Do the 2020 Pandemic CrossFit Games Really Need an Asterisk?

September 6, 2022 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit

Like many events that unfolded during the worldwide pandemic, when we talk about the 2020 CrossFit Games, there’s often a consensus that we need to place a disclaimer next to it.

2020 was, after all, anything but a normal season. 

Various Sanctional qualification events were canceled, and the first half of the Games took place online, with athletes competing in the comfort of their home gyms, and where only the top five qualified to the Finals in Aromas, CA, a competition that took place without a crowd. 

Can you blame people for wondering if that year was really legitimate in terms of finding the fittest?

And when you look at the top of the men’s leaderboard that year, the theory grew stronger. Where were the usual top five suspects, like Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson, Pat Vellner and Brent Fikowski?

Instead, it was Sam Kwant—who in three Games appearances had never broken the top 12 before—and the then relatively unknown Jeff Adler—who placed 33rd the year before in his rookie season—who managed to finish second and fifth respectively. Further, rookie Justin Medeiros, just 21 at the time, came out of essentially nowhere and finished third. 

Did any of those men really belong in the top five in the world?

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