CrossFit Games 2020

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CrossFit Games 2020

The dates and location for the CrossFit Games 2020 have been announced.

This year’s battle to be crowned the Fittest on Earth will be held from Wednesday July 29th through Sunday August 2nd.

The location will be Madison, Wisconsin – as usual.

Let’s take a look at a little history from the CrossFit Games.

A CrossFit Athlete performs a clean (an Olympic lift) during an event at the CrossFit Games 2019.
A CrossFit Athlete performs a clean (an Olympic lift) during an event at the CrossFit Games 2019. (Photo is property of CrossFit, Inc.)

What Are the CrossFit Games?

In 1996, Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai started a company that eventually evolved into a worldwide fitness craze. CrossFit training began with a single gym in Santa Cruz, California. With the founding of CrossFit, Inc. affiliated gyms began to spring up around the United States.

Today, there are an estimated 13,000 CrossFit dedicated facilities. People who train are often competitive individuals who love competing. This new and exciting model for fitness training spawned the idea for a competition, the CrossFit Games. Here’s everything you need to know about what they are, who the competitors are, and how you might be able to get there.

What Are the CrossFit Games?

Glassman was a former gymnast, so he enjoyed the thrill of competition as much as he loved to train. When he envisioned the CrossFit training regimen, he already knew there would be an inherent sense of competitiveness among people who would use the program.

In 2007, Glassman joined with the game’s director Dave Castro to put on the first official CrossFit Games. The CrossFit Games proclaim to challenged athletes and fitness enthusiasts from around the world to determine who is the Fittest on Earth.

The element of surprise is a key component of the competition. Competitors will be required to perform certain workouts. Not only are they unaware of what challenges they may face until a few hours before the competition, but there are usually a number of last-minute surprises.

The CrossFit Games are an athletic competition like none other. Competitors cannot practice a repetitive skill over and over until they master that skill. It gives convincing validation for the claim that the CrossFit Games produce the fittest person on the planet, not simply a good athlete who practices a lot.

By 2011, the competition started to expand. This was when the CrossFit Games started to offer a way for athletes to qualify online. There was an open five-week period where workouts were posted on the website.

Those who wanted to qualify for the main event would complete the workouts and submit scores. The scores could be validated by video or at one of the CrossFit affiliate gyms. During this open qualifying period, the worldwide appeal of CrossFit becomes obvious.

Affiliates encourage the membership to take part in the qualifying, so there are usually more than 100,000 participants trying to qualify for the main event held during the summer. The CrossFit Games grew so rapidly that regional qualifying competitions were started in 2011.

Beginning in 2011, competitors could qualify as individuals or as part of an affiliate team. The 2019 games were the first to have a different set of qualification guidelines. This was the first year that teams did not have to all be members of the same affiliate.

This was also the first year that the regional qualifiers were changed to allow competitors to qualify at independently hosted events around the world. These new qualifying events were referred to as Sanctionals instead of regional qualifiers. CrossFit, LLC trademarked the concept.

The CrossFit Games have steadily grown over the past decade. There are now Masters and Teen competitions as well. Another way to gauge popularity is by looking at the prize pool. Reebok’s first sponsored games awarded a quarter million dollars to first place. In 2016, the total prize pool of the CrossFit Games ballooned to over $2 million.

What Are some of the Events?

The CrossFit Games profess to uncover the fittest person on earth. There is no mistaking the mission when you look at a few challenges these athletes will be asked to endure. Competitors at the CrossFit Games perform things such as sled pushing events and inverted handstand pushups.

If squats aren’t a difficult exercise by themselves, CrossFit competitors will perform squats with one leg. Competitors will swim nearly a mile out to a buoy and then back. When they get back to shore, they’re handed a paddleboard with which to complete the same course again.

There are also events during the challenge that display what someone would envision as standard strength exercises. During the final event in 2019, athletes had to perform clean and jerk sets ending with snatches.

However, in the middle are another 30 ring exercises called muscle ups. For anyone who hasn’t witnessed the rigorous routine these athletes are subjected, you really need to see this true display of total fitness firsthand.

Who Are the Most Popular CrossFit Athletes?

Two of the most successful CrossFit athletes in the men’s division have dominated the competition in two stretches. Rich Froning Jr. and Mat Fraser have each won four consecutive CrossFit Games titles.

Froning, a former firefighter from Tennessee controlled the men’s division from 2011 through 2014. Last year’s winner, Fraser, started his run of excellence during the 2016 competition. Fraser actually lost the 2015 games in the final event to eventual champion Ben Smith.

Tia-Clair Toomey has won the last three women’s CrossFit titles. She is a former Olympic power lifter from Australia. After Frowning retired following his 2014 win, Fraser started his current run. He is the son of Don Fraser and Candace Jones, who were Olympic figure skaters from Canada.

Many competitors were successful athletes in other sports. Cole Sager was a Division I running back for the Washington Huskies. There are also colorful competitors like Sean Sweeney, the CrossFit Cowboy. Sweeney is a favorite among CrossFit fans.

What About CrossFit Controversies?

Like many sports, the CrossFit Games have not been without some controversy. The first controversial situation actually happened after Glassman and Jenai were divorced. Jenai attempted to sell her half of CrossFit, Inc. to an outside party, but Glassman secured a loan to buy up her share of the settlement.

Another interesting controversy kind of brought to light a new angle on the sneaker wars. When CrossFit, LLC partnered with Reebok ahead of the 2015 Games, participants could not wear Nike shoes. Nike set up billboard protests and was actually forced to change the slogan for one of their training shoes.

The decision to award winners at the 2016 competition with handguns also did not go over very well. There were protests by both competitors and individual sponsors. These protests were successful in getting a pair of CrossFit locations in New York temporarily shut down.

In addition, not to be outdone in the performance-enhancing drug PED discussions of other world-class athletic competitions, the CrossFit Games had a few of these allegations as well. The first public failed drug tests preceded the 2019 events.

There have certainly been other disqualifications for violations of the CrossFit rules. However, this year is the first that violators will be announced publicly ahead of this year’s games. While controversy is part of sports, one thing is uncontroversial. This competition is the ultimate challenge of athletic fitness.

CrossFit Games – In Summary

Working out to get healthy and fit is a noble ambition. Taking that level of ambition to the pinnacle level is what the CrossFit Games are all about. If you think you are an exceptional athlete, test yourself with a CrossFit Games Open Qualifier.

Those who pass the test will earn a chance to prove who really is the fittest person on earth. This year, qualifiers will converge on Madison, Wisconsin again for the 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games. The competition starts on July 29.

Even if you’re not quite ready as a competitor, this is a five-day event beloved by the entire CrossFit world. It is an opportunity for CrossFit enthusiasts from all over the world to unite in a festive and fun environment and watch some of the fittest athletes in the world compete.



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