Patrick Vellner is the winner of Canada East for the Opens 2016. He will be participating As an individual for Regionals this year. He only participated once before in 2015 in a team. This kid from Alberta started CrossFit in 2013 when he moved to Quebec. He is our Honorary Quebec Crossfitter
‘’ I am physicically fit and prepared as I have ever been ... After such a strong showing in the open this year I have a lot more eyes on me than ever before and I defiantly feel the pressure on myself to perform at the regional stage’’
Pat was the underdog, and we are very excited to see how well he’ll do next to the big guys of the East region such as Paul Tremblay, Daniel Tyminski and the one and only Mathew Fraser.
The path to greatness is harsh and it takes a lot of physical and mental preparation participating in such an event. For Vellner, preparation is that much more difficult since he needs to fit in his studies at the same time. His preparation before the regional events is mostly writing a lot of exams. In fact, the school year coming to an end, he has 7 exams in 2 weeks... the last being the day before the first day of competition!
‘’ Scheduling is one of my biggest obstacles. Between trying to train as much as possible, trying to keep up with my studies and trying to still be able to have a social life (something we all actually need to do) ... It’s a lot of balls to keep in the air at once ‘’
A lot of people find that Pat looks like a combination of Ed Sheeran and Ron Weaseley. Which is fine with him since one is super talented and the other gets the pretty girl at the end! You won’t miss him during the competition as he is a real ginger and the palest competitor. From his gymnastic days, he can still pull off some cool stunts such as back flip and doing the split.
‘’One thing that I still do that I think is remnant of my gymnastics days, is that I really need to have both sides of my body feel the same before I do things... For example, if I were to scratch one side, I would do the other to feel balanced and symmetrical’’
He says that he also counts a lot when doing things such as walking up the stairs or doing the dishes. I think that a lot of crossfitter do that since we are used to count our reps. Some like to end up on even numbers while others definitely try to avoid 21... 15... or 9... !
Going in to Regionals, any athlete wishes to be in the top 5 and reach the CrossFit Games since it is the biggest and most rewarding competition in the sport. It’s no different for Vellner. Do whatever he can to reach and remain in this top 5 is the ultimate goal. No one knows how many more years they will be able to keep up that level of training (combine with school for Vellner). Even in a big region such as East, ... ‘’ It comes down to execution’’
If Vellner remains consistent throughout the workouts and doesn’t cap out in any of them, the odds will be on his side.
As your coach Simon Belzile will say: ‘’Come on you Wimp!’’
Article by Kate Wana
Photograph: Patrick Labelle