What is the CrossFit® Games? Everything You Need To Know For 2023

Written By Charleh Knighton  |  CrossFit Games 

The CrossFit® Games is a yearly event that brings together athletes from all walks of life to determine who truly reigns as the fittest on the planet. It's not just a competition for elite individuals, but it also includes divisions for different age groups, teams, teenagers, and even adaptive athletes.

This means that regardless of the athletes background, there's a place for them to showcase their fitness prowess. In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to have the best experience online or in person.

The CrossFit® Games: The Highlight of the Year!

What makes the CrossFit® Games so exhilarating is the element of surprise. You never know what challenges awaits the athlete. The workouts can range from grueling marathons to lightning-fast sprints, from lifting heavy barbells to maneuvering odd objects you've never encountered before.

It tests their strength, endurance, agility, and mental fortitude. It's the ultimate examination of all the hard work and dedication they've put in throughout the years.

The Games have a way of exposing weaknesses and separating the truly elite from the rest of the pack. Those who come out on top are the ones who have prepared themselves for anything and everything.

What is the CrossFit Games Everything You Need To Know For 2023

But the CrossFit® Games is more than just a competition. It's a celebration of the CrossFit® community and its values.

It's a festival where like-minded individuals come together to support and cheer on their favorite athletes. It's an opportunity to witness the power of a community that embraces challenges and thrives on pushing boundaries.

The CrossFit® Games embodies this philosophy. It showcases the diversity of athletes and the incredible range of skills they possess.

It highlights the importance of constantly improving oneself and never shying away from challenges. The Games serve as a reminder that the human body is capable of incredible feats when pushed to its limits.

This is something that we need a little of time and time again.

CrossFit® Games 2022 Update

Before we dive into the CrossFit® Games 2023, here's what you might have missed in 2022. 

1. Who took the podium at the CrossFit® Games 2022?

Tia-Clair Toomey became the six-time Fittest Woman on Earth, Justin Medeiros the two-time Fittest Man on Earth, and team Mayhem Freedom the six-time Affiliate Cup champions.

2. Why are some top athletes missing this year's competition?

In 2023, it seems that several notable CrossFit® Games athletes won't be participating in the competition. One of them is Mal O'Brien, who qualified to compete but won't be making it to the podium this year.

While the exact date of her return to CrossFit® remains uncertain, it's evident that, like many other young athletes, she is prioritizing her mental well-being over the pursuit of victory and glory.

Haley Adams and Olivia Sulek, former Teenage division champions, have also decided to step away from the competition just before the commencement of the 2023 CrossFit® Open.

On a different note, on Christmas Eve of 2022, the six-time Fittest Woman on Earth®, Tia-Clair Toomey, joyfully announced her pregnancy, and consequently, she won't be competing in the 2023 CrossFit® Games season.

Kara Saunders has made it known that she won't be participating in the 2023 season and will not be able to take part in the Open either. This is also due to being pregnant with her second child.

Turning to the men's side, Ricky Garard, who impressively finished on the podium in the 2022 CrossFit® Games, unfortunately, won't be partaking in the 2023 CrossFit® season.

His withdrawal was announced on April 5, 2023, through his Instagram page and YouTube channel. Ricky's absence is due to a shoulder injury he sustained in a mountain biking accident, which required surgery and has sidelined him from the competition.

3. Who programs the CrossFit® Games?

In 2007, Dave Castro led the way in designing the workouts for the CrossFit® Games. Over the years, he skillfully orchestrated 15 editions of this competition, where the ultimate title of "The Fittest on Earth" is earned.

Now, taking the reins for programming the rigorous tests at the 2022 and 2023 CrossFit® Games is Adrian Bozman. As the CrossFit® Competition Director, he is entrusted with designing the workouts that embody CrossFit®'s core philosophy of "constantly varied functional movements, executed at a high intensity."

Bozman's approach to programming revolves around three essential movement categories: monostructural movements for cardio, gymnastics movements for bodyweight exercises, and weightlifting movements for handling external objects.

 These same categories form the foundation of WODs in CrossFit® affiliates all over the world. By focusing on these elements, Bozman ensures that the CrossFit® Games' challenges remain in sync with the essence of CrossFit®'s methodology.

Here’s everything you need to know about the CrossFit® Games 2023:

1. When and Where Are the CrossFit® Games 2023

Mark your calendars for the CrossFit® Games 2023, scheduled to take place from Tuesday, August 1st, through Sunday, August 6th.

The Games will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, with the Alliant Energy Center serving as the venue. Get ready for six days of exhilarating displays of athleticism and intense competition.

