Dave Castro Talks 2021 Season, Collaboration with Semifinals, Confirms Three-Week CrossFit Open is “Here to Stay”
Dave Castro, CrossFit LLC’s General Manager of Sport, was on hand at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge in Knoxville, TN on the weekend and admitted that being there and “not running the show…keeping my mouth shut” was a “unique experience,” he said in an interview with commentators Sean Woodland and Tommy Marquez. “But I’m enjoying it,” he added.
- In the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Castro didn’t attend any Sanctionals events, but he said he felt it was important for him to be present at various Semifinals this year, because they’re “really part of the season (now),” he said. Unlike Sanctionals the last two seasons, where only the winner of the event qualified to the Games, the Semifinals are responsible for fielding the entire CrossFit Games roster in Madison, WI this summer.
- Due to the pandemic unknowns, Castro said this season has been another “wild ride,” but that he’s thrilled that five Semifinals are in-person events. “I’m ecstatic that we have 50 percent of the event going (live)…That’s a great outcome,” he said.
On collaboration with Semifinals: Castro called CrossFit LLC’s partnership with the 10 Semifinals organizers “more collaborative than ever before.”
- Other than providing some “general guidelines,” CrossFit LLC gave each Semifinals host full control over their own programming.
- “I didn’t even put my eyes on any of the programming…I just stayed away from it,” said Castro, adding that CrossFit’s Head Judge Adrian Bozman took the lead.
- In the end, Castro said he offered his opinion on a few movements and “stylistic things,” and only a few programming “tweaks” were made.
One big thing: Castro called this season’s format — with the shorter three-week Open, Quarterfinals and Semifinals — a huge success. As a result, the three-week open is “definitely something that’s here to stay,” he said.
- Castro said he got great feedback from affiliate owners on the new format, as well as from four-time Games champion Rich Froning.
- “He doesn’t usually give me praise,” Castro joked about Froning, but even Froning praised the format. Froning also gave Castro some constructive feedback, which Castro said he will “possibly incorporate some of it,” he said.
On the CrossFit Games: Like every year, Castro sounded excited to announce that the Games this summer will feature “new and exciting elements that have never been seen before,” he said.
- He also said that even after 15 years of organizing the event, he hasn’t lost his fire and is as passionate as ever to put on a show that he promises will be “monumental.”
- And with the recent announcement of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Madison, he’s hoping for a more normal Games than 2020, one that includes a house packed with thousands of fans.
- His message to the community: “Come to the Games, cause the athletes are coming and the show is going to be amazing.”