CrossFit Games

CrossFit Open Announcements Top Five Moments

January 30, 2024 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit Games
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With the Open rapidly approaching, in the midst of training and honing specific skills, we also enjoy looking back, reminiscing on past Open workouts, and retesting them at our affiliates. 

As we remember all those WODs from the past decade, memories also surface from the Open announcements, made by Dave Castro, from affiliates throughout the world. 

For seven years, from 2013 until 2019, Castro brought the drama, with the unveiling of a new workout each week, immediately tackled by two or more people, and live-streamed for the greater worldwide community to watch. (For the first two years of the Open, in 2011 and 2012, the announcements were pre-recorded.)

For two years, the live announcements were put to bed, but as they were an integral part of the season that many of us missed dearly, they were brought back in 2021 and have been a staple of the Open hype ever since. 

In chronological order, here are five of our favorite CrossFit Open announcements:

14.5: Dave Tosses His Watch, Ro and Boz Throw Down – For the first time, an Open workout was programmed as “for time,” as opposed to an AMRAP. 

  • “The clock? Save you it will not. You will do 168 reps, or you will quit in the process of trying. 14.5 is for time.” Castro said, as he turned and threw his watch into the crowd. 

In case you forgot, the workout consisted of 21 thrusters at 95 pounds for men, 65 pounds for women, followed by 21 bar-facing burpees, then down to 18, 18, 15, 15, and so on until athletes reached three reps of each. 

This was also the first year that Ro and Boz , (Rory McKernan and Adrian Bozman) live-streamed their head-to-head throwdown on an Open workout, which came to be part of the announcement tradition. 

16.5: Ben, Rich, and Mat Battle at the Ranch – Taking place at the original home of the CrossFit Games, The Ranch in Aromas, California, was the 16.5 Open announcement. Games champions Ben Smith and Rich Froning, along with podium finisher Mat Fraser faced off. Fraser had yet to begin his five-year reign at this time, as he won his first CrossFit Games later that season. 

This was the fourth year in a row that a “repeat” workout was announced, as the previous year, 15.2 was 14.2. In 2016, Castro announced that 16.5 would be 14.5: the thrusters, burpees over the bar workout mentioned above. Because of this, we began expecting to see these repeat workouts pop up every year, and while it’s not a guarantee, a repeat workout has been programmed almost every year since. (It was only in 2022 that we did not see a repeat workout.)

18.5: The Dottirs Go Head-to-Head-to-Head – 18.5 was unusual in that it was decided based on a vote from the community. After everything was tallied, 18.5 was announced to be 11.6: three thrusters at 95 pounds for men, 65 pounds for women, followed by three chest-to-bar pull-ups, then six and six, followed by nine and nine, increasing by three reps until the time cap of seven minutes. 

The announcement was followed immediately by the three Dottirs, (Annie Thorisdottir, Katrin Davidsdottir and Sara Sigmundsdottir), battling one another, head-to-head-to-head. It was the Original Dottir, (Annie) who bested the other two, setting the score to beat for the entire CrossFit community. 

21.2: 2020 Male Podium Finishers Do Work – Workout 21.2 was another repeat, this time of workout 17.1. The announcement throwdown this year was between the two remaining podium finishers from the 2020 CrossFit Games, Sam Kwant and Justin Medeiros, as Mat Fraser had retired from competition at this time. 

As Fraser had held his reign over the CrossFit Games for the past five years, this Open felt like a brand new chapter in CrossFit Games history that we were just beginning to write, as we were going to see a new champion emerge. It was anyone’s guess who it would be, but money was put on either Kwant or Medeiros based on their performance at the Ranch the previous summer. 

22.3: First Ever Team Match-Up – For the first time, two teams threw down for the Open announcement in 2022: CrossFit Reykjavik versus CrossFit Hendersonville. The workout had a 12-minute time cap, and was the following:

21 Pull-Ups
42 Double-Unders
21 Thrusters (95/65)
18 Chest-to-Bar
36 Double-Unders
18 Thrusters (115/75)
15 Bar Muscle-Ups
30 Double-Unders
15 Thrusters (135/85)

Shortly before the workout was publicly announced there was a leak, allowing some people to have an extra bit of time to digest the workout before Dave Castro shared it with the world. Regardless, over 500,000 people tuned in to view the announcement within its first 24 hours of airing. 

The big picture: With only weeks to go until the first Open workout of 2024 is shared, we can only speculate on what will be programmed, which workouts will be repeated, which new movements may be included and who will demonstrate the workouts live. 

The countdown is on.

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