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Nuno Costa Finds Place of Belonging in the CrossFit Community

August 2, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Athlete’s Eye
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It was a successful CrossFit Games for ten time Games athlete Nuno Costa, finishing the week taking home a first place event finish and becoming the 6th fittest man in the 40-44 division. Like other Games athletes, achieving that success comes with immense hard work, dedication and at times, adversity. But Costa’s adversity had less to do with his fitness and more to do with finding a sense of belonging.

Costa found a home with CrossFit after struggling with addiction and going through recovery. Much of his addiction stemmed from when he decided to come out as gay.

  • “It was one of the most challenging things when I came out, not knowing when, how, or if I was going to become a parent, and that hit home being uncertain if that was ever going to be a possibility,” Costa admitted. “There were times I struggled mentally and turned to drugs and alcohol in my younger years, not knowing how to deal with challenges. 
  • He started CrossFit nine months sober, and even refers to CrossFit as his “sober baby.”
  • “It was similar to CrossFit where there’s a community, support, and that kind of paved the way for a new way of life and to develop a support network.

When Costa walked into the 2008 CrossFit Games, he wasn’t expecting to find the place of belonging that he did. Within a month, Costa had taken his L-1 Certification and has stuck with it ever since. Costa says through CrossFit, he has found his place in the world and with that, he wants to give back through mentoring and supporting young LGBTQ people, single parents, and people recovering from addiction.

That acceptance that CrossFit seems to breed, can be strongly felt by Costa especially with the renewed focus on inclusivity under CEO Eric Rosa. As a gay man, Costa says that effort is extremely important. “Being gay never seemed like a big deal, especially in the CrossFit community. It’s very welcoming, and now it opens itself up to more people that are struggling, feel like they don’t belong, that they need a place of belonging…I want to make sure everyone has someone to look up to… If I can be that help or resource for anyone, I would love to,” said Costa.

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