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Local Madison gym welcomes CrossFit athletes before games

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games are taking place August 3-7 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, where some of the best athletes in the world will compete for the title of Fittest On Earth.

In preparation for the games, many athletes travel to Madison more than a week in advance to acclimate to the weather, time zone and get into a routine. Part of this routine is finding a local gym to continue their workout.

The Saturday before the matches, Twisted fitness room was inundated with CrossFit athletes, all gearing up to compete on CrossFit’s biggest stage.

Sonya and Mark Plavcan own Twisted Fitness and said they posted on social media last year inviting athletes to come to their gym, but didn’t expect the turnout they would get.

“I remember last year, on Saturday, the doors opened and all these people came in that I started to recognize and I was like it was going well,” Mark said. “And two hours later, the gymnasium is crazy.”

The Plavcans opened Twisted Fitness in 2019, and just four months later the COVID-19 pandemic would force them to close. Since reopening, customers can not only train in their CrossFit area, but compete in weightlifting, strongman club, Jiu-Jitsu, Olympic weightlifting, and Muay Thai.

Specifically for the CrossFit games, Mark said they open their gym to athletes and offer massage and physiotherapy.

“It’s their time, you know, and so for us to be able to support that in any way and we don’t need credit for that,” Mark said. “We don’t need anything, it’s just that you want to see these people achieve their purpose in life and be able to help with that, that’s great.”

One of the athletes training at Twisted Fitness ahead of the games was last year’s runner-up Patrick Vellner.

Vellner said what’s special about Games Week is the chance to see other athletes you don’t see for most of the year.

“Everyone comes together and as competitive as it is, it’s really fun for everyone to be able to come and show off the hard work you put in for 12 months out of the year,” Vellner said.

This is Vellner’s eighth time at the games and he said he loves coming to Madison because of the welcome from the community.

“It makes you feel special for lack of a better word,” Vellner said. “We work very hard and it’s cool that everyone is behind it and really involved and liking us, and we appreciate that a lot.”

The Plavcans said it was surreal to think of where they came from when the gym first opened, and now to see athletes around the world enjoying their gym as much as they do.

“It’s amazing to be able to watch them,” Sonya said. “People who are at the top of their sport come to train, but it’s also very special to have them in the facility that we’ve worked so hard for.”

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