A CrossFit competition was recently held in Joplin, Missouri, in honor of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year.
The “Monster Games” competition at Missouri Southern State University drew about 600 CrossFit athletes from a total of 39 states and three countries to participate in multiple events such as running, swimming, weightlifting and even walking on their hands.
Monster Games was organized by the Joplin-based CrossFit gym Midwestern Built with the help of sponsors and over 150 volunteers.
“We spend a lot of time on it. We try to create an athlete experience that is unlike any other you can get anywhere else, so by doing that and to put all that work in and see all the people that come, so many people being able to do things that they don’t get to do every weekend together works out really well,” Director Jason Ansley told KSN News.
The competition was organized into a total of 10 events, each dedicated to a specific officer or set of officers who lost their lives on the job in 2021. Event 5 honored two local heroes, Joplin Officer Jake Reed and Corporal Benjamin Cooper, who were shot while responding to a disturbance call at a shopping center in Joplin on March 8, 2021.
Federal law enforcement officer Shaylin Laure was among the participants in the event. Laure is a World’s Fittest Military Veteran and two-time World’s Fittest Law Enforcement Officer.
“So the Monster Games has done the ‘Thin Blue Line’ theme this year, which obviously hits home with me, but then today was extra special because events nine and ten happened and they were for the two agents that were killed in Miami last year,” she told KSN News, referring to Special Agents Laura Schwartzenberger and Daniel Alfin, who were shot on February 2, 2021, while serving a search warrant as part of an investigation involving child pornography and violent crimes against children.
Laure said that remembering her fallen brothers and sisters gave her extra motivation.
“All weekend was in honor of a fallen officer or agent, which when you are digging deep into the pain cave and you’re suffering, if you’re thinking about the theme and the ‘End of Watch’ theme, it makes you push so much harder than if you don’t have that why,” she said.
A portion of the money raised by the event will go toward the nonprofit Go Ministries.