Andrea Lopez (out of competition due to filming)

Central/South America Regional

Athletes to Watch: Central & South American Regional

A region of dark horses.

While the Central & South American Regional may not be the biggest event this year, or include the most well-known of CrossFit athletes, it does play host to a couple of veterans as well as a number of new entrants seeking their shot at a trip to the big show, the 2010 CrossFit Games.  With Nike and Gatorade sponsoring this year's Regional competition, hosted by CrossFit Bogota, CrossFit is sure to see the ranks of competitors hailing from Latin America to rise.

On Saturday, individuals (several athlete profiles are listed at www.losjuegoscrossfit.com) will face three challenging events that will test across all 10 domains of fitness. And the unknown workout for Sunday promises to try and push athletes to their breaking point. Whoever emerges from the Central & South American Qualifier will have earned their place at the 2010 CrossFit Games.

Male Athletes to Watch

Doug Oberbeck CrossFit Bogota - A newcomer to the CrossFit Games, Doug is a recent addition to the legion at CrossFit Bogota, having trained previously at CrossFit United. He has been active in sports all his life including the high school and collegiate levels. Doug will need to demonstrate his ability to move some heavy loads with efficiency on Day 1 to remain in contention going into Day 2

Juan Pablo Raba CrossFit Bogota - Juan may be best known for his on-screen performances (wikipedia/imdb) as one of Latin America's premier actors, but now he hopes to seek fame on the athletic stage. He is making Central & South American Regional debut after recovering from a shoulder injury, which will put him in the hole from the get-go. But he has the will and determination to emerge as a contender as Day 1 draws to a close.

Geoff Tudisco CrossFit Bogota - A veteran of the 2009 CrossFit Games, Geoff made a respectable showing in spite of the fact that at the time his affiliate, CrossFit Bogota, trained in a public park with pull-up bars, and only had few dumbbells, jump ropes and two plyoboxes with which to train. Now with a full arsenal of equipment and solid numbers across the board, this year he is expected to be a contender going into Day 2.

Joel Friedman CrossFit Brasil - This is Joel's first appearance in a CrossFit Games competition, but he comes into it with formidable experience. He has an olympic lifting background, and was a trainer at CrossFit Vancouver from 2008-09. He successfully completed torturous workouts like the Widow Maker while at CrossFit Vancouver before moving back to Sao Paolo to open CrossFit Brasil. With two of three events boasting moderately heavy to heavy loads, he should perform well in all Day 1 events, putting him in solid contention for the final event on Day 2.

Oriel "Ory" Ortega CrossFit Briga - One of two dark horses from Panama, Ory looks to be a serious contender at this year's Regionals. Boasting an MMA background, and using programming at CrossFit Briga that includes CrossFit Endurance, Ory and his brother Oyden should be well prepared for the climb from sea level to 8,600ft (2,600m). With strong numbers across the board, including some significant 1RM loads, Ory should move through Day 1 events with ease and be a leading contender going into Day 2.

Oyden Ortega CrossFit Briga - Like his older brother, this is Oyden's first year competing in a CrossFit Regional. However, calling him a newcomer is bit misguided given Oyden's performance numbers and similar MMA training background. With strong lifts, and a remarkable sub 16 minute 5K run, he is likely to emerge from Day 1 as a leading contender.

Fernando "Nando" Moreira CrossFit Guayaquil - A veteran from the 2009 Central & South American Regionals, Nando hopes to improve upon his 2009 performance and stake his claim to Regional champ. He has been training hard in the off-season, and if his training proves out with a strong performance in Event 3, Nando could be a serious contender going into Day 2. 

Gianni Chiang CrossFit Peru - Another veteran from the 2009 Central & South American Regional, Gianni has been training hard to put himself into contention for 2010. Some of the events include loads that may be on the heavy side, but Gianni is a tough competitor and could emerge as a dark horse for Day 2.

Female Athletes to Watch

The women's field is full of passionate newcomers vying for a chance to represent the Central & South American Region. Two notable newcomcers are:

Nelly Rodriguez CrossFit Guayaquil - A first-time CrossFit Games competitor, Nelly could perform well in strength-dominated events like Events 1 and 3, but her lack of experience with the Concept2 could make Event 2 a difficult one.

Johana Diago CrossFit Bogota - Also a first-time CrossFit Games competitor, Johana should fare well on Day 1, although Event 3's Muscle Ups means she must face her long-time nemesis.

Unfortunately, many of CrossFit Bogota's celebrity-athletes including Andrea Lopez (imdb), Mimi Morales (imdb), Alejandra Sandoval (wikipedia), Adriana Silva (imdb), Manuela Gonzalez (google) and Julian Roman (google) are unable to compete due to having filiming obligations significantly disrupt their training. But they will all be in attendence to cheer on their fellow CrossFitters as the two-day battle begins to determine who shall be king and queen of the mountain.

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