While many in the obstacle racing world look toward a future when OCR might be included as an Olympic Sport, the OCR World Championships is steadily inching toward becoming the sport’s own Olympics. I will give you 7 reasons why.
- Racers from 42 different countries are competing this year, giving it the largest and most widespread international representation in any OCR event.
- Rotating international venues. In its third year, the race moved from the U.S. to Canada and speculation has already begun as to which country(s) will win hosting rights in 2018 and 2019.
- Multiple events. The sport doesn’t have a lot of distinct race types, but the addition of the short-course format in 2016 provides a long-needed marquee event that rewards blasts of speed versus the other long, grinding championship races. The team race provides a completely different dimension and shouldn’t just be viewed as an add-on.
- Patriotism. At no other race will you see athletes who so prominently display and promote their country. This year, thanks to Charlie McElvy and LegendBorne, many athletes will proudly sport jerseys custom-designed for their country.
- The OCRWC medals are highly coveted – nearly as much as those of the gold, silver, and bronze variety worn home by Olympic victors.
- Just as the Olympics is largely considered an event that supersedes world conflict, the OCRWC is unheralded in the goodwill it extends to all athletes, the willingness to work across race company lines, and the support it provides to multiple charities. #OCRUnited
- OCR Village. Blue Mountain Resort will be overrun with athletes the world over. Whether the famed Olympic Village raucousness transfers to OCR athlete village is yet to be determined.
Despite all the similarities with the Olympics, one big glaring difference exists between OCRWC and the Olympics: the organizers. While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is constantly in the throes of controversy, Adrian Bijanada and his team have operated with utmost integrity throughout its 3 years of existence. This one reason is why the OCR World Championships has quickly become a darling of the OCR community.