When Greg Glassman tore up the Crossfit Games rulebook after the 2018 Reebok Crossfit Games there was understandable concern as to what would become of the pinnacle of the sport of Crossfit. The new format was confusing to say the least; with the introduction of independent sanctionals, multiple routes to qualification & a complex process of back-filling leaving some house-hold names in the Crossfit sphere potentially not making an appearance at the 2019 Games until very late in the season.
However, what the new format of the Crossfit Games has done is expand the battle to find the “Fittest on Earth” into a celebration of fitness; athletes travel from far and wide to take part, throw down and represent their boxes, communities and countries.
Whilst previously the road to the Games required athletes to qualify by taking a podium spot at their Regional event (which in turn they had to qualify for via the Crossfit Open), now athletes could qualify via one of four routes:
- Finishing in the global top 20 of the Crossfit Open
- Winning a Crossfit Sanctional event (there were 15 for the 2019 season)
- Finish as the National champion of a country for which you hold citizenship
- Wildcard invitation direct from Crossfit HQ
There’s an order of allocation of these qualification spots and a complex back-filling process that I’m not going to go into here. Head to the Crossfit Games Rule Book for details or the Morning Chalkup for a handy guide.
Whilst the Crossfit Games had previously introduced national accolades in the form of “Fittest in….”, the direct invitation of National Champions to the Crossfit Games was unprecedented. Also different to previous years was the fact that National representation was defined by citizenship (via passport) rather than being the country that you spent the majority of your season training in.
This direct invitation of National Champions saw the individual field increase from 40 Males & 40 Females in 2018 to 143 Males & 117 Females at the 2019 Crossfit Games. The Games Opening Ceremony (and subsequently the first workout) had 114 different countries displaying their colours on the competition floor. Inferring that Glassman’s shake up of the Games is a desire to make Crossfit more inclusive & far-reaching, its definitely a strong step to achieve that!
One such athlete that was invited to step on to hallowed competition floor over in Madison this year was Barbadian Richy Jordan. Competing out of Crossfit Hammersmith, UK, for the 2019 Games season, he qualified as the National Champion & Fittest Male in Barbados.
He recently sat down with Lauren from P.O.D Podcast of the Day at Crossfit Putney, where he now coaches, to discuss his experience of going to the 2019 Crossfit Games. Chalking Fitness was lucky enough to get early access to the upcoming podcast!
Whilst London-based, Richy visits family in Barbados & talks about the competitive Crossfit scene on the Caribbean Isle, before going on to describe the incredible honour of representing your country at the culmination of the Crossfit sporting calendar. They then go on to discuss the atmosphere at the Games with so many additional & diverse athletes and then getting into detail about Event 1; the snatches, the legless rope climbs and brutal and merciless cut of the field from 143 to 75 athletes after only one event!
It’s not all serious though, as Richy shares insight into the fun to be had during & after competition, meeting athletes from around the world and of course, all the well-earned stash that the athletes receive. Be sure to check-out the full podcast when it drops this Sunday (October 6th) and hear about Richy’s experience at the Games, his plans for the 2020 season & some top tips for keeping training & life on track. Also be sure to follow P.O.D on Instagram to see all their past & future interviews with some awesome athletes.
Thanks for Lauren for the early access. Here’s a teaser to wet your whistle!