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Athletes from several countries across the globe make up the cast of “The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest On Earth”. Tia-Clair Toomey, Kara Webb, Katrin Davidsdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir, and England’s very own Samantha Briggs are some of the high profile women in the film. Mat Fraser, Patrick Vellner, Brent Fikowski and Ricky Garard are some of the Alpha-male muscle featured. A small number of Crossfit staff, such as Crossfit Games Director Dave Castro, also make valuable contributions.
The 2017 Reebok Crossfit Games (held in Madison, Wisconsin, USA) is the focus of this film. The competitors have their strength, speed, endurance and mental fortitude tested during four days of gruelling events as they compete for the extreme accolade of Fittest Woman/Man on Earth.
The first few minutes of a film are the most important ones which will make you decide whether you’ll want to watch it. The sight of barbells, kettlebells and muscular physiques quickly commanded my attention, I even felt the sudden urge to pick up a barbell and begin to train! Do you sometimes get that urge when you see an inspiring physique?
Anyway, it’s not long into the film that you get a picture of who the top girls and guys are in the competition. A confident Mat Fraser instantly stands out amongst the men, and he’s so good that Crossfit Media Director Sevan Matossian says “He should have to do a marathon before the games start to level the playing field.” Tia-Clair Toomey, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Kara Webb are the women who seem most driven on winning the Games. Watching them perform, you quickly become aware that these people are skilled all-rounders.
These ultra-fit athletes are pushed to the point of near exhaustion throughout the 13 events with the challenges being creative and entertaining for fans to watch. The opening event (run 1.5 miles, swim 500 metres, run 1.5 miles) gives you a taste of how tough the following events will be. Being a big fan of all manner of strength stuff, I enjoyed watching the “Strongman’s Fear” event which involves strongman classics like Farmer’s Walks and Yoke Carries. Some great thumping music accompanies these events to add to the excitement.
Wherever strength and muscle is involved, it’s inevitable that the dark presence of steroids will become a topic of conversation at some point. It’s reassuring to see that Crossfit clearly takes its anti-drug stance policy seriously. When Australian, Ricky Garard tests positive for performance enhancing drugs, he pays a hefty price and receives a four-year ban from any Crossfit-sanctioned event. Dave Castro states “If someone’s cheating and we catch them, we’re going to let the world know.”
The film maintains a good pace and remains action-packed for its entire two hour duration. The final event in the women’s class is nail biting as Kara Webb and Tia-Clair Toomey go head- to-head in an attempt to win the prestigious, hard-fought title. We won’t reveal the winner, just watch it to find out!
The emotions, the atmosphere and the good spirit of the contenders are well-captured in “The Redeemed and the Dominant”. What amazed me about this film was the sheer scale of it all, the huge number of audience fans and the colossal amount of effort that goes into organising this grand event is truly admirable.
There’s an excellent balance of attention given both the female and male athletes. Tia-Clair Toomey, in my opinion, is the star of the show. Her humble nature and ambitious attitude make her an ideal ambassador for the sport and a pleasure to watch.
Crossfit has had its fair share of criticism over the years but this film shows us that its athletes are just as talented, committed and goal-oriented as athletes from any other sport. If you like sports, athletics with muscle and athletes being pushed to their very limits, you’ll love this – highly recommended.
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