Yesterday, the CrossFit Filthy 150 announced their first direct invite via Instagram to be none other than CrossFit legend Dan Bailey. A 5-time individual Games qualifier, Bailey has spent the past few seasons recovering from a handful of injuries after building an impressive resume as one of the most consistent performers at the CrossFit Games. He’ll now make his official Sanctionals debut* in 2020 in the opening event of the season in Dublin, Ireland.
*Bailey competed in the Legends Division at the 2019 Rogue Invitational but was not eligible for a spot at the CrossFit Games.
The Road to Recovery
After what most would consider a career-best year in 2015, the road for Bailey has been anything but smooth. Missed qualifications, and a string of injuries have plagued him in the years since, and have presented a significant uphill battle for one of the fan favorites of the sport.
- 2015 Season: Career best 4th place finish at the Games, first career event win in Sprint Course 1, Spirit of the Games award winner, 2015 Invitational champion with the USA Team.
- 2016 Season: Finishes 7th at the California Regional and misses qualification for the first time since 2010 despite finishing every event in the top 10.
- 2017 Season: Withdraws from the 2017 Central Regional due to a pectoral injury following a 2nd place finish in event two.
- 2018 Season: During Open workout 18.2a tears his quadriceps tendon while attempting a max clean, and season is cut short due to injury.
- 2019 Season: While still recovering from the tendon injury and a subsequent shoulder surgery to repair an old labrum injury, Bailey accepts an invite to compete at the Legends event at the Rogue Invitational, finishing 3rd.
The big question: Has Bailey missed his shot? This season will mark the fifth since Bailey last stepped on the competition floor at the CrossFit Games. At 35-years-old and coming off a significant injury, a return to the Games in 2020 would be an impressive addition to an already legendary resume in the sport.
- Five consecutive top 10 finishes at the Games, putting him in elite company for the men’s competition alongside Rich Froning, Mat Fraser, Scott Panchik, Ben Smith, and Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson.
- Won the inaugural CrossFit Games Open in 2011, and is the only athlete to beat Rich Froning in any stage of individual competition during his four year reign as CrossFit Games Champion.
- One of only a handful of male athletes to have won and Open workout worldwide, set a Regional event record, and won an event at the Games during his career.
- Won both the Central East, and California Regionals as an individual competitor, arguably two of the most difficult Regionals during that timeframe.
- His 2012 Regional performance in “Diane,” stands as one of the most legendary single event performances ever at Regionals.
Silver lining: Even if Dan Bailey doesn’t find his way back to the Games in 2020 or beyond, the fact that he’ll be back out on the competition floor to start the season at the Filthy 150 is a win for everyone involved. For the event, they get a verifiable CrossFit legend throwing down on their turf in their first year as a Sanctional, and for Dan Bailey it’s another chance to step out on the competition as a celebration of the adversity he’s overcome the past few years.
Consider this, in less than half a day, the announcement of his invite racked up more comments than any other post in the last six months on the Filthy 150 Instagram.