I spent a solid weekend watching the CrossFit Games. I don’t think everything they did this year was great – I don’t see a good reason to do away with the open announcement, and I miss the drama of regionals. Certain Sanctional events do a nice job of of replicating the feel, but 3 weeks of competitive exercise during regionals, with bubble athletes fighting for their lives, was amazing.
That’s gone, but what we got this weekend was drama. Tia Clair Toomey and Rich Froning & CrossFit Mayhem utterly dominated the competition. Mat Fraser didn’t exactly look human, but athletes are approaching the bar that he and Rich set. There was actually drama going into the final workout in the mens division for the first time since 2015.
The cutting of the field proved to be very exciting. I have read on various sites that this was the first year with cuts at the Games. That is inaccurate. There were similar, huge cuts in 2009. The field was cut by half in 2010 and they cut athletes on the stadium floor in 2012. We had cuts at Regionals in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
No one wants to get cut. No one wants to see their favorite athletes get cut. I have watched the Games every year. For many top athletes, being on the field means exposure that leads to sponsorships, social media followers and more. As a fan, I always felt like there were mainstays that had no chance of winning, but could comfortably finish top 20, maybe crack the final heat and get that exposure.
These athletes could take events off, knowing they weren’t vying for the podium, but big moments would be waiting with heavy barbells or gymnastics feats. That was gone this year. Arguably some of the most famous exercisers were cut throughout the weekend, missing out on the big moments. But the workouts where those big timers were on the bubble were awesome. We got to see true emotion as folks who always look great get sent packing. Sad face Brooks Wells or flummoxed Pat Vellner is cool.
Also, the two feeds that I saw, Rogue and the Morning Chalk Up were great. We have 2 channels! Are there more channels? Last year, when terrible Bill G. is calling workouts, I would turn the sound down. Now, I can turn the channel. Rob Orlando, Chase Ingraham and others added humor and insight without the chest beating of Bill or the “golly this is fun and everyone is great” of Tanya.
Workout of the Day
Clean Grip Deadlift
5 sets of 3, 72.5%
1 Squat Clean
1 Power Clean
Alternate back and forth. Score is total number of reps completed.