Bruce Edwards

2010 CrossFit Games Finals

Fight Gone Reykjavik

Original CrossFitter Bruce Edwards joins the inaugural WOD at CrossFit Reyjavik

I had the great pleasure of attending the grand opening of CrossFit Reykjavik’s new facility on July 4. For those of you who have no idea where Reykjavik is, the city is the capital of Iceland. Yes, Iceland – also home to the volcano Eyjafyallajokull, which screwed up most of Europe’s air travel for weeks this spring.

For those of you that have never been to Iceland, it's an amazing place and, contrary to its name, Iceland is very green and lush. For a quick look at what Iceland is like, go to InspiredbyIceland.com to see for yourself. But by far the best part of Iceland is the people. They are super friendly, speak better English than I do, and are part of a fun-loving culture. The other bonus is that it stays light in most parts of Iceland 24 hours a day in the summer!

The Icelandic CrossFit culture is growing super-fast with five affiliates, and they ran their first Level 1 Cert here a month ago.  
 
I stopped by CrossFit Reyjavik a few days before the event and got to meet Annie Mist Thorisdottir, one of the members of the very talented Icelandic contingent bound for the 2010 CrossFit Games, and Evert Viglundsson, one of the owners. Few CrossFitters don’t remember Annie’s outstanding performance at the 2009 Games, and Evert is a top athlete himself, earning a third in the Iceland Sectional  this spring. He also has to be one of the nicest guys I have met, and he’s a great trainer.

Evert carved a niche out at a very popular Globo Gym here and started a great affiliate. Hrönn, his partner, started another garage affiliate in Reykjavik, and as their businesses grew, they decided to join forces into one facility. Evert and Hrönn are joined by Ívar, and by Evert’s significant other, Rúrý. Ívar is a Logreglan, or Reykjavik police officer, by day, and Rúrý was helping out with CrossFit Reykjavik and happened to be my tough judge for the grand-opening WOD: Fight Gone Bad! Check them out here.

The facility is beautiful. It's a split-level building with a beautiful lobby complete with an HD big screen (ready to stream footage of the Icelanders who qualified for the CrossFit Games at the Europe Regional), couches, and of course the required Icelandic latte machine. The facility has two large locker rooms with showers on either side. When you descend to the second level, the size is impressive - I would guess in the 5-6,000-square-foot range. It has great light and plenty of room, as well as a nice roll-up door on the side for those "meter" runs. To put it in perspective, commercial real-estate prices in Reykjavik rival those of any expensive U.S. city, and the magnitude of CrossFit Reyjavik is amazing. It truly shows how strong Icelandic CrossFit culture has become.

To celebrate their new gym on July 4, the CrossFit Reykjavik crew threw a Fight Gone Bad party. Rather than watching Independence Day fireworks in California, I got to see stars in Iceland as I suffered my way through FGB with about 60 Icelanders. There were about 200 more people just coming to check out the new facility, watch the event and support the participants. Besides meeting some great fellow CrossFitters, the highlight for me was listening to Evert tell the whole group how UFC fighter B.J. Penn named the famous workout. That somewhat offset the pain Rúrý inflicted on me by not counting my wall-ball shots that fell short of the line. C'mon! I’m supposed to be on vacation!

After the workout, everyone was treated to a great feast, CrossFit-style, with a selection of fresh Zone foods. The final treat was laughing with everyone as they discovered the opaque windows that divide the men’s locker room from the main gym weren't as quite as opaque as they thought. I think it's great motivation for all of us to get in better shape!

The Europe Regional qualifier for the 2010 Crossfit Games produced six athletes, with three from Iceland. Two of those athletes, Thorisdottir and Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson, will compete in L.A. That shows how strong CrossFit is in Iceland already, and I’m sure there is lots more growth to come. But even if you aren't a Games athlete - like me - the great team at CrossFit Reyjavik make it a must-visit affiliate on your CrossFit Affiliate bucket list. If you ever get a chance to visit Iceland, you simply have to check it out!   

About the author: Bruce Edwards was lucky to have been one of the original CrossFit crew in Greg Glassman’s first gym in Santa Cruz, Calif. He currently works out with the 6 a.m. gang at CrossFit Santa Cruz Central, or at whatever facility he can find when traveling. Besides all the great people he has met through CrossFit, Bruce thinks he will probably live longer as CrossFit was the solution that got his blood levels in line at 48 years old. Thanks Greg!

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2 comments on this entry

1. Evert Víglundsson wrote...

Thanks Bruce for a great article and all the kind words. See you at the Games :)

2. Ivar Isak wrote...

Thanks Bruce for the article. Go CrossFit.

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