2. How Can You Watch the CrossFit® Games 2023?

Whether you're unable to attend the Games in person or prefer to watch from the comfort of your home, there are multiple ways to catch all the action. The 2023 NOBULL CrossFit® Games will be live-streamed on Games.CrossFit.com and through the CrossFit® Games app.

These platforms provide you with a front-row seat to witness the incredible feats of strength and determination from the athletes competing for the title of Fittest on Earth.

Stay tuned for updates on additional broadcasting options closer to the event.

3. Who Qualified for the CrossFit® Games 2023?

The path to the CrossFit® Games is rigorous, with athletes striving to earn their place on the world stage. While the official Games roster for 2023 is yet to be released, we can take a look at the qualified athletes based on the CrossFit® Games Leaderboard.

Individual athletes begin their journey in the Open, where the top ten percent from each continent move on to the Quarterfinals. The top 60 men and 60 women then progress to the in-person Semifinals held in different regions. Finally, the top 40 men and 40 women from the Semifinals secure their spots in the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit® Games.

Some notable individual athletes who have qualified include Gabriela Migała from Poland, Matilde Garnes from Norway, Lazar Đukić from Serbia, and Emma McQuaid from Ireland, among others.

Teams also compete through multiple stages, starting with the Open and advancing to the Quarterfinals and Semifinals. The top teams in each stage earn their spot at the Games. Notable teams that have qualified include CrossFit® Invictus, CrossFit® Krypton, and CrossFit® Franco's Misfits, all from the USA.

Age group divisions provide an opportunity for athletes of different age ranges to compete. The top performers in each age group division secure their spots at the Games.

Some notable athletes who have qualified in the age group divisions include Samantha Briggs from the UK, Tracy Macuiba from the USA, and, of course, our very own Patricia McGill (Canada).

4. Exciting Competitions in Adaptive Divisions

The CrossFit® Games also include adaptive divisions, showcasing the extraordinary abilities of athletes with diverse physical capabilities.

These divisions, such as Vision, Intellectual, Seated With Hip Function, Seated Without Hip Function, and Short Stature, allow athletes to compete and vie for the title of Fittest on Earth in their respective categories.

Prize money is awarded to the podium finishers, and top athletes from divisions like Multi Extremity, Lower Extremity, and Upper Extremity will earn their place at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit® Games.

5. The Background Info On The CrossFit® Games

How long has the CrossFit® Games been running?

It all began when, Greg Glassman, was invited by Dave Castro, the then director of training, to his family ranch in sunny Aromas, California. Glassman proposed a grand idea - to create a "Woodstock of Fitness" for the CrossFit® community.

In July of the same year, the inaugural CrossFit® Games took place at that very ranch in Aromas. With an intimate gathering of about 70 athletes and 150 spectators, it felt like a backyard barbecue infused with sporting events. Little did they know, this modest beginning would ignite a global phenomenon that would reshape the fitness landscape.

Initially, participation was open to anyone who made it to Aromas, with the victors crowned based on their combined scores across various events.

Over the years that followed, the CrossFit® Games has made numerous unexpected comebacks, gracing the renowned ranch once again and reconnecting with its origins.

How has the CrossFit® Games evolved?

As interest surged, so did the number of participants. To accommodate this growing enthusiasm, in 2009, a new qualification stage was introduced - the Regionals.

As the CrossFit® community expanded, so did its borders. In 2017, the Games made a monumental shift from the West Coast to the enchanting grounds of the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. 

In 2019, the Games underwent a significant overhaul, bidding farewell to the Regionals in favor of CrossFit®-sanctioned international qualifying events, known as Sanctionals. This move allowed athletes from around the globe to qualify for the CrossFit® through these "independent" competitions.

The 2020 Games faced an unprecedented challenge with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was reimagined with a smaller field, an online-only first stage, and the absence of teams, masters, or teen events. 

In 2021, the CrossFit® Games embraced inclusivity, introducing the Quarterfinals - an online stage, which allowed athletes unable to attend live events a shot at qualifying. Moreover, the Games welcomed back the team format, and a new division was created for adaptive athletes, celebrating the strength of diversity.

Recently, in 2023, a groundbreaking worldwide ranking system was implemented, revolutionizing the qualification process. This innovative system considered athletes' performances across previous Games, offering additional spots for those who demonstrated consistent excellence.

To Summarize:

At the CrossFit® Games, you'll find a supportive and tight-knit community where everyone is invested in each other's success. It's the ultimate test of fitness, attracting the world's best athletes to compete in a wide range of challenging events.

From individual competitors to teams, age group divisions, and adaptive divisions, the Games provide a platform for athletes to showcase their physical prowess, mental fortitude, and unwavering determination.

Make sure to mark your calendar and tune in to witness the CrossFit® Games 2023, where the Fittest on Earth will be crowned.

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