2014 – a year in review at CrossFit Basel

Happy New Year to all of you!

Last Tuesday we ended 2014 with the traditional Sylvester WOD and today we look back at what happenings accompanied us during this exciting year. Read on for a review of a turbulent and successful year plus a personal recap from Head Coach and owner of CrossFit Basel, Ramon Gysin.

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We planned a set of athletic goals at the beginning of this year and we are happy to say that we absolved amazing performances throughout the whole year. First of all, CrossFit Basel hosted a bunch of events at the box which ended up being very successful and proved that our team and community delivers tons of fun and strong results!!

Dmitry Klokov visited our box for a weightlifting seminar in April 2014 and provided a great and enriching coaching from which everyone who visited could profit a lot.

In April and  June the first and second FSA Strongman Contest was held at CrossFit Basel. Additional to that, 4 of our athletes took the final contest at Burgdorf where our Head Coach Ramon Gysin won 1st place – means he is the strongest man in Switzerland the third time in a row.

We hosted the Swiss Team CHallenge in June. 184 teams in affiliates all over Switzerland entered this contest from which 45 teams were from CrossFit Basel. This competition is the biggest CrossFit Event so far in D/A/CH.

We started off winter season with the 3rd round of the ‚Are You Tough Enough?‘ Challenge, which was another big success. With some of the best CrossFit athletes from Italy, Mallorca, Germany and Switzerland, this event showcased ace performances and kept the audience entertained and in awe.

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Another clear demonstration that hard work pays off was shown by our athletes who absolved several competitions this year with epic results. CrossFit Basel sends out athletes to 4 different sportive areas: CrossFit, Olympic Lifting, Powerlifting and Strongman.

With an integrated association, the ‚Gewichtheberverein beider Basel‘, we compete at the Olympic Lifting Ligacompetitions in Switzerland. Aside from that, we are part of the national squad for Olympic Lifting. This year, our athletes broke several Swiss records and we currently hold 18 Swiss records overall. Our youngest athlete Nora Jäggi won 1st place at the Swiss Championship – being now the strongest lady in categories Juniors and Ladies Elite.

International competitions were absolved in teams. A group of our best athletes travelled to Copenhagen in June to perform at the biggest European Team Challenge, the CrossFit Regional Games as a team. They ranked 15 out of 30 teams.

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The last CrossFit Team Challenge for 2014 took place in Bath, England where our athletes entered the next biggest CrossFit European International Team Challenge – the Strength in Depth Competition. With an overall amount of points of 251, the team placed a fantastic 4th rank.

All our events and competitions are documented here on the blog and you can find a load of photo albums on our Flickr account here! 

Head Coach Ramon Gysin absolved all 4 International Powerlifting competitions this year. The highlight was the new Squat World Record (271kg). At the Powerlifting World Championship in Chisinau, Moldowa coach and athlete Nora Jäggi ended the season with an exceptional performance with 3 new world records and placed 1st.  Ramon himself experienced a great challenge with his competitors and at the end took 2nd place.

Other sportive areas CrossFit Basel covered this year:

– Sponsor of former coach and athlete Chris Navarro’s Swiss Bobsleigh Team

– Support of Radovan Simic who is a successful international athlete at Karateclub Basel

– Training host for Judo athletes of the ‚Regionales Leistungszentrum beider Basel‘

– Hosting trainings/classes at University Basel (University of Basel CrossFit)

Taking part at the fund raising campaign ‚Jeder Rappen zählt‘ by SRF and Glückskette together with Kraftsportclub Solothurn.

Of course, our main focus lays on training. We aim to improve our schedule further and are keen to offer the best possible variety of classes for our members. We had a major increase of numbers of classes this year – our schedule went from 49 classes at the beginning of 2014 up to 75 classes as of now. Besides our ‚All Levels‘, ‚Beginners‘ and ‚WOD‘ CrossFit Classes we offer Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting classes and added 2 more Gymnastics classes (4 in total), created Advanced CrossFit classes – as one level below Competition Class – and recently held an 8 times mobility session with our Physio Lynn.

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More classes means we need more space – and here we have our Skillbox. Only about 400m away from the main box, where mostly Olympic Lifting, Powerlifting and Gymnastics take place. But that’s not the only additional box – our biggest project for 2015 is in the works: CrossFit Basel Downtown. Close to Heuwaage, at Byfangweg, a new affiliate of CrossFit Basel opens on February 1st 2015!

