“The Crown” to Showcase Top European Teens in Unique Competition in Mallorca, Spain
Big Brother, Jersey Shore, and Love Island are all famous for their iconic settings–gigantic, lavish housing for characters to go through the troubles and turmoil of being a reality television star.
- Pair this with the decade-old series on the CrossFit Games YouTube channel “Rogue vs Again Faster,” which gave a never-before-seen, raw look into the lives of early elite athletes like Mikko Salo, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, and a mustachioed Rory Mckernon, and you’ll see John Singleton’s vision for his upcoming competition “The Crown.”
What is “The Crown”?: While Singleton’s target audience for this competition is most likely too young to remember the height of Jersey Shore or Rogue vs Again Faster. The Crown, which takes place this weekend, April 6-9, will feature 10 of the best European teenage talents the sport of CrossFit has to offer in a one-of-a-kind format. Athletes will stay in a house on the island of Mallorca, Spain, participate in four days of exciting events, and have cameras following them the entire time to produce a documentary on the competition.
Singleton, the founder of The Progrm, has been passionate about giving a voice and spotlight to teen athletes for years.
He says that he saw competitions give masters, teens, and other divisions the backseat over and over and wanted to create something different.
- “With the teens being the next generation, we really wanted to highlight and give them an opportunity to have a competition that was all theirs and they were the center of attention,” Singleton said.
While the perception and outlook of the teenage division have undoubtedly changed over the past few years with the rise of a few stars, the reality remains that most Games athletes that make their debut in the teens can’t make the jump to the individual division right away.
Singleton says that this competition, which he hopes to develop into an invite-only style system of an elite caliber like the Rogue Invitational, will give those athletes in the middle a tangible goal to reach.
- “That jump from 17 to (the elite divisions) is huge and that’s what we want to fill a little bit. So between 17 and 21 years old, there’s actually this focused event you really want to get to,” Singleton said. “The idea is to keep the athletes in the sport.”
The details: The Crown has a multitude of factors rare to a CrossFit competition.
For one, the small number of athletes (and only one heat per event) means that there’s a huge degree of flexibility for Singleton and the event team to run things smoothly. Plus, they are employing a full day of competition followed by a half-day to aid in recovery and make sure athletes get the optimal experience. Also, each athlete was given travel stipends and their room and board is included in the competition (including a private chef at the house) to make expenses as low as possible.
- “Navigating the finances of (running a competition) is tricky. We wanted to do things well, so the budget can be quite high,” Singleton said.
While they hosted the first iteration of the event in 2019 (then called “The Comp”), COVID restrictions and other setbacks forced the competition to take a new form. However, Singleton is excited to introduce his new format.
- “It’s kind of nice to be able to do something unique for the CrossFit space…I’m quite excited to see how people take to this event and get to know the athletes in a different way. It’s quite nice to be offering a new format into the CrossFit competition world.”
Singleton hopes that the documentary his team produces in the weeks following the competition will give fans a new look into the up-and-comers of the sport. It will follow their lives throughout the competition and give a detailed view of how CrossFit teens handle their unique situations. Whether it gains them a few Instagram followers, a new friend, or a potential sponsor, he hopes it can be a leg up in the growing world of CrossFit.
- Singleton: “(The documentary) is more of a raw, get to know the athletes style. We wanted to hold true to that original goal of giving these athletes a nice platform with which to move onto the elite.”
While Singleton has an impressive coaching roster and resume, it’s clear that providing a space for the youngest athletes in the sport is a personal passion. He says that what he found most fulfilling from the competition in 2019 was watching athletes make new friends that they still keep in touch with to this day.
- “A lot of teen athletes train in isolation or train with people older than them, so it’s harder to form that friendship connection,” Singleton said. “But in doing an event like this, they’ve all the sudden got friends who have the same interests as them and that can keep them motivated in the sport.”
Ten teens will take on The Crown this weekend. Be on the lookout for the upcoming documentary and their names on the Elite Individual leaderboard for years to come.