The 2021 CrossFit season has officially reached its culmination with Games week having just started. For those not too accustomed to CrossFit gergon the CF Games are the equivalent of the World cup of the sport and for many athletes they are the end-all be-all of their athletic goals.
The 2021 season has seen many changes in it’s typical format however the Games will bring back a more classic set up with in person events, no cuts and no multiple levels of qualification. After 2 years of constantly changing formats and overall uncertainty we are sure both athletes and fans will be excited to finally experience the CrossFit Games for what they were known to be.
But what are really the CrossFit Games? Before we dive deeper into what to look out for during this year’s edition let’s take a closer look at the history of the Games.
What you will find in this article
What are the CrossFit Games
The history of the Games
The 2021 edition
The Progrm Games athletes
What are the CrossFit Games?
The Games are the culmination of the competitive Crossfit season. They are a 3 to 4 day long event with the ultimate goal to test the best CrossFit athletes in order to elect the fittest man and woman on Earth.
Because of this the events span all domains of fitness and the athletes training for the Games must do their best to prepare for all kinds of challenges from endurance based workouts inspired by the triathlon world to obstacle courses, both on your feet and hands, to more classic CrossFit workouts.
The Games however are not just the most important competition in CrossFit they are also a foundational event to strengthen the community built around the sport.
Every year thousands of fans flock to the Games to watch their favorite athletes compete while sharing their passion for the sport with thousands of other CrossFit junkies.
Additionally, together with the RX division which spans from 18 to 35 years of age the Games host a variety of age divisions giving Teen and Master athletes the opportunity to showcase how fitness isn’t about age and inspire many more to pursue their goals in the sport.
The history of the Games
The first edition of the CrossFit Games was held in 2007 on Dave Castro’s ranch in Aromas California. Participation was open to anyone who could make it to Aromas, on that inaugural edition 70 athletes took part in the Games with about 150 spectators to cheer them on.
Throughout the years as the sport grew, a qualification process had to be instaurated in order to select the best athletes from all over the globe that could make it to the final stage, and so Regionals were born in 2009. Soon the number of participants and spectators was too big for Dave’s ranch and in 2010 the Games moved to their first official venue: the Home Depot center in Carson, California.
In 2018 the Games venue moved again this time to Madison Wisconsin where they are still being held to date. But the location update wasn’t the only big change CrossFit had in store for the Games. The following years were in fact a rollercoaster of shifts, changes and curious executive decisions. From instaurating a qualifying process that opened up spots to National Champions all over the globe to massive cuts in the media department to implementing cuts throughout the events at the Games. These changes left the athletes questioning if it was even reasonable to pursue a career in the sport and overall negatively impacted the sport.
2020 of course was a special edition due to reasons we can all imagine. Speculating on the format and the outcome of the event would be an exercise in futility… so here we are in 2021 looking to hopefully find some sense of familiarity in this edition of the Games.
The 2021 edition
This year, like it’s sisters 2019 and 2020, was no stranger to changes in format. From the get-go the qualification process had to go through yet another update with the addition of QuarterFinals and SemiFinals.
The athletes had to overcome obstacles such as still not being able to compete in a real life format and even when they eventually managed to qualify many of them were still unsure of -if- and -how- they would be able to make it to the USA.
But of course to top it all off on Saturday 24th just a few days away from the start of the event the CF Games director Dave Castro announced that there will be a cuts system implemented in this edition.
The cuts will see only 30 athletes getting through to the first 2 days of competition and moving on to Saturday. On that same day more athletes will be cut so that only the top 20 will make it to the finals events of Saturday and move on to the last day of competition.
This last minute announcement left most athletes unsettled given the short notice with which it was announced giving them no chance to reflect and decide if it was worth to them spend thousands of dollars to partake in a competition they might be cut out of 2 days in.
The Progrm athletes
This year we have 3 athletes competing at the Games, 2 in the RX division and 1 in Teens.
They’ve put hours of hard work every day of the year just to get to this stage and we can’t wait to see them shine out on that competition floor.
Learn more about Gabriela here
2nd Overall Europe Quarterfinal – Best placement: 2nd – Workout 5
Semifinals (LowLands Throwdown): 3rd tied – Best placement: 1st – Event 6
Learn more about Jacqueline here
4th Overall Europe Quarterfinal – Best placement: 1st – Workout 2
Semifinals (German Throwdown): 2nd – Best placement: 1st – Event 1
16-17 Teen Division