Sunday, March 21, 2010


I was recently alerted to an unfortunate slogan used by members of a gym in Hollywood: "Fitarded." They print it on t-shirts and wear them proudly at competitions. Here's how they define the word on their web site:

1. So extremely fit that even trying to comprehend some of the feats of athleticism will make you feel retarded.
2. So athletically fit that other athletes look slow and/or challenged in comparison.
1.Fortunate for nobody ninjas are so fitarded that even gymnasts can’t even flip out as hard as them.
2. That guy is really fitarded. He can pretty much do anything.

So eloquently stated.

I received this alert from a person who was competing at an event with people who were wearing this shirt. His email to me was so well written, I'm going to reprint part of it here so you can see exactly how it made him feel. I can't say it any better myself:

My wife was very upset when she saw the group of people wearing the shirts that said "fitarded." I tried to explain to her that they probably did not mean any harm, nor were they intending to belittle individuals with disabilities. As the day went by, I could not help but glance over to this group of people and see if this "title" that they labeled themselves with had any meaning to them. Sure enough I witnessed a young man acting as if he had a disability and stating that he was "fitarded."

I am sure the young man did not even realize that only two tents down from his was a young little girl with down syndrome that happens to be my daughter. Myself along with the other members of my CrossFit gym have embraced my daughter as family and were saddened by this display of immaturity and lack of respect for people with down syndrome and special needs.

The young man, along with CrossFit Hollywood, have made a complete mockery of people with special needs and have disgraced the CrossFit community by their lack of judgment. Until now, I felt as if the CrossFit community was a group of people that held themselves to higher standards always striving to be the best, while looking out for the best interests of every individual, regardless of race, creed, fitness level, disabilities, inabilities, etc. I never thought that something of this nature would come out of, what I believe, is an elite group of people.

I know that there are people with down syndrome and other special needs that use CrossFit as their day excercise regiment, and I do not want CrossFit's reputation of excellence in fitness and athletics to be destroyed because of one gym's ignorance.

I hope that the Oz Squad will handle this accordingly.

I think Oz Squad can tackle this one by leaving some comments. Click here to visit the gym's blog and see their definition of "fitarded." Notice the "comments" section waiting at the bottom with open arms.

Crossfit Hollywood is a franchise of CrossFit Inc. They are based in Washington, D.C., and may have no idea what this particular affiliate is doing. So we can alert the parent company as well. Here's their contact information:

CrossFit Inc
1250 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036


Friday, March 12, 2010

Twisted “More Alike” Posters

Many of you have already been informed that the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) has temporarily removed the poster gallery for their More Alike Than Different campaign due to malicious activity. This campaign allowed parents to upload pictures of their children and make their own personally meaningful More Alike Than Different poster.

NDSC decided to remove the gallery when they became aware that people were downloading the posters, modifying them (changing the headlines, text, graphics), and reposting them in online forums. The resulting images are hurtful and hateful. We see this as a violation unlike others we have posted on OS. This group of people is using images of our own children to poke fun at people with Ds, and to demean them.

We have been in contact with NDSC and know that they are researching legal avenues, in addition to other avenues, to rectify this. The hope is that the forum will remove the images.

In the meantime, we can visit the online forum and send emails to the forum administrator asking the content be removed. Be aware that this particular online forum requires users to register (and pay $9.95) before they can post comments. That means that without paying to combat this, our best avenue to make an impact is by emailing the forum administrators: