy Marquez
“Enemies on the floor when the clock starts; and then we’re friends right after.” Sara Sigmundsdottir
It’s difficult to see everything that happens over the course of a competition if you’re onsite, it’s even harder when trying to follow along online. Films like this give fans a behind the scenes look into some of the key storylines that would otherwise be unknown, or remain as questions in the minds of those who weren’t there with the athletes.
How big were the waves in Dubai that day? What really happened to Laura Horvath’s back? Does Mat Fraser still get nervous before events? Why wasn’t Sara Sigmundsdottir on the starting mat at the call of 3-2-1 GO for one of the events? These questions, and more, which have perhaps been in the minds of fans for months are all answered in this action-packed film.
Interviews with athletes shed light into their perspectives on the new structure of the season, the mentality of an athlete mid-competition, and the evolution of those points of view as circumstances change day to day and event to event.
Additionally, and brilliantly, there’s an element of humor woven into the film. We learn what Chandler Smith thinks about spending time in the water during his training, the “fun” that was had discussing the sharks of Dubai’s ocean, and we get a behind the scenes peak at Mat Fraser teasing BKG about ‘stealing his move’, and more. These athletes may be ‘superhuman’, but they’re also humans, who make jokes, feel pain, and get nervous just like the rest of us.
The anticipation, and culmination, of this competition with the tightest 4 woman race we’ve ever seen in a major competition and the vaunted $30,000 on the line for the final event can be felt in the music, the interviews, and the way they are masterfully woven together. That event was everything a competition could hope for, and this film helps all of us relive those moments in the most dramatic fashion.
If you’re lacking excitement or anticipation for the start of the 2020 Sanctionals season, look no further than this film. Fans of the sport of CrossFit spend months waiting impatiently for content like this documentary.