CrossFit Games

Six Golds Awarded to International Masters Athletes at the CrossFit Games

July 29, 2021 by
Photo Credit John Newby
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Fourteen athletes representing six different countries outside of the United States stood on the podium–six of them snagging gold—across all masters divisions on Thursday at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

It must be noted that the introduction of the 65 plus division this year means six more medals were up for grabs than between 2017 and 2019; regardless, this is the most amount of gold medals—and tied with 2019 for the most amount of total medals—ever won by the international field of masters athletes. 

  • And although there were also 14 international medal winners in 2019, only two of them were gold.
  • Meanwhile, the year before, in 2018, the international field accounted for 12 medals, three of them gold.

How we got here: Masters athletes were first included in the Games in 2010. That year, there was only one age division—50-54 year-olds. The following year, three other age divisions were added, a trend that has continued until this year with the introduction of the 65 plus division.

  • In 2012, 20 of the 24 (83 percent) medals were awarded went to Americans, with Canada snagging one, Australia taking two, and a competitor from the Africa region picking up another. And in 2013, Americans took home 26 of the 30 medals awarded—86 percent—while Australia took two, and athletes from the Europe region accounted for two more.
  • In comparison, this year, Americans won 66.6 percent of the medals—28 of 42—a strong indication of just how much the sport has grown internationally in recent years. 

One big thing: When you consider medals won compared to the percentage of the field international athletes made up in the masters divisions in Madison, they more than pulled their weight. 

  • International masters athletes took home 33.3 percent of the total medals, and only accounted for 29 percent of total qualifiers on the roster.

Worth Noting: In the teen division, five of the 12 medals awarded Thursday were handed out to international athletes representing five different countries. In comparison, in both 2016 and 2018, 11 of the 12 medals awarded to teens went to Americans.

The bottom line: After 11 years of masters competitions at the CrossFit Games, it’s safe to say what began as an American experience more than a decade ago is now officially an international affair.

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