CrossFit Games

Hindsight Is 2020, Numbers That Defined The Season

December 1, 2020 by
Champions Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser complete the final event of the 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games
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The 2020 calendar year is entering its final chapter, and much like Open workout 12.1, there will be plenty of people happy to see the timecap pass by so we can collectively reset before the next test that awaits us. 

The 2020 Games Season was equally turbulent, and before we turn our eyes to 2021 and the first full season under a new CrossFit regime, below are the collection of the numbers that defined a season filled with more twists than an M. Night Shyamalan film. 

The Open

67 — The total number of days separating the end of the 2019 CrossFit Games season on August 4 and the start of the 2020 season with the announcement of the first workout of the Open on October 10. Rich Froning and Scott Panchik kicked off the Open season by performing 20.1 during Rogue’s live announcement in Austin, Texas, and afterwards Panchik announced that he would be joining the Mayhem Freedom team for the season. 

239,106 — That’s how many athletes registered for the 2020 Open once the dust settled and the final numbers were tabulated. Compared to 2019 it represents a 33.3% reduction in the total registration with a gross total of 119,540 athletes opting to skip the test just seven months after wrapping up the 2019 Open. 

64 — The total number of points accrued by Patrick Vellner in the 2020 Open making him the first Canadian in history to win the CrossFit Games Open worldwide. Vellner joined an elite club of four other men who have managed to conquer the Open during their careers with Dan Bailey, Rich Froning, Mat Fraser, and Noah Ohslen preceding Vellner as Open champions. 

24 — The total number of points accrued by Sara Sigmundsdottir in the 2020 Open making her the first three-time Open champion in the history of the women’s division. Sara’s point total is the lowest total on the women’s side since Sam Brigg’s 16 point performance in 2013. Sara finished four of the five Open workouts in the top-3 worldwide, tying Briggs who also had four as well in the 2013 Open. 

90 — The number of single-leg squats, otherwise known as “pistols,” prescribed in workout 20.4 as the movement made its debut for the first time in the CrossFit Games Open. In doing so they became the 32nd different movement variation to be programmed in the Open across its 10 year history. Jeffrey Adler put forth one of the more impressive Open performances by winning the workout with the fastest time on the men’s side in a sign of things to come for the upstart Canadian and eventual National Champion. 

3 — The number of athletes from the girls 16-17 division that finished inside the top-150 worldwide in the Open ahead of dozens of current and former individual Games athletes and podium finishers. Olivia Sulek (50th), Emma Cary (80th), and Paige Powers (136th) have continued to build upon the body of work started by Haley Adams just a few years ago in showcasing just how fit the next generation of female athletes can be and that it won’t be long before they take the next step by continuing their success as individuals. 

Sanctionals & Age Group Online Qualifier 

5 —The number of new Sanctional events that opened the first half of the season starting with the Filthy 150 in Dublin, Ireland where two eventual rookies — Justin Medeiros and Andrea Solberg — earned their invite to the CrossFit Games. The SouthFit CrossFit Challenge, Pandaland CrossFit Challenge, Mayhem Classic, and Norwegian CrossFit Championship followed suit before the remaining slate of events was cancelled. 

9 — The total number of countries that were able to host Sanctioned events during the 2020 season. Ireland, China, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, England, Norway, Australia, and Brazil all played host to official CrossFit competition, expanding the international horizons of a sport that was founded in a city of less than 65,000 people. 

36 — The number of team athletes that earned an official invite to the CrossFit Games through Sanctionals competition but neither got a conclusion to their season or a prize purse for their efforts. ROMWOD Meat Squad, Odd Squad, Team Butchers Lab, MisFit P10 Performance, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, The Prgrm, CrossFit Mayhem Independence, Starr Strength Black, and Taranis Lifetree are all deserving of one last piece of recognition for earning their spot at a team competition that was ultimately lost to history. 

233,000 — The total number in American dollars that athletes who qualified via the Sanctional route earned in prize purse money at the CrossFit Games this season. The nine athletes that cashed checks this season earned an average $25,888.88 highlighting the fact that despite all the craziness of the season, the Sanctionals provided a legitimate path for athletes to earn an income that was more than 93% of the world’s population annual income less than a decade ago. 

