Staten Island’s Barbells for Burns: CrossFit event to honor 9/11 firefighter hero Jeff Giordano

By Kathryn Carse Staten Island Advance

Victoria Giordano (Photo courtesy of Billy Kearny)

Victoria Giordano (Photo courtesy of Billy Kearny)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — When Victoria Giordano was little, she would sometimes get up early in the morning to ride her bike “for miles and miles” next to her dad Jeff who was always training for a marathon.

It is one of the memories she cherishes of her firefighter dad, Jeff Giordano, who perished in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. She was only 10.On Saturday, June 14, the 24-year-old Tottenville resident is honoring her dad with “Barbells for Burns,” a “hero workout” at Outerbridge Crossfit, which will also include a barbecue and festivities for kids and the whole family.

The barbells are part of the Crossfit workout, a unique fitness regime that includes weightlifting, gymnastics and track and field. “Burns” is a reference to the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation, one of Jeff Giordano’s passions.

Stationed at Ladder 3 in the East Village, Giordano was a dedicated volunteer at the burn center at NY Presbyterian Cornell Weill Hospital. The Tottenville resident was also a familiar figure on Hylan Boulevard where he racked up many of the nearly 50,000 miles he logged in training.

In 2002, his family came up with the best way to honor him by creating Jeff’s Run, a 5K race to raise funds for the burn center. With $100,000 raised, the tribute resulted in the establishment of the Firefighter Jeff Giordano Children’s Playroom at the hospital.

Last year, his wife Marie Giordano, with both pride and sadness, closed out the road race event and her daughter Victoria took the baton to continue the tradition.

“I wanted to continue to contribute to the burn center and I wanted it to be around Father’s Day, to honor him the way he should be,” said Ms. Giordano.

A fitness event that was a lot of fun was what she wanted and she found what she was looking for when she joined Outerbridge CrossFit. She got hooked on the high-intensity, original workout and the tight-knit community that responded to her story by planning the June 14 event.

Along with her coach and fellow athletes at the Tottenville gym, Victoria developed the “Jeff Hero” workout in memory of her dad. Firefighters and athletes from the five boroughs and the surrounding area are expected to compete in the grueling workout.
“It’s cool to be honoring Victoria’s father and give people a chance to showcase their skills,” said John Carstensen, co-owner of Outerbridge Crossfit.

The competition is open to those who have participated in CrossFit for a significant amount of time. However the event is open to family, friends and curious spectators.

Firefighters from Giordano’s firehouse will be working the barbecue grills and a bouncy castle and other activities will keep the kids busy.

In addition to the feats of the athletes on display, there will be plenty of information about CrossFit with vendors from around the area.

— The competition will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the barbecue to follow at Outerbridge Crossfit, 101 Ellis Street, Tottenville. The cost for competitors is $30 and includes T-shirt, food and drink. For non-competitors, the cost is $10 and includes food and drink. To participate e-mail

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