This past weekend, I watched an incredible event involving some incredible athletes. UTE CrossFit from the Salt Lake City area, headed by CrossFit Games athlete Tommy Hackenbruck and partnered with Kill Cliff Recovery Drink, put together an event they called Slavestealer. The purpose of the event was to draw attention to and help further the efforts of an organization known as OUR (Operation Underground Railroad), which helps to organize missions to retrieve kids around the world who have been abducted and sold into sex-slave rings.
According to information provided on the website for this event:
Operation Underground Railroadis a nonprofit group of ex-Navy SEAL, CIA and SOF guys who rescue child sex slaves all around the world. They have rescued more children in the last six months than the U.S. government has been able to rescue in the last six years. The children they rescue are taken to safe houses for physical and emotional rehabilitation. They are educated, loved and, most important, safe.
Hackenbruck didn’t just get some friends together and do a couple of workouts or post a link on social media, He went all-out and brought in some CrossFit legends to shine a spotlight on this organization. With the help of Kill Cliff, UTE CrossFit was brimming with CrossFit Games athletes, including Rich Froning, Mat Fraser, Chris Spealler, Cole Sager, Adrian Conway, James Hobart, Sam Dancer and others. Along with the these powerhouse men were Stacie Tovar, Lindsey Valenzuela, Miranda Oldroyd, Brooke Ence Sawyers and Tiffany Hendrickson.
I’m sure I missed some names because with all the amazing fitness beasts, it was hard to keep track of this all-star lineup. The event was broadcast live for no charge, courtesy of Kill Cliff, so everyone with a computer and Internet could witness these athletes throwing down in some impressive workouts. I watched four athletes do “Amanda” (9-7-5; muscle-ups and 135-pound snatches) and every one of them smashed Spealler’s record time from the CrossFit Games, and they all did it at Salt Lake City’s altitude of 4,300-plus feet. They did a partner workout of “Kalsu” (100 thrusters at 135 pounds with five burpees every minute on the minute) — a WOD that some of the top men in the world would do in about 12 to 15 minutes — in less than six minutes for each pair. There were many more amazing workouts throughout this one-day showcase of the world’s fitness elites.
While the event was awe-inspiring to watch as a fan of CrossFit, this organization was the real star. OUR is a group that makes a huge difference. As a father, I was taken aback by some of the harrowing tales shared on the website and from interviews that Hackenbruck did with members of the jump team, the men and women who put themselves in danger around the globe to not only bring home these children but also to provide rehabilitation, housing and programs to help them reacclimate back into their families and take huge strides in getting their lives back.
I found the whole event and information about what this organization does to be heroic, inspiring and frightening. If you have a chance, please visit ourrescue.org and consider supporting this group. Special thanks to Tommy Hackenbruck and the others responsible for putting together this day and drawing attention to a very worthy cause, which needs OUR support.
Did you get to watch this event? If so, what did you think? Share on our Facebook page your thoughts or other organizations around the CrossFit community that are making a difference.
Stay on the Grind.