Former HSU linebacker, current Abilene firefighter returns to CrossFit global stage

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It's been quite the journey for Abilene's own Roy Gamboa, who arrived at Abilene Regional Airport on Monday afternoon -- greeted by friends and family after achieving yet another goal.

Gamboa, who played linebacker at Hardin-Simmons University from 2007-2010, qualified for another trip to the CrossFit World Games this August after placing second in this weekend's regional tournament.

CrossFit is one of the country's fastest-growing sports. A true test of personal fitness, CrossFit combines many functional movements together in a competitive format -- movements that involve hauling large loads or weights a long distance. The Games are a playing field where the fittest athletes are given a chance to distinguish themselves through consistently exceptional performances.

In a single competition, the CrossFit Games test athletes’ capabilities across broad time and modal domains. A wide variety of different events are intentionally included. In the past, these have ranged from dusty hill sprints to sandbag carries to ocean swims and endurance events. Future events will include even more surprises.

For Gamboa, he's no stranger to this high-level competition. In 2016, Gamboa placed 35th in the world after winning his first event at the World Games. He then was on the path to make a return trip in 2017, placing 24th in the world after the qualifying Open competition, before stepping aside to pursue a career as an Abilene Firefighter.

But this year, Gamboa return to his training, working at Train Elevate in Abilene. His regiment continues to produce success -- after finishing second in regionals. Now, its about taking that into the World Games, with a chance to better his previous results.

"Man I think it was just the mindset I went into this year, with just being efficient with the time that I had and just making sure I maximized every opportunity that I had in the gym to put on my best performance," Gamboa said upon arrival at Abilene Regional Airport.

"It's amazing, " he added. "I have the support of my wife and my family, my gym Elevate CrossFit, and the fire department -- who've all pushed me and made it worth it to come back and do this. My focus will continue to be on this as I prepare for August, and so with the time I'm given, I'm going to maximize the minutes that I train and just try and have the same mindset going into the games.

The 2018 Cross Fit World Games run August 1-5 in Madison Wisconsin.


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