COVID Causing Increased Costs For International Games Athletes Head To Madison


Photo credit: Ellie Turner (

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Australian athlete Ellie Turner will make her first Games appearance this year in Madison, WI. Qualify via a third place in Torian Pro, she was thrilled to be at the CrossFit Games.

  • “Gparticipating in the Games is an absolute dream come true and I’ve dedicated my whole life to it, ”Turner said.

But his dream comes at a price of almost $ 20,000.

  • $ 800 to compete (Open, Quarter-finals, Semi-finals, Games).
  • $ 10,000 for flights, travel insurance and hotel stay during a stopover.
  • $ 6,200 for the weeks of meals and accommodation preceding and during the Games.
    • International athletes usually arrive a few weeks earlier to acclimatize to the weather and time zone.
  • $ 3,000 quarantined for two weeks upon his return to Australia.

Grand total: $ 20,000

(Editor’s note: This is an estimate and varies for each athlete.)

Why is this important: Travel was one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, and airlines still face the fallout after putting thousands of employees on leave. In order to compensate for limited flights as the airline industry tries to return, prices have skyrocketed, mainly for those traveling to and from overseas.

  • “Due to COVID, there are not a lot of thefts, and the departing flights are not full, so they have to raise the prices to make the plane worth it, ”Turner said.
  • In a normal year, Turner said the thefts could range from $ 2,500 to $ 3,000.
  • “You have just experienced this huge qualifying peak for the Games, but then you do all the logistics and you fall apart pretty quickly. But that’s also why I trained and my absolute dream of going to the Games, so I would do anything and pay anything to go. It would be nice if I didn’t have to pay my entire year of salary to make it happen, ”Turner said.

Australian Games veteran Kara Saunders has a similar travel bill. Saunders said in an Instagram post: “Who pays for the extra family members to come? My trip is already over 20k for me alone. Imagine paying over $ 40,000 to travel with an audience member, with a semi-final prize of $ 5,000 BRB (come back right now), I’m just going to sell my house to attend the Games.

GEDfit, Turner’s CrossFit gym, wanted to help him pay for his expenses for the Games. They held an internal competition and raised over $ 15,000.

The bottom line: While it costs many international CrossFit athletes a hefty bill to compete, most are willing to do whatever it takes to have a chance to step onto the big CrossFit Games scene.

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