On-the-ground at a U.S. Open.
We spent a very similar weekend in regards to watching tri and CrossFit (and the World Cup and the UCI Road World Championships - what a weekend!). I'm a big fan of the CrossFit Games and extremely envious that you could be there in person and feel the energy in the coliseum when Khrennikov finished that event. And not all for naught - to be on the podium! As you said, an incredible moment in sports. The struggle to expand a sport and build a reputation is something both CrossFit and triathlon have been especially focused on lately. CrossFit certainly hasn't been perfect at it, but triathlon could learn a lot from their journey and building a culture and a vibe. I may have physically cringed in hearing about the live commentary for the women's events. What is it with the PTO and their challenge in building a vibe and culture? It brings to mind their truly cringe attempts to create rivalries during the Collins Cup ceremonies. Maybe it's growing pains, finding their way toward the image and culture they want to create. I'm trying to have faith and give them the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes it's harder than others.
I’m not sure the head of the PTO knows their audience. Even at the pro level.. making something new, different and exciting could be a good thing but you can’t go and create something in a vacuum cause there are also other things out there. On the PTN pre-race podcast he talked about what made a great event, attracted athletes & fans. I can’t remember exactly how he phrased it but he talked about how an event needs great competition, prize money, compelling stories and prestige. But then he talked about how he couldn’t believe athletes were choosing events other than PTO events. Sort of weird cause he said the answer…other races have history and prestige that built over time. Then add in location of events and athletes…you’re just not going to get everyone at every event. Maybe that’s ok and maybe it isn’t but it’s reality. And the PTO hopefully will learn that throwing money at an event doesn’t equal instant credibility & prestige.