The Olympia is a global event that serves as a place for fitness enthusiasts from all walks of life to gather. Going to the Olympia is about much more than bodybuilding alone. Champions are crowned, legends are celebrated, and people can be educated about many facets of fitness and sports. One such sport that is worth learning about is Grid.
“It’s one of the first, if not the first true co-ed team sports,” said Ruby George, Director of Operations for the Florida Grid League. She and her brother Mather Wiswall have been working hard to promote the sport, and they feel that strength sprots fans will really enjoy watching and participating once they see it for themselves. The sport was invented in 2014, and the sibling duo were originally team owners in a different league that lasted for three seasons. The FGL was created during that time as a marketing tool as well as a grass roots business model.
George explained, “We wanted to keep the sport going just because we knew that the sport was so amazing.”
In a Grid League event, two teams compete to finish a series of fitness challenges that include weightlifting, bodyweight movements, and other elements. There are eight teams in the FGL.
“Imagine taking components of gymnastics, CrossFit, weightlifting, and strongman, and putting it into a team sport like football,” she shared. “Each player has positions, and the team must have a strategy to win. Then, it’s packaged for television and entertainment like you would see on American Ninja Warrior.”
Once you’re aware of what you’re watching, the races are simple to follow, but they are also fast and intense. The athletes that take part in it have to be able to perform their tasks effectively and efficiently if they want to excel and win.
“Some players are really strong, but they can’t move their bodyweight necessarily,” Wiswall explained. “Vice versa, some players are really small, quick, and light, but they really can’t move much weight. You don’t have to be well rounded.”
Wiswell went on to share that the baseline for being on a team is how well one can do the task they specialize in. The vast difference in positions means that many different athletes can participate. They have seen success and growth since 2017, with a big portion of that coming since 2020 thanks to social media.
The Florida Grid League will have a big spotlight on them during the weekend of Nov. 3-4 in Orlando, FL because they will be a part of the Olympia’s World Fitness Expo at the 2023 Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend. The FGL’s championship will be decided in a series of three matchups. The South Beach Palms and the Fort Lauderdale Lions for the Southern Conference championship. In the Northern Conference, it will be the Orlando Aces versus the SWFL Sharks. The two winners of the Nov. 3 matchups will face off on Saturday, Nov. 4 for the Florida Grid League season championship.
In Wiswall’s eyes, the Olympia Weekend is a great place to crown a champion because fitness and performance are a big part of their sport.
“Everyone knows about the history and the brand. That was what sparked our initial interest. The more we talked to people about it, the more excitement and enthusiasm we got back. We see it as a great opportunity to get more eyeballs on the sport and be a part of such a great sporting event.”
For more information on Florida Grid League, go to thefgl.com and follow @flgridleague on Instagram.
If you’re going to be in Orlando to see this event and more of the over 30 events being held at the Olympia Expo, don’t waste time waiting in line. Go to www.mrolympia.com to secure Expo passes so you can spend more time watching the action and enjoying the 2023 Olympia experience.