The CrossFit Games are quickly approaching. The Games are back in Madison, WI for the second year in a row taking place August 1st-5th. Before we go any further, I want to take a step back and learn where this all started and why it’s such an incredible feat.
The CrossFit Games started back in 2007 at a ranch in Aromas, California. Back then workouts were chosen at random right before the event and anyone that wanted to compete could. In 2008, more people came to compete and fans started to catch on and watch. Come 2009, regionals were created as a stepping-stone to make it to the CrossFit Games. This was also the first year that there was a team competition and now some sort of qualifier to get the best of the best competing against one another. In 2010, another step on the road to The CrossFit Games was added. Prior to Regionals, athletes completed at Sectionals. The Games also got so big that they needed to move to the Home Depot Center in Carson, California just outside Los Angeles. This was also the first year that the Masters Divisions were introduced. Now come 2011, The CrossFit Games adopted the format they have now. They had the first ever online CrossFit Open, which then led to regionals with the same events across all regions, and then finally the best of the best competed at the CrossFit Games. With each following year, the CrossFit Games grew more and more. There were more athletes competing in the Open, more fans watching online or live in-person, and more money being put into the sport of fitness. Now here we are just a few days away from the 2018 CrossFit Games.
The 2018 CrossFit Open had 429,157 participants in at least one event and 245,046 that completed all six events (18.2/18.2a). Just take a moment and think about these numbers. That’s about a quarter of a million people completing all events in this year’s Open. From there, the top 20 in each region, advance to compete in combined regionals where, for the most part, the top 5 advance to the Games (some regionals get less than 5 spots based on population). From there, the top 40 men and women fight for the title of “Fittest On Earth”. Now doing some quick math, the percentage of male to female participants in the open was right around 50/50. To make it easier, lets just say there are 200,000 Open competitors. If you are one of the top 40 individual athletes, you are in the top 0.0002% in terms of fitness by CrossFit standards, which is absolutely ridiculous to think about (In case you didn’t know, O’Hare Crossfit’s Gym Owner, Angelo Sisco, coached Michele Fumagalli to her spot at the 2018 CrossFit Games). Sure, if you look at the leaderboard not everyone entered their score. And not everyone completed the workout as prescribed (Rx) so maybe the number is less than 200,000, but still, the point I’m trying to make is that the athletes that are making it to the Games are insanely fit from purely a numbers standpoint.
Joe Corvo, also coached by Angelo, qualified for the CrossFit Games with an 11th place finish in the Online Qualifier, beating out the top 200 men in his division from the open. Oh and the amount of men in the 40-44 year old division was around 26,000, which means Joe is in the top 0.0004% for his age group.
The CrossFit Games are the Super bowl, the World Series, the NBA or NHL Finals. They are the Olympics in the world of CrossFit. These athletes and coaches sacrifice so much just for a chance to be the fittest on earth. The long training days, the bloody hands, the missed social events, the emotional journey of just qualifying for the Games all culminates with one weekend of the year in early August. The top 40 men and women, the top 20 Masters men and women, and the top 40 teams battle it out for that spot on top of the podium. This is what they’ve worked on for years. This moment has been years in the making. And now, finally, they get the chance to prove they have what it takes to win.