Following the events of this past weekend no one can deny that Kettlebell Sport has officially arrived in the USA, the sport continues to roll forward and it's gaining speed!
The Arnold Sports Festival played host to over 100,000 spectators and 18,000 athletes. The venue was the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Ohio. The Arnold Classic as its affectionately known is the largest sporting event and fitness expo of the year in this country and 2009 was the debut of its the Kettlebell Sport Championships. All the best lifters in the country gathered to compete. Over 100 k-bell athletes participated, making this the biggest kettlebell lifting competition ever seen in America.
There was so much to see, so many inspirational performances and so much that happened I can't even rap my brain around writing this blog post! So for now I am just going to offer a brief account of how The Edge Kettlebell Club performed at this weekends event.
I am happy to report that Team Edge delivered under pressure and came home with two National Championship Titles!
Dianna brought home the Gold Medal in the women's (master's) amateur 1 arm long cycle. She performed 80 reps with the 12kg k-bell and went 10 minutes on her left (non-dominant) arm as she suffered a stress fracture in her right arm prior to the competition. Unfortunately, there is no ranking system for the women's long cycle at this point. However, Dianna has already achieved a World Kettlebell Club ranking of IV for the biathlon event and will compete as a professional, lifting the 16kg k-bell at her next competition.
Sarah brought home a Silver Medal in the women's (open) amateur biathlon. Sarah missed the gold by the narrowest of margins. She performed 133 reps with the 12kg k-bell in the 1 arm jerk and hit 120 reps in the snatch giving her a total of 253 reps, which gives her a World Kettlebell Club ranking of IV. This means that Sarah now qualifies to compete as a professional at her next competition and will lift the 16kg k-bell.
Ross. I brought home a Gold Medal in the men's (open) amateur long cycle. I performed 60 reps with 2x 24kg k-bells, which gives me a World Kettlebell Club ranking of IV. So I will also compete in the professional division at my next competition and will be lifting 2x 32kg k-bells.
I would like to thank a number of people:
-Members of The Edge Fitness Center for all your encouragement, support and for the generous contributions to The Edge Kettlebell Club Fundraising campaign.
-Lorraine Patten and Matt McNamara for playing a major role organizing and running this huge event as smoothly as it could have been run.
-Ken Blackburn (IKFF) for helping produce this event and for staring at his computer the whole day long to make sure that everyone's results were recorded and logged correctly.
-Steve Cotter (IKFF) for all his great work in growing kettlebell lifting in the US and for helping make this event possible.
-Valery Fedorenko and Eric Liford (AKC/WKC) for continuing to grow the sport of kettlebell lifting in America, organizing this event, overseeing proceedings and making sure the judges and athletes were on point with scoring and technique.
-Andrew Durniat and Scott Shetler for all their hard work behind the scenes in making sure everything was set up correctly, that we had all the kettlebells and equipment we needed and for making sure everyone was on their platform when it came time to lift.
-The Judges for sitting there all day, counting and recording our reps and keeping us honest.
-Anyone and Everyone I have failed to mention who helped in any way to make this event possible.
-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for creating this great event and including kettlebell lifting in this years proceedings.
-Dianna for being such a great teammate and for your commitment to your training and to The Edge. I am proud to be your coach.
Finally, I would like to thank my beautiful wife Sarah and my son Brayden for all you're love and support. You both inspire me to be the best I can be!
There were so many awesome and inspirational performances on Saturday it was unbelievable. The standard of kettlebell lifting in the US is definitely on the rise and the future looks bright!
Kettlebell Lifting is a great sport with amazing athletes as this weekend showed, but its even more than that. As the sport has grown and the frequency of meets around the country has increased something amazing has happened! A tight-knit community has developed. Friendships and connections have been made by those who under other circumstances may have never met. This was evident this weekend as everyone came together from all over the country to compete, but not only that, they also came to support one another, even their competitors, which provides a humbling and unique experience for all involved, its just amazing! This is a very special thing and I would like to express my gratitude to this wonderful sport and to those who have helped it to flourish for the bonds and friends I have been fortunate enough to make. Below are photos of some great friends of mine.
Valery, Steve, Ken, Mitch and I
Andrew and I
Me, Valery and Sarah
Scott, Me and Marty
Dr. Jerry and I
Sarah, Sara and Tracy
Me and John
Brent and I
Me and P-Hump
Next on the agenda for Team Edge are the World Kettlebell Lifting Championships, August 29th in Chicago, Illinois. There Dianna, Sarah and I will be competing as professional athletes against the very best kettlebell lifters in the world.