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The CrossFit Games: The Annual Highlight of the CrossFit Season

Did you know that the world's fittest athletes have been competing for the title of “Fittest on Earth” at the CrossFit Games every year since 2007? What the Olympic Games are for runners, swimmers or rowers, the Games are for all CrossFitters without question!

Are you new to CrossFit and not yet familiar with the competitions and qualifications? Then let's make up for it now!

In this article, we'll give you a comprehensive overview of the role of the Games, how to qualify, who can take part, what there is to win and much more.

What are the CrossFit Games?

Group of female athletes on ropes at the CrossFit Games
© CrossFit, LLC.

The CrossFit Games are not just a competition, but actually almost an annual festival of fitness. Athletes from all over the world put their strength, endurance, speed and strategic skills to the test over several days.

Since the Games were launched in 2007, they have grown from a small beach event to a global phenomenon that attracts the attention of millions of fitness enthusiasts.

Even if you can't be there, you can watch the live broadcasts on YouTube and the like to keep up with the excitement.

Origin and history of the CrossFit Games

The Games began as an almost casual gathering of a small group of athletes on a ranch in Aromas, California.

Over time, the event has grown exponentially, both in terms of the number of participants and the interest of the global fan base. The CrossFit Games have quickly become the epitome of the ultimate fitness competition and are now an extremely professional event.

The format of the CrossFit Games

Each year, the format of the CrossFit Games is adapted to challenge athletes in new and unexpected ways.

The ultimate goal is to participate in the Games - but the journey to get there is a tough one. It starts with the Open, followed by the Quarterfinals and Semifinals, which ultimately bring out the world's best athletes to compete for the title of “Fittest on Earth”.

Who can take part in the CrossFit Games?

CrossFitter during a clean
© CrossFit, LLC.

Basically anyone who qualifies. The CrossFit Games offer several competition divisions tailored to different age groups and abilities.

These include:

  • Individuals

  • Teams

  • Masters

  • Teenagers

  • Adaptive Athletes

Each group has its own qualification route and unique challenges on the way to the Games.

Individuals and Teams

For teams and individual athletes, the path to the CrossFit Games begins with the Open, followed by the Quarterfinals and Semifinals, with each level presenting an increasingly selective challenge.

  • Teams must finish in the top 25% of their region in the Open to advance to the Quarterfinals and then place among the top teams in the Semifinals.

  • Individual athletes follow a similar path. They must place among the top athletes in their region to advance to the Games.

Masters Division

The Masters Division at the CrossFit Games offers older athletes the opportunity to demonstrate their fitness at a high level. Qualification for the Masters begins with the Open, followed by the Age-Group Quarterfinals and the Age-Group Semifinals.

  • The Masters CrossFit Games: The best athletes from the Age-Group Semifinals qualify for the Masters CrossFit Games by Legends.

  • New division for 70+ athletes: A division for over 70-year-olds will be tested for the first time in 2024. Invitations will go to the top 10 men and women in the 65+ division who are older than 70, based on their performance in the Quarterfinals - provided they did not qualify through the 65+ division.

Teenagers Division

For teenage athletes, there are special categories that allow them to compete against their peers. The top 30 boys and girls in each teen division qualify from the semifinals for the Teenage CrossFit Games by Pit Teen Throwdown.

  • The Teenage CrossFit Games: These will take place in 2024 in Kalamazoo and Three Rivers, Michigan, and crown the champions of the various teen divisions.

  • Additional competitions: For teens who do not qualify for the Teenage CrossFit Games, there are two additional competitions - the Pit Teen Throwdown and the Pit Collegiate Throwdown.

Adaptive Division

The Adaptive Division is for athletes with physical disabilities and offers specific categories to ensure a fair and inclusive competition environment.

  • The Adaptive CrossFit Games: The top 10 athletes from all 15 Adaptive Divisions qualify from the Adaptive Semifinals for the Adaptive CrossFit Games by WheelWOD. These will take place in San Antonio, Texas in 2024.

The CrossFit Games Season: The journey from the Open to the Finals

Female CrossFitter carrying sandbags
© CrossFit, LLC.

The CrossFit Games Season starts every year in February with the Open and leads through several qualification stages to the final CrossFit Games in August. This season is a time of intense competition and personalized challenges for athletes from around the world.

The Open: the entry point for everyone

The CrossFit Open marks the start of the Games Season and is known as the first and biggest qualification stage. They are open to everyone, regardless of fitness level, and attract hundreds of thousands of participants worldwide every year.

How the Open for Individuals works

The Open consists of three workouts spread over three weeks. Each workout is published on the official CrossFit Games website and gives athletes and teams the opportunity to submit their scores. The results of this global challenge will be recorded on the CrossFit Games Leaderboard, where participants can view their rankings worldwide by affiliate and age.

Teams in the Open

For teams, the road to the Games also begins with the Open. Each licensed CrossFit affiliate can register a team consisting of at least two male and two female athletes who have registered individually for the Open. Team scores will be compiled from the best performances of the two male and two female members in each wor

The Quarterfinals: the selection process intensifies

The Open is followed by the Quarterfinals, which represent an even more intense challenge and serve as a virtual competition phase for both individuals and teams.

