By 2009, sick the CrossFit Games had grown. What started as an invite only BBQ/WOD event in 2007, website like this to a 300 plus athlete competition in 2008, 2009 was a whole new ballgame. Athletes were clearly calling CrossFit a sport, and secretly training full time, or as near to it as their bodies would allow.
The 2009 Games reflected the growth in that there was a qualification process – a Regional event took the top 5 or 6 athletes to the Games. Many Regionals were as competitive and the events were as challenging, if not more so, than any CrossFit Games events prior.
It is my opinion that the first day of competition at the 2009 CrossFit Games were the most challenging and demanding of any day ever. A 7k terrain run, a Deadlift ladder that topped out to 505/375, a hellacious hill sandbag run, and a row/sledgehammer/row event put the athletes through a test that no one in CrossFit had really seen before.
When the final WOD of the day was announced, many athletes breathed a sigh of relief. It appeared light and simple. As many of us know now light and simple is hardly ever easy. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. There is something about moving a light weight fast that attacks your system like nothing else. As a competitor at this time, I would say we as athletes were preparing for fast and heavy WODs for the Games, similar to 2008. The Regionals that year generally reflected that heavy and fast theme. This couplet highlighted that you needed to be prepared for anything if you wanted to be considered among the fittest in the world.
Mikko Salo won the Games that year. If you are a CrossFit athlete, and you don’t know who Mikko is, watch the documentary “Sisu.” It is my favorite thing CrossFit has ever produced – a film a about a dedicated athlete with a singular focus, living like a monk at the other end of the world.
For that matter, if you have the time, check out all the videos on the 2009 Games. They have great interviews and will really show how the sport has evolved. Check out the pain faces during this couplet as athletes started to break down.
Pay attention to Michael Fitzgerald at the end of the video, legs cramping, fighting to finish around 22 minutes in the video. Then Kyle Kasperbauer fighting to complete the WOD against the time cap with pure guts.
Workout of the Day
30 Wallball Shots 20/14
30 Hang Squat Snatch 75/55
To complete the WOD as prescribed, the bar must pass below the knee on each rep.