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Not only our space grows more and more, so does the team. Several of our coaches work in the box by teaching our athletes besides their studies (Jessica Preiss, Alessia Wälchli, Lukas Büel, Pascale Herrmann). Tanja Rüegg took over our accounts department and is responsible for all things membership and payments. Rooven Brucker is – aside from working as a coach – managing our new shop (read more below) and is responsible for its assortment. Plus Lucie Pfaendler became in charge over all things Social Media and PR – Facebook, Blog and documentations of our events and competitions.

Head Coach Ramon Gysin became part of CrossFit Level 1 Staff plus he represents and programs for Jami Tikkanen’s The Training Plan (read more on that below). Tom Schwander, Staff Coach and President of ‚Gewichtheberverein beider Basel‘ is part of Rob Orlando’s Seminarstaff in Europe and provides support at Rob’s Strongman seminars all over Europe.

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Last but not least, 2014 was our year of rebranding!! After 5 years, we launched our new logo plus website. This was worthily celebrated at the Swiss Team CHallenge Party back in June! Aside from that, we entered a cooperation with Reebok, which gives us the possibility to sell Reebok CrossFit collections at the shop in our box. Speaking of the shop – another area of CrossFit Basel that grew! A few days ago we announced the entire assortment of our products – now feel free to take a peek in our collection of nutrition supplements, clothes, shoes and other CrossFit accessories.

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In the background of all these achievements stands an amazing team with their boss and owner of CrossFit Basel, Ramon Gysin:

‚2014 was our 5 years anniversary for which I had quite a few projects in the pipeline I wanted to put into practice.

  • I wanted to strengthen our focus in direction Mobility and Fitness, so it would motivate all kinds of fitness levels to start and profit from CrossFit. Together with our Physio Lynn we managed to professionalise this area and teach our members how to practise a holistic training approach.
  • Since I started with CrossFit and turned it into my profession, I worked with a concept which is successful – therefore I always wanted to forge an even bigger place for it to develop and grow. After lengthy search I finally found a location to expand my business and we signed the rental agreement for our second box – CrossFit Basel DownTown which we are extremely looking forward to open up.
  • Our new website / homepage: this relaunch plus the rebranding finally made us leaving the Start Up State and we climbed up to the next level.

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As for my personal highlights I comitted to be part of CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff together with only a few selected trainers in the german speaking area. Additional to that I am part of Jami Tikkanen’s The Training Plan since July 2014, where I took over programming strength for some of the best athletes in Europe like Frederik Aegidius and Annie Thorisdottir.

My athletic achievements were definitely a consistently strong competition season after the recovery of my injured wrist joint. I was very happy with my comeback in the Olympic Lifting plus I battled a suspense-packed Powerlifting World Championship in Chisinau (Moldowa) with great lifters on a high competition level.

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In general I must say that my main satisfaction lays in the fact that I work with and lead a concept, which I followed throughout all these years. I am convinced by this method and measured by results and feedbacks from our members I can say that it works and pays off. It is my job which I accomplish with passion and joy and I figure that our athletes profit from my concept. I am astonished everytime anew by the progress and performances I see. (Read my interview with Tageswoche from May 2014 here)

All this wouldn’t be possible without the very much appreciated feedback from the community / our members. We try to provide the best training and service we can and therefore are always thankful for your inputs.

A big thank you goes out to my team and all the external helpers who show daily effort, encouragement and initiative to put my goals into practise and to support me by realising my visions. It is by no means a matter of course to have a back up like this – THANK YOU. ‚

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2015 will be another big year for CrossFit Basel and we are eager to conquer more and bigger things! As mentioned, we start off by opening up our second affiliate downtown Basel plus in the same month we will be competing at the Reebok CrossFit Games Open. By planning to be part of the CrossFIt Regional Games once again and hosting the SIXTH Swiss Team CHallenge and the fourth ‚Are You Tough Enough?‘ Challenge, we will keep on growing stronger in representing CrossFit Basel at CrossFit competitions. We aim to maintain and improve our athletic performance and will take it to an even more professional level. Not only the competition area but of course everything which happens inside our box, on the website, classes and infrastructure we are ambitious to improve and adapt continuously for our community.

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Stay tuned for all the happenings and shenanigans we tackle this year on our Facebook page plus here on the blog!