July 13, 2013
Crowd Pleaser: Josh Bridges
By Jaimie Bougie

“Am I a crowd pleaser? Of course!”


Bridges is back.

We’ve been seeing and hearing this since the Open began. Could this truly be SoCal’s Josh Bridges’ year to take Froning’s crown? His fan base sure thinks so.

Bridges’ brigade of fans is everywhere. Though based in SoCal, fans worldwide are behind him, and he’s ready to take the StubHub stage and give them a proper show.

At the 2013 SoCal Regional, Josh Bridges could have easily coasted through the final event without sacrificing first place, as he was 11 points ahead of second-placed Kenneth Leverich.

Knowing there was a stadium full of fans begging for a record performance, Bridges attacked the event in full force.

“Am I a crowd pleaser? Of course!” he says.

There was definitely a crowd for Bridges to please in Del Mar, Calif., that weekend. This year saw record high numbers not only in Open participation, but also in attendance at Regionals. After eight years of CrossFitting, he has certainly seen this growth.

“It has definitely grown into a spectator’s sport. It’s no longer just people working out with athletes watching other athletes. There are actual fans out there, which is pretty cool!”

Bridges plans to thank his fans for their cheers and support by giving it his all in return.

“There were times during the 2011 Games when I wasn’t feeling it, but then I saw the crowd cheering for me and it’s just indescribable,” he recalls. “It really fires you up!”

With just a few weeks left until the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games, excitement is building throughout the community.

What is he most excited about?

“Just competing,” he says. “Competing against all of the guys who won their region. Competing against the best out there. That will be really fun.”

While he set three event records during the first weekend of Regionals in SoCal, some of these veterans came in behind him to smash those records. The weekend following the SoCal Regional saw former Games champion Jason Khalipa dominating the NorCal Region and beating Bridges’ times in every event except for Events 3 and 6. Last year’s champ, Froning, swept in the last weekend of Regionals to beat both Bridges and Khalipa at every event except Jackie — Khalipa took first, Froning took fourth and Bridges took eighth overall.

Bridges didn’t let this fact discourage him, however.

“It didn’t disappoint me at all. It's hard to compare the Regionals; some people had more time to train for them, the circumstances are different and the workout is different when you are standing next to different people.”

Because he missed last season due to injury, he wasn’t able to tackle the 2012 surprise events like the Pendleton Events and Double Banger. This year, he predicts something just as grueling.

“I think there will be some kind of running with weight, a heavy backpack for a long distance or something like that.”

With both rounds of Gold ticket sales selling out in record times, the StubHub Center will be jammed pack with fans looking for both inspiration and kickass performances this year. Bridges is hoping his upcoming Games performance will inspire all of his fans, big and small.

I recently got a letter from an eight-year-old kid, telling me that he was my biggest fan,” he says. “That’s unbelievable, and it’s an honor to be able to inspire kids to want to be fit and work hard for their goals. I wrote him a letter back and told him to come visit me at Invictus sometime.”