Quarterfinals for individuals

The top 25% of athletes from each region in the Open qualify for the Individual Quarterfinals, which are held in the respective Affiliates. Over six days, athletes must complete multiple workouts that test their skills and determine who moves on to the next round.

Quarterfinals for teams

Qualified teams will participate in workouts specifically designed for teams of four (two men, two women). The top 25% of teams from each region, with a minimum of 50 teams, will advance to the semifinals.

The Semifinals: the final test before the Games

The semifinals are the last hurdle before the CrossFit Games and take place at various locations around the world. Here, the best athletes and teams from the quarter finals compete directly against each other.

Semifinals for individuals

The top 40 men and 40 women from each region compete for a limited number of spots in the Games. The number of qualifying spots varies by region based on the strength of the field.

Semifinals for teams

The top 30 teams in each region also compete in the semifinals, with the number of teams qualifying for the Games also varying by region.

The CrossFit Games: the coronation of the fittest on earth

The CrossFit Games are the ultimate competition for the fittest people in the world. They bring together athletes, coaches, fans and affiliate owners to cheer on their favorite athletes and have a great time together.

Venue and event overview

In 2024, the CrossFit Games will take place for the first time at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The four-day event from August 8-11 will attract participants and spectators from all over the world.

The first workouts will only be published shortly before the Games, in some cases on the day of the competition itself.

The CrossFit Festival Experience

Just a few steps away from the Dickies Arena is the Will Rogers Memorial Center, the center of the CrossFit Festival Experience. This festival is free and open to the public and is perfect for families, fans and fitness enthusiasts.

  • Exhibitors and Sponsors: More than 200 exhibitors and sponsors will showcase over 18,580 square feet. Visitors can discover and try out the latest fitness products, nutritional supplements and equipment.

  • Livestream areas and workout areas: An area of over 930 square meters is reserved for spectator workouts, where fans have the opportunity to try out the same workouts as the athletes. There are also areas where the competitions are broadcast live so that no one misses out.

  • Interactive experiences: The festival offers numerous interactive opportunities where participants can test their own limits and dive right into the world of CrossFit.

Fort Worth as the host city

With Fort Worth hosting the Games for the first time in 2024, the entire city will be in the CrossFit Games spirit, with plenty of places to eat, drink and do.

The city offers warm Texan hospitality with a variety of restaurants, bars and cultural attractions. And, of course, plenty of extremely fit people.

Experience the CrossFit Games live as a spectator

If you want to experience the CrossFit Games 2024 live on site, there are various ticket options that offer access to the competitions and the festival. Camping on the site is also very popular. Alternatively, you can watch the workouts via various live streams.

What do you win at the CrossFit Games?

The three female winners of the CrossFit Games 2023
© CrossFit, LLC.

At the CrossFit Games, athletes not only compete for the title of “Fittest on Earth”, but also for substantial cash prizes and sponsorship opportunities.

The CrossFit Games have become one of the most lucrative events in the field of functional fitness.

Prize money

The prize money at the CrossFit Games is substantial for the top athletes. In 2024, the Games will pay out a total of over 2.5 million US dollars in prize money to the participants.

The total amount each athlete is entitled to depends on their ranking in the competition:

  • Winner of the individual categories (men and women): First place in the men's and women's categories can look forward to prize money of up to 300,000 US dollars each.

  • Team winners: The winning team shares prize money of up to 100,000 US dollars.

  • Masters and Teenagers: There is also prize money in these categories, but it is lower than in the open categories. The exact amounts vary depending on age group and ranking.

Sponsorship and career opportunities

In addition to direct prize money, the CrossFit Games also open up significant opportunities for athletes in the form of sponsorship and other career opportunities:

  • Sponsorship: successful athletes often attract sponsors from the fitness and lifestyle industry. These sponsorships can mean additional income and equipment and help athletes achieve their training and competition goals.

  • Coaching and seminars: Top athletes are often invited to lead workshops, seminars or coaching sessions, both in their local boxes and internationally. These activities not only provide an additional revenue stream, but also the opportunity to expand their brand and influence in the CrossFit community.

Media exposure and brand building

Participation and success in the CrossFit Games provides athletes with a significant platform that can enhance their personal brand and market presence:

  • Media exposure: Athletes who perform well at the Games often receive media attention, which increases their exposure and opens more doors in the fitness and entertainment industries.

  • Brand partnerships: Strong performances can lead to partnerships with major brands that offer health and fitness products and services.

The CrossFit Games are therefore not only a platform to test the physical and mental limits of athletes, but also a significant career opportunity for those who succeed in this highly competitive environment.

The importance of the CrossFit Games

Stadium area with barbells at the CrossFit Games
© CrossFit, LLC.

You see, the CrossFit Games are more than just an athletic competition; they are a pivotal event that embodies the CrossFit philosophy while inspiring athletes and fans worldwide.

For CrossFitters, the CrossFit Games represent the highest level of competition and the highlight of their season - as well as for us as spectators ;).




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