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Brazil: Six Curiosities About the Second-Largest CrossFit Community in the World

Brazil, the country of samba, Carnaval, football… and possibly CrossFit too. The biggest country in Latin America also has the second-largest CrossFit community in the world.

To prepare you before the Open starts on March 11th, take a look at these six curiosities we selected from Brazil. There is an extra at the end, to show you something you only see in Brazil.

1 – The second-largest CrossFit community

Such a huge country surely must have many affiliates? That is certainly the case for Brazil. With its impressive number of 834 affiliates spread across the land, according to official numbers from CrossFit Inc., it is the second biggest CrossFit community in the world, behind only the United States. Such a feat is not common, though. China and India have 32 affiliates combined, for example. Russia only 21.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by CrossFit Brazil (@crossfitbrazil)

The sport was introduced in São Paulo, in 2009, by Joel Fridman, a former gymnastic and elite athlete. While traveling through Canada, he found a group working out, performing unusual movements with high intensity, and decided to talk to the professor.

I said I could help them since I was a professional weight lifter myself. The teacher just looked me dead in the eye and replied ‘first you do the training, then we can talk about it’. I am so glad he put me in the right place from the start.

Joel was hooked on CrossFit from that moment on. It took him a year to get a level 1 certificate to start coaching and open the first box in Brazil.

From 2009 to 2013, Brazil had only 20 boxes in the country. From 2013 to 2019, that number increased 5.900%, reaching a whopping 1.200. Still to this day, nobody knows how to explain the spiked interest in the sport.

Note: for an affiliate to appear on the official CrossFit Inc. page, it must have a website. Some boxes in Brazil do not have a website, although they are affiliated and have paid their annual fee to use the CrossFit brand. Also, the list is not updated regularly, so a few new affiliates could be missing from the official count.

2 – Corona is not the biggest adversary to CrossFit affiliates

Although Brazil is the second-largest CrossFit community in the world, that number has been slowly declining over the past two years. The Coronavirus certainly has influenced the loss of boxes across the country, but it is not the main antagonist.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by CrossFit Brazil (@crossfitbrazil)

According to coaches on CrossFit online forums, there are two other problems Brazil is facing to increase the number of affiliates: CrossFit Inc. abandoning social media channels back in 2019, and the volatile currency, making it difficult for affiliates to pay the annual fee.

We are looking into making some kind of special treatments regarding payment. We possibly could make affiliates pay monthly, instead of an annual fee. Brazil will certainly be in that list of countries that we will make adjustments.

Read more: Combat COVID 19 – Free at Home CrossFit Workouts from the Community

Eric Roza was scheduled to be in Brazil in December 2020. Due to the pandemic, his flight was rescheduled to March, during the Open. It is still uncertain if he will be able to fly because of travel restrictions. The CEO maintains his opinion that Brazil should be the first country he visits since he took on the managerial role.

3 – A dentist became the symbol of CrossFit and Covid-19 awareness last year

Raquel Trevisi, 38 years, is a dentist and practices CrossFit regularly. She even competed in the Open 2019 and was officially Brazil’s 23rd Fittest Woman on Earth. A year later, in September 2020, she contracted Covid-19. Being a healthy athlete did not mean she was free from the virus.

“Nobody thought I would have any complications with the virus because I eat healthy food regularly and do sports on a daily basis,” she said. After the first week infected, 85% of her lungs had been compromised by the virus. Raquel spent 20 days in the ICU, 16 of which intubated.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Raquel Trevisi (@raqueltrevisi)

“I felt obliged to share these photos on Instagram so that people become a bit more conscious. It is revolting to see people dying, while some others do not care about the pain and suffering one is causing, and they continue to go out of their houses.”

Raquel lost 25 kilos during the time she was in the hospital. “Even though I was having an athlete’s lifestyle, Coronavirus almost destroyed me.”

After leaving the hospital, Raquel was only able to move her head. Her entire body was weak. A month later, she managed to start working out again.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Raquel Trevisi (@raqueltrevisi)

Now she is fully recovered and has created the Projeto Com Vida, ‘project with life’ translated from Portuguese. In the new venture, she helps people who have suffered permanent side effects due to the virus.

4 – Compete in the biggest national stadium… or at the beach

If Brazil is famous for its football and paradise beaches, then CrossFit can use those aspects in favor of the sport. That is what some organizers thought when they came up with some national competitions on Brazilian soil.

Iron Wod Brasil, for example, made waves in the CrossFit community when it announced its competition would take place in Maracanã, the largest football stadium in the country. It has a capacity of nearly 80,000 people seated. It had over 1,000 people competing. It usually occurs in the first semester of the year and it is open for foreigners as well.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by IronWod?? (@ironwodbrasil)

Another competition that catches one’s attention is the Beach Games. Yes, you got it, the competition happens on the sand, right in front of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by BEACH GAMES CF ???? (@beachgamescf)

This competition usually takes place in January, at the peak of summer, in Matinhos, a beach in the southern state Paraná. The workouts are very different from the usual and it usually includes some swimming.

Another interesting tournament that Brazil is famous for is the Chicks and Barbells one. As the name implies, only women are allowed in these competitions.

This event exists for the past five years and it happens in different locations throughout the country. The date of the tournament depends on which location the athlete wants to participate in.

5 – It has one of the fittest teens in the world

Dudinha Souza is 16 years old and already can lift more than most people ever dreamed of. Two years ago, she proved her valued to the world by finishing 8th in the Age Group Online Qualifier, earning a spot in the 2019 CrossFit Games. She was also the fittest Brazilian teen that year.

Unfortunately, Dudinha made news right after the qualifying due to an unexpected turn of events. Her visa for the USA was denied and she was not able to compete in the world’s most important competition that year.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Dudinha (@dudinhasouzacf)

6 – A CrossFitter is participating in the most-watched reality show

Big Brother Brazil is the most-watched reality show in the country and one of the participants claimed, on his first day in the house, that he practices CrossFit.

His name is Arthur Picoli, he is a coach, personal trainer and a former football player.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Arthur Picoli (@arthurpicoli)

Unlike Raquel Trevisi, Arthur has recently become a bad image for CrossFit in the country. During one competition in the house, the personal trainer dislocated his shoulder and could not continue the exercise proposed by the TV producers.

That opened the opportunity for people to make fun of Arthur and, consequently, CrossFit. Rafinha Bastos, a famous stand-up comedian, shared a video of Arthur falling on the ground and dislocating his shoulder. “Terrible promotion for CrossFit,” he said.

This month he was voted the ‘weak one’ among participants. He had to wear a sticker on his head for a day, all the while with his arm bandaged.

Extra – Start the year with a proper squat

While counting down the days for the end of 2020, what were you doing? Dancing, drinking, partying (while practicing social distancing)? All of the above?

Graziane Barbosa, a famous fitness model and Carnaval dancer, did all those things. But in the first few seconds of 2021, she went a bit further. She did squats.

In the video you can even see her husband Belo, a famous singer with the flowery shirt, going for a kiss, but she takes off her jacket and jumps right into a squat with lifts.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Gracyanne Barbosa ?️ – (@graoficial)

Not a bad way to start the year, is it?

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