Poulsbo CrossFit athlete heads to Games

POULSBO — Chris Exarhos will have the chance to prove just how fit he is July 23. Exarhos, an owner of Kitsap CrossFit, will compete in the Masters Division  of the CrossFit Games July 23-28. The division is for athletes age 40-44. “For us, this is our Olympics, our Super Bowl,” Exarhos, 41, said.

The Masters Division is new to the Games this year. It will be held at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Exarhos qualified for the Games by competing in the Open competition — finishing 23rd out of more than 7,000 participants — and then competing in Regionals. About 138,000 people registered for the Open in all divisions. Though competitors need to finish in the top 20 to advance to the Games, after a few people dropped out, or went to the games in teams, Exarhos’ name moved up the list.

Since qualifying, Exarhos has focused on strength training. Because competitors don’t know what challenges they will face during the Games long before they compete, he’s created a variety of workouts to prepare.

The CrossFit Games began in 2007. The event focuses on testing fitness by having athletes compete in a broad range of exercises and challenges.

The Masters competition will include six to eight workouts over three days. The winner receives $3,000. Because he’s not sure what to expect, Exarhos is running, sprinting, carrying heavy objects, and doing just about anything he can to prepare.

A former Division 1 collegiate hockey player at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Exarhos said he isn’t feeling much pressure. He’s used to playing hockey in front of 20,000 people — not all of whom are fans. He thrives in a competitive environment.

Exarhos and friends from college started Kitsap CrossFit in August 2009.

Last year, Exarhos finished 21st at the CrossFit Northwest Regional. He’s now looking to prove himself at the Games.



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