160 — The total number of Age Group athletes that qualified for the CrossFit Games in Madison through the Age Group Online qualifier before the season abruptly ended. As a result, organizations like the Masters Fitness Collective, The Pit Fitness Ranch, and the Legends Masters Competition stepped up to the plate to fill the void and provide a competitive conclusion to the season for a contingent of athletes that represent nearly half of the entire competitive field in the Open. 


17 — The number of Sanctioned events in 12 different countries that were cancelled due to restrictions and lockdowns in place from the pandemic with the Atlas Games in Montreal, Quebec, Canada having to formally postpone less than 24 hours prior to the start of competition. The Rogue Invitational successfully pivoted to an online format, but it relinquished its Sanctioned event status for the season. 

89 — The percentage of affiliates worldwide that were closed, temporarily or permanently as a result of the initial lockdowns due to the pandemic.

96 — The percentage of affiliates in the United States that were closed, temporarily or permanently as a result of the pandemic. 

2,900,000 — The number in dollars (at minimum) raised for affiliates, gyms, and businesses impacted by the pandemic through the United In Movement and Support Your Local Box fundraisers. This included a 24-hour continuous livestream hosted by the United In Movement team along with workouts, interviews, and instruction from some of the biggest names in the community .

25 — The number of 2020 CrossFit Games athletes that publicly boycotted the Games or stated that immediate change was needed for them to continue forward participating in the sport or associating with CrossFit HQ.

19 — The total number of days in the month of June spanning between former CrossFit owner Greg Glassman’s scathing email reply to affiliate owner Alyssa Royse, and the announcement of Glassman signing a letter of intent to sell the company to new owner and CEO Eric Roza. The swift fall from grace included an inflammatory Zoom call with affiliate owners, a now infamous tweet, and multiple outlets reporting on the toxic culture surrounding Glassman’s inner circle. 

239 — The number of national champion athletes that had their Games invitation rescinded due to pandemic restrictions that forced the CrossFit Games team to narrow the field of athletes to just 30 in each division for stage one, and five for the in-person finals in California. 


381 — The total number of days that comprised the 2020 CrossFit Games season once the fittest on earth were crowned following stage two of the Games at the Ranch and Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Complex. This includes an 84 day delay from when the Games were originally slated to finish in Madison, Wisconsin on August 2.

31 — The percentage increase of the total viewership of the 2020 Games when compared to 2019 excluding the Pluto TV livestream numbers from CBS. The viewership of 11,543,983 marked CrossFit HQ’s return to providing highly produced, television-worthy live sport coverage of the Games after a hiatus in 2019. 

6 — The time in years between Kari Pearce’s podium performance, and the last time an American woman stood on the podium. It is also the record for consecutive event wins at the Games set by both Mat Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey during stage 2.

40 — The combined age in years of both Haley Adams (4th) and Justin Medeiros (3rd), making them the youngest pair of athletes ever to crack the top-5 at the Games in the same year. Annie Thorisdottir and Ben Smith previously set the youthful mark in 2011 with a combined age of 42.

905 — The combined total points separating Mat Fraser (545) and Tia-Clair Toomey (360) from their closest competitors on the leaderboard, both setting records for the mark in the process. In doing so they also set the mark for most event wins in a single CrossFit Games with 14 for Fraser and 13 for Toomey. They are fitting records for the two champions, and ones that will likely not be broken for quite some time. 

19 & 12.38 — These might be the two most impressive numbers implication-wise ever in the sport. In a combined 76 different head to head opportunities across both stages of the Games between Mat Fraser and his peers in the “Final Five,” the other four athletes only managed to beat Fraser for a combined total of 19-lbs and 12.38 seconds. Medeiros got him by 12-lbs in the front squat, Jeffrey Adler got him by 7-lbs in the CrossFit Total, Noah Ohslen beat him by two seconds in the Handstand Hold, and Samuel Kwant beat him by 1.9 seconds in the 1,000 meter row and 8.48 second in Swim ‘N’ Stuff. That’s it. 

1 – The only number acceptable next to Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser’s names in the placement column at the Games and in the discussion of the greatest individual athletes to “lace ‘em up,” in the sport following the record setting fourth consecutive title for Toomey and fifth consecutive title for Fraser.

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