Following the CrossFit Games announcement canceling the 2020 age group competition Thursday night, Director of the CrossFit Games, Dave Castro took to Instagram Live on Friday to field questions on a range of topics surrounding the 2020 season.
One big thing: While a small amount of information has trickled out of CrossFit HQ over the past few weeks concerning the likelihood that the 2020 CrossFit Games will take place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic this summer, a lot of uncertainty still remains. Over the course of the 19-minute Instagram chat, Castro provided the most definitive answers to date about CrossFit’s plans for the Games.
Here are six key takeaways:
- They’re still aiming for an August Games: Castro noted at several points throughout the IG Live session that while no one can predict the future, he intends to hold the CrossFit Games at the Ranch in August.
- What will it look like: “Small, with no spectators, is the key to us being able to potentially pull this off. We don’t even know if we are going to be able to pull this off,” Castro noted. “We could postpone the Games, but we don’t want to. We want to try to deliver a competition for the individual athletes and salvage some semblance of our season.”
- In reality though: Castro acknowledged that he was leading “A fight against the norm; we are going against the grain. No other sports are even going yet, so who knows where things will be in August.”
- Games staff evaluated many options for including age groups: Castro started off the chat by addressing the announcement to cancel the age group divisions. He said ”It was a tough decision, it was not something we wanted to do…we’re not able to do the Games the way we’d like, when we want.”
- Teams are probably out: At one point Castro acknowledged that several of the Instagram Live viewers were asking for information about the team division, but chose not to address those questions directly. Instead, he said, “We are trying to make the best out of the situation and put on an event for the community.”
- Reading between the lines: It’s important to note that at several points in the 19-minute session Castro referred to having just “the individuals” at the Ranch. He also explained that it would be logistically too difficult to hold events on multiple weekends, almost guaranteeing that teams will not be invited to Aromas.
- There will most likely be cuts to the individual field to keep numbers low. “You would be crazy to assume or think that we are going to have 150 men and 150 women, so what we are planning at this point will be very different from what happened at the Games last year, to accommodate the venue we are using and some of the restrictions we imagine that we might have to deal with,” Castro noted.
- What did he mean by “different”: Castro clarified, “It’s going to be very different, athletes are going to have to go to a place they’ve never gone before mentally and physically. They are not going to have their large support networks. There are not going to be fans out here, they’re not going to have the energy of the crowds to drive them on. They are just going to have to go to work…and dig deep. The champion who comes out of this is going to be a great champion.”
- Even if foreign athletes can’t make the trip, 2020 winners will still be called “the Fittest on Earth:” When asked whether it would still be fair to call the individual winners in 2020 “the Fittest on Earth.” He replied, “The men and women who come here? Absolutely. The test is going to be as complete as any other test and honestly, with what I’m working with and what’s planned, this will probably be one of the most demanding years and challenging years ever at the CrossFit Games.”
- Nothing from 2020 will roll over to 2021. At least for the age group divisions, Castro said nothing is rolling over: “We are not rolling things over…It’s going to be clean, next season is going to be a new season,” Castro said.
The bottom line: Each week, we are gathering more and more information about the fate of the 2020 CrossFit Games and what the competition might look like. It’s clear from Director Dave Castro’s IG Live session that he and his team are well on their way to programming and planning the event with a goal of holding it in August at the Ranch in Aromas, CA. He reminded viewers to maintain some perspective though — the NBA season is being postponed and maybe canceled altogether, the Olympics have been canceled for 2020 — concluding, “I see it as a huge success and huge win that we are even trying to pull off just having the individuals here.”
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