Look for a complete recap of Jacqueline’s weekend later this week from JB. I on the other hand want to give my insight from what I experienced at the CrossFit Games with it being my first time I’ve been since 2013.
Compared to Los Angeles, Madison was a cool little town, just a short, and scenic bike ride from the venue. As a bonus, all the locals I came into contact with were EXTREMELY nice! The venue itself was also nice in that everything was really close to each other. And while cellular service wasn’t great, the CrossFit Games app did a really good job showing the workouts, times, and age groups, and the workouts ran on schedule… pretty much to the minute! Far removed are the days at the ranch in Aromas where a single copy of the heat times were printed on a 8×11 piece of paper and taped to the outside wall of the barn. People had to crowd around (because you can’t read 12 point font from more than a few feet away), and you had to recheck often because they would always end up running pretty far behind schedule. So for the caliber of event they are now putting on, I’d say they are doing a pretty amazing job!
As for the competitors, they’ve always amazed me. This year however was the first time I was able to watch some of the teens up close and in person. With the teenage boys 14-15 and 16-17 going right after Jacqueline during many workouts, I was blown away by what I saw. While some of these “kids” looked like grown men, what was most impressive were the ones that still looked like little boys, but were doing things I didn’t think teens were capable of! These teens are very quickly closing the gap between themselves and the competitors in the open division (18-34 years old). It will be very exciting to watch this new wave of athletes in the next 5 years as I would expect them to completely clear the current field of competitors!
Lastly, CrossFit fans are the real deal. There was an area inside one of the venues, five or six times the size of the Sweat Shop, loaded with barbells, bikes, boxes, sandbags and a pullup rig, where fans could go in and workout…. and they did, every, single day! On the first day, when Helen and I first got there, we stood and watched some of these people workout for about 5 minutes, thinking we were watching some of the teams or masters warm-up, before finally realizing we were simply watching fans do open gym! JB even got some video of a couple of guys doing a morning workout with burpees and KB swings outside of their tents.. which they slept in since hotel rooms in Madison completely sold out weeks before the event!
The new CrossFit Games are here, and it’s pretty impressive!