CrossFit Games

The Fittest State In North America West

May 27, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Instagram @dellespeegle
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Since CrossFit’s inception in 2000, California has been the main stay (er, state) of the sport.

This weekend in Pasadena, the impressive number of California-based athletes is proving that while CrossFit has become more global than its golden roots, the state still has an impressive presence in the sport. 

A quick history lesson: 

Created in Santa Cruz: The sunny state’s representation is due, in part, to the fact that California was the birth-state of CrossFit’s Co-Founder and former CEO, Greg Glassman. Equal parts innovative and controversial, Glassman founded a fitness center in 1995 in Santa Cruz, where he began coaching fitness after incorporating CrossFit in 2000. 

The Games in The Golden State: While the sport of CrossFit continued to gain popularity amongst Californians prior to this, the hiring of Dave Castro kept the momentum going. In 2006, CrossFit’s old favorite villain was brought on as the Director of Marketing. 

The inaugural CrossFit Games were held at Castro’s family ranch — known simply as The Ranch—in 2007. For the next decade, the CrossFit Games continued to be held in Southern California, either at The Ranch in Aromas or Home Depot Center in Carson, before they were relocated to Madison, WI. 

The second half of the The 2020 CrossFit Games also took place at The Ranch in Aromas, CA, after the first half took place online due to the pandemic. 

The CrossFit Cali Civil war: During the Regionals Heyday, there were so many California-based athletes that NoCal and SoCal had their own separate events. 

Headquarters in the hot state: Athletics aside, California has also been a hot-spot for CrossFit-related administrative work. Scotts Valley California was home to CrossFit Headquarters from 2011 to 2020. While the official HQ is now in Boulder, Colorado, there are still offices in California. 

Fast forward to North America West: 

Impressive number of Individual athletes from Cali: Of the 120 athletes taking the stage as individuals this weekend, 20 of them are from California. That means 17-percent of the athletes this weekend call The Land of Milk and Honey home. Hey, honey is a great quick carb… 

Boxes in The Bear State: The 20 athletes from California train out of 15 different boxes throughout the state. 

These include: 

  • CrossFit Invictus
  • Next Level Crossfit
  • CrossFit By Overload
  • Cyn Gym CrossFit
  • Persistence Culture Moorpark CrossFit
  • CrossFit Up
  • Outlier CrossFit 
  • CrossFit Hideaway
  • K2 CrossFit
  • CrossFit Pandemic
  • Bear Republic CrossFit
  • Turn 2 CrossFit
  • Precision CrossFit 
  • Richard Russell CrossFit Monterey Bay
  • Strong Suit CrossFit

A podium of Californians in the cards: This weekend 10 total individual women will punch their ticket for the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Six of the 11 women from California competing this weekend have already been to the Games in years passed: Dani Speegle (Individual), Bethany Shadburne (Individual), Jenn Ryan (Individual, Team, Age-Group), Lauren Fisher (Individual, Team), Claire Truax (Teen), and Hannah Hall (Teen). Plus, Kelly Kelly (formerly Kelly Clark) has been damn close. So there is a world where the bulk of the women qualifiers are CA-based. 

On the men’s side, 9 individual athletes will earn their right to compete in Madison this coming August. Chandler Smith is the only man from California who has been to the Games, so the Cali boys don’t have quite the same chance of North America West domination. 

Overall Most Athletes:

  • California: 20
  • Texas: 15
  • Washington: 13
  • Canada: 11
  • Idaho: 8
  • Missouri: 7

The bottom line: Despite the fact the sport of functional fitness has been continuously moving beyond the California state lines since its inception, the presence of Californians at North America West reminds us that the golden state is still, indeed, the golden child of CrossFit.

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