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Meet Brigham Nielsen of The Iron Games

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brigham Nielsen.  

Hi Brigham, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
The Iron Games is a unique fitness festival event under the bigger organization The Utah Summer Games, a non-profit event organization dedicated to bringing tourism to Cedar City. Starting on 2019, The Iron Games was a way to combine a great “BBQ” environment with the most elite venues one could offer at Southern Utah University and the outdoors of Cedar City.

We knew we could provide an elite-level experience for the aspiring games Athlete and for the 35 yr. old mother of 4 to have the same experience and be treated the same in that of the care we take to mold the experience for that person. 

Our first year started with 110 athletes doing 10 events in 2 days. Events in an Olympic Swimming Pool, College Football Stadium, closed Main Street Olympic Lifting Event and a 5k through the Southern Utah University Campus all were home runs mainly because of the volunteers and keeping everything on time and equipment loading. 

In 2022 we are near 300 athletes that over 3 days will complete 6-7 tests. Having also done trail runs through the mountains, an open water swims and runs, we are excited this year to be in one location at our Ranch, The Diamond Z Arena in Cedar City, UT. 

We are humbled for all the great things that people have enjoyed of our event. We understand that the gyms and the coaches are the ones putting in work with athletes every day. We want them to have their community “CrossFit Games Party” for their gym right here every year. We hope that for years to come these gyms will bring their communities to strengthen and to spread the happiness that is living this life. 

We want to thank the staff and volunteers who willing spend so much time to increase the experience for us with the many skills they have. Some will even spend their anniversary here because they love it so much! 

Especially local sponsors, Alex Meisner Construction, Landon Eldridge with Wah Weap Insurance, Bvan COx and Retro Fitness, and the ERA Realty Team. There are many more that could be mentioned. This truly is a community effort with Iron County, Cedar City Leisure Services and Southern Utah University. They provide countless resources to bring this experience to the Southwest Fitness Community!

Thank you to our friends and team at @bishopbarbell who is sponsoring all of the equipment for the second year in a row! We have been able to add so much so fast! I can’t believe we will be able to have events with a Bike Erg @concept2 in just year 4. Some didn’t get that until year 8. 

Thank you to our friends and team at Train to Rise Up @ttrufitness doing all the event programming for 2022 lead by Adrian Conway @adrianconway 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Covid was hard for everyone, we were lucky to be able to host the event after various vendors and equipment canceled or were unable to acquire. Even last year, there were shipping container issues which caused our floor to be less stable than we had planned. Our staff was amazing in making changes on the fly to limit the pounding impact through the weekend. Athletes were very forgiving and didn’t let it become an excuse for them. Turnover with staff, personally that is the hardest to see people come and go. Having never done this before, there are many unknowns while you try to prepare for worst-case scenarios. Although, it always seems to run so smoothly in comparison to my head. Our volunteers, staff and even the athletes are responsible for that.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We want people to know that The Iron Games is a shield for you. It’s an opportunity for you to come to the happiest event weekend of your life. And no matter how you show up that weekend. As a competitor, volunteer, or spectator that it’s a safe place to be you, to show up and try your best, and be celebrated for your efforts. To be appreciated for what you bring to the environment and culture. 

Choose Kindness, Self-Awareness, healthy competition, optimism, and curiosity to be our best selves! 

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
I believe the biggest shift will be tickets for events becoming NFTs and community wanting the opportunity to be involved in the building process. 

I am trying to learn as much as I can to be ready as these changes to adapt. 

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