The Ever-Evolving Adaptive Division
Adapt and overcome isn’t just a phrase, it is a way of life.
In 2015, WZA introduced the adaptive division to its competition format for the first time. This inclusion provided adaptive individuals with the opportunity to test their fitness on a worldwide stage. The addition was a total success as the community jumped on board and fully embraced each athlete on the competition floor.
But there was still more room to grow. Adaptive athletes wanted a more leveled competition, as their fellow competitors had. They wanted competition categories that tested their skills more specifically. Hence, WZA organizers listened and broke the division down even further into “standing adaptive” and “seating adaptive” in 2016. They also sought the expert advice of adaptive athletes Steph “Hammer” Hammerman, Kevin Ogar and the Wheel WOD to program specific events that would truly challenge all their abilities. The number of adaptive competitors doubled from the first year and yielded an evolving adaptive division as had never before been seen in the fitness community. But there was more to come.
This year, WZA organizers continued improving the division, providing a total of four categories: The RX and Scaled seated division and the RX and Scaled standing division. Once again, the response was overwhelmingly positive, with athletes from all over the country applying to compete.
“This is the most legitimate test of fitness there has been for adaptive athletes anywhere,” said Casey Acree, a first-year WZA adaptive athlete from Central Illinois and first-place winner of the RX Standing adaptive division. “I think it was a good set-up to further divide our division. It made the competition leveled and much better.”
And it will only get better, as adaptive athletes continue to shatter limitations and defy expectations.