The 2020 CrossFit Games Open is in the books. I will say this: I am excited for there 2021 Open.
Going in, we knew this Open was going to be a little, if not a lot, different. 2019 felt like a huge step back, with the disappearance of the announcement show, no more TDC hints, and the disappearance of Regionals. There was a ton of uncertainty going into 2019, and the Open, with an unsettling lack of communication, didn’t do much to relieve the community anxiety.
That was followed by CrossFit dumping all social media platforms in the summer.
Coach Glassman was vocal about CrossFit’s focus on health and wellness going forward as the future of the company, with a de-emphasis on the Games. To many, this seemed like a slap in the face to emerging competitive exercise eco-system.
My feelings were always this: I LOVE when CrossFit is non-communicative. THIS is the program I learned to love. I like competitive CrossFit. I may even love it. I love when Glassman makes a statement, then has to let the world catch up to where is vision has set.
The whining of the competitive world made me sick. CrossFit owes the elite athletes nothing except the challenge. And maybe a well defined standard. That’s about it. A bunch of Instagram stars with nervous butterflies, wondering if the exercise gravy train of free protein and shoes would continue, was another reason I quit social media.
This left a rocky terrain for the 2020 Open. First, it was set in a completely different season with literally no social media presence. After 9 straight years of the Games growing in participation, from 26,000 athletes in 2011, building to 419,000 in 2018, CrossFit saw their first dip in 2019. Also – I was there when folks said the Open was a terrible idea and destined to fail.
Within a couple of weeks of the first workout, signups were looking scary low. A week before the Open, sign ups were below 50,000. But, things started to happen. Announcement shows came back, highlighting the great huge, supportive community, growing literal media companies from thin air. Dave Castro returned with the most useless, vague hints in the history of hints. Open signups surged to over 230,000 athletes.
The Open seemed back. I think if we get a similar type of media presence for the fall of 2021, we could see a surge over 500,000 participants – easily the world’s largest sporting event.
And I haven’t even talked about the workouts. That’s for tomorrow.
Workout of the Day
3 Bar Muscle Ups