After countless hours of preparation, Rapael Durand ’13 traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to compete in the 2017 CrossFit Games team series, a venue for determining the “Fittest Athletes on Earth.”
Durand, who manages the 300-member NorCal CrossFit in Redwood City, California, competed with a team of three men and three women. After completing a series of stages to prove their fitness, Durand’s team competed against 40 teams from around the world in a four-day event. His team came just shy of the podium, finishing fourth overall and receiving a $20,000 prize.
“Everyone wants to win and be on the podium, but by the end of the weekend few teams can say that they battled for the opportunity,” Durand says. “We felt like all-stars all weekend long from the CrossFit staff and volunteers, to the CrossFit fans.”
Since its inception in 2007, CrossFit has grown rapidly in participation and popularity around the world. The regimen is often described as constantly varied functional fitness, consisting of movements such as handstand walks, rope climbs, and certain lifts such as deadlift, clean and snatch.
Durand’s love for CrossFit and his desire to compete at a high level took shape while at HWS, and has been a major part of his life since. “I knew that I needed to feed my competitive urge after graduating” explains Durand. “When I started doing CrossFit at HWS, I knew immediately that this would satisfy my competitive appetite.”
Durand sees the HWS CrossFit club, which became an official affiliate in 2015, as a great opportunity for non-student athletes, especially for those with a desire to compete.
An international relations and economics double major, Durand was a member of Kappa Sigma, and played club soccer and hockey while at HWS. Additionally, he was honored as a Druid and was a recipient of the Charles Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend.
“CrossFit will always be part of what I do, whether it will be recreational or competitive is still unclear. The CrossFit Games is really a celebration of fitness; it represents what is possible,” says Durand. “At the end of the day, what’s important is our health.”