We're not even two full days into the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games, but history has already been made in more ways than one. Read on to learn about how the yearly competition, which is being held in Madison, Wisconsin, is shaping and changing the Sport of Fitness.
114 Countries Represented
The competition kicked off Thursday, Aug. 1, and opened with the Athlete Ceremony. There were 114 countries represented at the ceremony as an unprecedented number of athletes in the most diverse group ever at the Games graced the field proudly carrying their country flag.
The Usual Suspects Doing Unusual Things
Three-time reigning CrossFit Games Champion Mathew Fraser sat in the top spot on the overall leaderboard after Day 1. Fraser won both of the day's events, finishing First Cut in 15:07.7 and Second Cut in 5:37.02.
Team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom followed Fraser's lead and took the W in Events 1 and 2, as well. The team, comprised of four-time Fittest Man on Earth, Rich Froning, Games athletes Chyna Cho and Tasia Percevecz, and newcomer to the team, Dre Strohm, is used to winning. The Mayhem team won the Games in 2015, 2016, and 2018, and this year is looking to tie its captain for most CrossFit Games victories ever accumulated.
While this all may seem like business as usual for Fraser and Mayhem, both did something on Day 1 that hasn't been done before: No team or individual had ever won the first two events.
Additionally, Fraser has worn the leader's jersey 45 times — the most of any individual athlete while Tia-Clair Toomey leads the women in the same category, wearing the leader's jersey 26 times.
Even After Cuts, Field Remains Deep
In 2019, the competition is a little tougher as athlete cuts are being enforced at the conclusion of events. Every event counts, all points matter. Even after two significant cuts — first to 75 athletes, then 50 — the field is still more diverse than ever with the following countries being represented on Day 2.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Most Rookies Ever at the Games
Because of the new format, which allowed National Champions and wild-card athletes to compete at the Games, there are more individual rookies in Madison than have ever been at the CrossFit Games before. There were 50 total rookies in the Individual Division at the start of the Games, 27 of whom are women. They are listed below.
Alessia Joy Walchli
Teenagers Movin' On Up
The CrossFit Games introduced the Teenage Division in 2015, allowing teens aged 14-17 to compete. This year, for the first time in history, we've seen teenagers age up into the Individual Division.
Haley Adams, who handily won the Girls 16-17 Division in 2018, is holding her own in the Individual Division at the Games this year. At the time of publication, Adams sat in sixth place after stacking up a fourth-, 18th-, and sixth-place finish in the first three events.
George Sterner took second in the Boys 14-15 Division in 2016 and competed at the Central Regional in 2017 and 2018 but failed to qualify for the Games. In 2019, Sterner qualified for the Games by landing inside the top 20 in the worldwide Open (eighth). Sterner currently sits in 13th after taking 21st in First Cut, 15th in Second Cut, and 28th in Ruck.
Guilherme Malheiros qualified for the Games as the National Champion of Brazil after competing in the Boys 16-17 Division in 2017 and taking second. At the time of publication, Malheiros sat in 45th place.
Gabriela Migala, the Poland National Champion, took third in 2016 in the Teenage Girls 16-17 Division. Migala was cut after the first event, in which she took 77th.
With a Day 1 full of firsts, the weekend is sure to be an interesting one. Stay tuned.