Safety First: Athletes Enter The Bubble
In past years, onsite preparation for the CrossFit Games athletes and crew began well before the official Games week kicked off.
The 2020 CrossFit Games are no different, only with a priority placed on individual health and safety due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result the travel, check-in, and behind the scenes protocols for everyone involved will be unlike any other year.
Enter the bubble: The CrossFit Games will be employing a “bubble” system where all athletes and event personnel will be kept isolated from the public for the duration of their stay for the competition week with strict protocols surrounding every aspect of their trip starting before they make the journey to Aromas.
- Pre-travel: Everyone entering the bubble must submit a negative COVID test prior to travelling to California. The saliva sample is physically submitted while the testing agency visually monitors and confirms the test via Zoom conference call.
- Upon arrival: A second test is administered upon entering the bubble and afterwards athletes and personnel must quarantine in their hotel rooms until the second test is confirmed negative.
- From there: Athletes will not be allowed to leave the designated hotel for anything other than official Games-related events or activities. Transportation to and from the hotel will be provided by CrossFit at all times.
One big thing: All athletes will be allowed one primary support person to join them in the bubble and throughout the Games week. The primary support person must follow all of the same protocols listed above and must share a hotel room with the athlete and at no point is anyone else besides the primary support person or athlete is permitted inside their hotel room.
- While supplies last: Athletes and their primary support person must obtain all necessary food and supplies outside of the CrossFit provided services prior to taking the second COVID test and entrance into the bubble.
- Extra help: Athletes can have additional support help from people other than their primary support person, however, those additional people cannot come in direct contact with the athletes or primary support person, and any food or supplies obtained on the athletes behalf must be dropped off at a designated receiving area outlined by CrossFit.
We’ve seen this before: Both the NBA and NHL employed similar bubble strategies in order to complete their seasons that were previously halted by the pandemic. The NHL used two “hub cities” — Edmonton and Toronto — where teams were isolated until the season’s completion, while the NBA famously used a reported 170 million dollar investment to secure Walt Disney World as their bubble location.
- A massive success: In both instances the bubble strategy worked. The NHL and NBA both completed their seasons without any major issues, and reported exactly zero positive results. The NHL alone administered 33,174 tests.
The bottom line: After months of delays, dozens of events cancelled, and millions of dollars lost we’re in the final stretch of an improbable scenario where the 2020 CrossFit Games season can finally have a definitive conclusion. As strict as the bubble may seem, it is a proven commodity and the CrossFit Games team is going to great lengths to make sure we can finally get to the finish line.