The story of the 2013 CrossFit Games is a week old and I am still trying to unpack what I saw. This was my third year in attendance and every time I feel like the week flies by… All of a sudden I am on my feet and it’s time for the finals. In that moment, I look around and view a sea of CrossFitters cheering on the fittest, in anticipation of crowning the best in the world. It is my favorite moment of the whole weekend, but it has nothing to do with the whats happening on the floor. The competitors are why we come to Carson, but the crowd tells the real story.
[Lets back up]
The first year I attended the Games I had no clue what to expect. The following year I qualified with a team for Regionals, gaining a new level of understanding. This year, I had the opportunity to travel to four different Regionals and see different CrossFit communities take on the competition. Every Regional was different but a familiar passion and fire always surfaced. The Europe Regional was an out of this world experience. Watching an International CrossFit competition go down on a Regional level is quite a show. If you have the ability go to Europe, go see that Regional. South Central is my home Region and full of friends, the connection to the story lines gives that weekend a feel similar to homecoming. The North Central was a showdown, point blank. And then there was the Mid Atlantic, the final trip on my tour. The signature moment of that Regional was during the final heat of team Event 6. The pairs were nearing the final portion of the event which capped with fat bar shoulder-to-overhead and a lunge walk to the finish. As the leading teams worked to complete their final S20’s the power went out.
In an instant, PA’s, clocks, music and broadcasts vanished…
As soon as that happened I remember a collective pause and then the CrossFit community reacted — The Crowd erupted (I mean it felt like the roof blew off with the amount energy that was expressed in an instant), the judges kept their teams informed on the time, and the MC’s cued the crowd by standing in front of the leading team. It was powerful, one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The more CrossFit I see the more I realize that the composition of the community is rare.
People come from all over the world to watch the CrossFit Games, more and more are beginning to tune-in from around the world. What blows me away is that these people aren’t randoms, they are CrossFit people. The sport continues to grow every year and with that comes bigger crowds. In other sports and communities, growth normally results in a dilution of “the fanatics,” introducing t-shirt fans and people who are “just there”. It is a true phenomenon that the crowd, despite the size, remains highly (if not purely) concentrated with CrossFitters. For three days the StubHub Center hosted a potent concentration of the beautiful, strong, fit and healthy individuals. The crowd is a true showcase of what CrossFit can produce. A growing collection of people committed to wellness.