Festivus Games to Host First Adaptive-Only Competition in April

The Festivus Games, originally launched in 2011, targets novice and intermediate Cro ssFit athletes who want to compete. As of April 2024, adaptive athletes are being added to that list, too. 

Felicia Davis is the founder of Inclusive Performance, a (soon-to-be) nonprofit organization for adaptive athletes in Waterford, WI. Davis is an adaptive athlete herself. She has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is a genetic condition affecting the connective tissues in one’s body. 

She launched Inclusive Performance in May 2023 to expand CrossFit to other adaptive athletes with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. 

Credit: Felicia Davis

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The program is run out of CrossFit Syndicate, where she now has almost 40 adaptive athletes participating in free classes. Davis wanted to go even further for her athletes and hold a competition, but she didn’t know where to begin, so she reached out to Maggie Ludwig, owner of Festivus Games. 

“I sent [Maggie] a message and said, ‘Hey, how do you run a competition?’ I’ve never done this before, and she’s like, ‘I have an idea,’” Davis tells the Morning Chalk Up in an interview. 

“She offered an opportunity to run the first-ever adaptive Festivus Games in the world, and we’re hoping if this goes well, we can get more athletes involved. I mean, it would be really cool to expand across the U.S., but right now, it all starts with this little competition.”

Davis explains that they have 16 athletes so far across upper extremity, lower extremity, seated, intellectual, and neurodiverse divisions.

Inclusive Performance is a completely free program, and Davis hopes “the more athletes we get for the Festivus competition, [the more] we’re able to raise funds for our free program and really expand it.” 

The goal of the Festivus Games is to provide a competitive space for everyday athletes without having to scale events. Davis says the same goes for adaptive athletes. 

“Everyday athletes exist in the adaptive world as well,” she adds. While this first event is in Wisconsin, her hope is to expand the event to other areas to make it as accessible as the Festivus Games, but specifically for adaptive athletes.

The details: The adaptive-only event takes place on Saturday, April 13, at the home of the Festivus Games in Waukesha, WI. 

The last day to register is Saturday, April 6.

All first-place podium winners receive a free 2POOD belt, and all podium finishers receive 30 percent off from LSKD. 

In addition, Truly Giving Apparel will be there selling merchandise and donating a portion of its proceeds to Inclusive Performance. 

Sign up here for the event. 

Davis says some athletes she’s worked with before have been turned away at other facilities that don’t know how to work with adaptive athletes. A goal of the competition, if it’s successful, is to show “that it’s incredibly easy to adapt to these athletes with little modification and with the equipment that CrossFit gyms already have,” she says. 

“This is an extremely important competition for the future of adaptive Festivus Games. I’m praying people come out for this one and really show up because it’s going to make a big difference.” 

The bottom line: The first Festivus Games adaptive-only competition could be a huge move for the everyday adaptive athletes of CrossFit who want to compete. It could also help expand the education around modifying for those with a disability.

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Featured image: Felicia Davis

The post Festivus Games to Host First Adaptive-Only Competition in April appeared first on BarBend.


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