The CrossFit Games Open Is Broken
CrossFit Games Open Is Broken? Why Did They Change? What’s Next For The Community?
A year ago I wrote a post titled “Why Are There No Female Athletes At The CrossFit Games?”
in which I discussed the lack of female athletes at the 2017 event. Since then, there have been several changes made to the sport of fitness and these changes are not good.
I will give credit where it is due: The CrossFit Games have listened to their fans and made some positive changes. However, they haven’t done enough. To me, this means that the organization is still stuck in the past with its approach to fitness. These changes don’t make sense anymore; they’re just another example of how outdated and out of touch the organization is with today’s society.
There was a time when the CrossFit Games were known for having the best athletes in all of fitness. Today, however, they’ve become known for being one of the worst organizations to watch your money go towards. The organization hasn’t changed much since I first started writing about them five years ago. They’ve just gotten worse. And while I’m sure there are many reasons behind this, one reason stands out above all others: Money.
CrossFit Wants Your Money
People have been criticizing CrossFit for many years now. These criticisms have largely fallen on deaf ears, however, because the people in charge don’t seem to care what you or I have to say. They don’t care about the opinions of others. And they certainly don’t care about our criticisms. All they care about is money.
And they don’t seem to be afraid to get it any way they can.
CrossFit is a for-profit corporation. Their entire reason for existing is to make money for their investors.
Don’t believe me?
Here, I’ll give you a quote directly from the organization’s website:
“The purpose of CrossFit is to bring fitness to the world.”
Ah, so motivating the world to be fit and healthy is now a business?
Not exactly what comes to mind when I think of the word “purpose.” I can imagine some CrossFitters reading this and getting upset at me for stating the above. Sorry, but it’s true.
The purpose of businesses are to make money. The CrossFit Games exist to entertain you and get your money. Yes, there are some athletes that genuinely have a love for the sport and compete every year, and that’s great. But the fact of the matter is business is business and money is money.
Just take a look at how they’ve handled the CrossFit Games Open over the years. For those that don’t know, this was previously a 5-week long competition that would determine the top 20 athletes (both male and female) in each region (US, Europe, etc). These athletes would then be flown to Los Angeles for the Games, where they would compete against one another until only one was left.
This was awesome. It was a fun and exciting way to get people involved in the sport of fitness. It attracted people to CrossFit in droves. It made people talk about CrossFit. It got people playing and motivated.
It was great for the brand and great for business!
So what did they do?
They shortened it to 4 weeks (it’s now only 3 weeks) and added another workout each week.
Why would they shorten it?
I honestly have no idea. It makes no sense from a business perspective. The extra week gained them nothing, yet still cut the number of performed workouts in half. It doesn’t make sense.
I could actually understand if they kept it at 5 weeks but made the Open into a competition solely for deciding who goes to regionals.
This is what they’ve done for the past couple years, but you know what?
It’s boring as hell and nobody cares.
With the Games, CrossFit has basically become what the CrossFitters complained about during the dark days of 2009. The difference is, instead of being independent owners, they are now all employed by the same organization. Which means if that organization makes poor decisions then they all suffer for it.
And That’s Bad…
I’ve actually talked to a few CrossFitters about this in the past and while some see my point, others don’t seem to mind.
Sources & references used in this article:
A profile of injuries among participants at the 2013 CrossFit Games in Durban by C Da Silva – 2015 – openscholar.dut.ac.za
Social identity and athlete identity among CrossFit members: An exploratory study on the CrossFit Open by J Woolf, H Lawrence – Managing Sport and Leisure, 2017 – Taylor & Francis
The Best Supplements for CrossFit by M Mosman – endurelite.com