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Pete Shaw: From Games Judge to Games Athlete

Sep 13, 2020 by

Last August, Pete Shaw was winding down from his high of being on the Coliseum floor of the Alliant Energy Center at the 2019 CrossFit Games. However Shaw wasn’t competing, he was instead judging the athletes as they battled it out to determine the “Fittest.” Some of those same athletes he judged, he now joins on September 18-19 in the online stage of the 2020 CrossFit Games.

Remind me: Shaw is one of ten athletes who will be making their very first Games appearance. At 30 years old he is also one of the elder statesmen in the men’s field but his story goes further than his Games journey.

He is a member of the CrossFit Level 1 seminar staff and that has allowed him to judge at the Games in Madison the last two years. He is the first CrossFit employee to compete at the Games as an individual since Margaux Alvarez did in 2018 and first male since Spencer Hendel at the 2016 Games. As far as athletes who have judged at the Games one year and competed the next, he and Cheri Chan (2010-2011) are the only ones to accomplish this feat.

The native of Canada has competed in four Regionals including three as an individual athlete. His best finish was at the 2018 East Regionals where he placed 12th. The 2018 season was also when he had his best Open finish, placing 123rd in the world. This season Shaw finished 160th worldwide in the Open.

Enter 2020: Shaw punched his Games ticket over nine months ago when he traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina and won the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge. He was able to finish atop the podium by rallying past Jay Crouch on the final day of competition to secure his first Games invitation. He had top-three finishes in five of the eight events including two event wins. The win and subsequent invitation were fulfilling for Shaw.

  • “Part of me was ready to chase that ticket for the rest of my life. When I won SouthFit it felt like a dream for about a month.”

Path to the “Live Five”: Shaw is a traditional CrossFitter by trade. He does well in couplets and triplets that incorporate traditional movements with high volume and distance. Those were the events he found success in at SouthFit.

His two wins at SouthFit occurred in the final two events with one featuring thrusters and touch-and-go rope climbs. The final event was a grueling chipper that included calories on a ski-erg and on a Concept bike with toe-to-bars and hang cleans.

At 6’1” and weighing 215 pounds, Shaw is one of the larger athletes in the Games field but moves extremely well and says he gets “wide eyed” when he sees any workout that involves accumulating calories or distance.

Shaw has also shown that gymnastics are a strength, especially if it includes rings. In this year’s Open his best finish was in 20.5 where he placed 80th. That workout was a long triplet that included 40 ring muscle-ups, 80 calories on a rower and 120 wall balls.

Non-wheelhouse workouts for Shaw are ones that require heavy weight or finding a one-rep max. Those were the events he struggled in the past at Regionals and most recently in the Open and at SouthFit.

His two worst finishes in Argentina were 13th in an event that featured a total of 36 deadlifts at 315 LBS and ninth place in the one-rep max snatch event where he finished with a lift of 253 LBS.

  • I already asked Dave to put in swimming but that was a no go, haha.  I really don’t care what shows up. It’s a test of fitness and I feel like I have prepared myself well for anything. Bring it on!”

Benchmark 1RM Lifts

  • Back Squat = 435 LBs
  • Front Squat = 370 LBs
  • Clean = 350 LBs
  • Clean and Jerk = 335 LBs
  • Snatch = 275 LBs
  • Overhead Squat = 315 LBs
  • Deadlift = 550 LBs


CrossFit Games

Pete Shaw



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