“We believe this is a move that will benefit each division in significant ways, most importantly more than doubling qualifying spots for masters and teens and allowing every adaptive division a place at the in-person championship,” said Dave Castro, General Manager of Sport and Education at CrossFit in a press release today.
“Masters athletes represent more than half of the CrossFit Open participants, and combined with the teens and adaptive divisions, these athletes sit at the core of the sport’s continued growth. It’s the right thing to do to reward each group with their own distinct championship event and expand our overall championship season,” Castro concluded.
The details: The first part of the Age Group season will remain the same. Athletes will follow the traditional CrossFit Games season through the first three stages by competing in the CrossFit Open and advancing to the Quarterfinals and Semifinals.
Then, they will complete their season at the Pit Teen Throwdown or Legends Championship.
The WheelWOD Games, in collaboration with CrossFit, will host the full competition season for adaptive athletes from the WheelWOD Open through the finals.
Remind me: The masters division for athletes over 50 was added in 2010 with additional divisions for men and women added in subsequent years.
As of this year, there were seven masters divisions; 35–39, 40–44, 45–49, 50–54, 55–59, 60–64, and 65+.
The teens division was added in 2015, with the ages ranging from 14-15 and 16-17. Adaptive athletes were welcomed to the Games for the first time in 2021.
In 2021, 20 athletes in the masters and teens division were invited to the Games. In 2022 that number was cut to only top 10.
The bottom line: The move is likely going to raise many eyebrows for athletes in the community who have been trying to make it to the Games in a division outside of elite individual or team.
The Games have evolved over the years with age groups and adaptive divisions only competing the first part of the week at this year’s competition, while giving individuals and teams the spotlight over the entirety of the weekend.
While abrupt, this change ultimately could be a good opportunity for unaffiliated competitions to become the premier venues for competitive, age division and adaptive athletes around the globe.
Separately, there has been backlash from athletes and those in the community for a lack of video coverage at the Games for divisions outside of individual and team. This change could bring the spotlight back on these communities, while not at the Games, but at a competition dedicated to them.
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💪 🔥 The TYR Wodapalooza Team Online Challenge and Qualifier begins this week, on October 12. Registration closes and scores are due on October 23 and video submissions are due on October 26. Learn more now and get registered!
Victor Hoffer is making his Rogue Invitational debut this month. Check out his “R You Rogue” video next week.
ICYMI: 23 Questions to End the 2023 Season–first up, Justin Cotler.
Analyzing the 114% Growth of Creatine Sales in 2023
For most of us in the CrossFit community, adding creatine to our protein drink is just a regular part of the daily routine, but it turns out that has been far from the case for the average person outside the gym…until now.
According to recent data by sports research firm SPINS, creatine has seen 114% year-over-year growth for the 52 weeks ending August 13, 2023.
This was even more than double the growth of electrolyte powders (52% growth), which have absolutely exploded in popularity over the past year.
In this article, we’re going to look at the incredible rise of creatine sales over the past couple of years, and then delve into the factors that are driving this growth, along with insights and observations from people in the supplement industry.
How Grit, Determination, and Hard Work Birthed Hero Barbell
It was 2017, and Frank Savarese, a former collegiate baseball player and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, met Greg Spillane and Mike Butler. The three men came together on dusty Rancho Bernardo community softball field five, where they all coached their kids in softball. The guys hit it off immediately, bonding over their love of CrossFit and athletics in general.
2020, COVID, and the California quarantine orders closely followed, and the three families decided to quarantine together. Maintaining their fitness was important to the men. The guys got to work on putting together a solid home gym, and for anyone who remembers, barbells were tough to find in the time of COVID.
One day, Spillane had an idea.
He suggested the guys start their own barbell company.
Savarese remembers: “What we really wanted to create was the brand behind the barbell, for CrossFitters, by CrossFitters.”
Butler and Savarese placated their friend, nodded their heads, and decided to sleep on it. Early the next morning, Savarese got a call.
“Greg called us, and he had found a bunch of sample bars…that quickly.”
“He found manufacturers, ordered demo bars and specifications, and got them all shipped to the house. He said we would look at them and go from there.”
It became a true passion project, with the men not only concentrating on a great product but an even better brand identity.
“We started designing everything and building the roots behind the company–envisioning supply chain and logistics and figuring out the partners that will help us along our way. Eventually, we got it all together, and we hit the market in February of 2021.”
The goal for HERO barbells was to stand proud as a self-funded startup and start on a journey to redefine the barbell landscape.
Being completely self-funded, HERO was able to start with just five SKUs – they went with five men’s barbells, and the sales took off quickly.
HERO started making appearances at competitions, and the most feedback came from women who wanted their own bar. The company signed Andrea Nisler as HERO’s first major athlete and began manufacturing women’s barbells.
In addition to serving as the stage for the highest level athletes to show off their chops, The CrossFit Games have long doubled as sibling reunions. Or at least, they have in years past for the Panchiks, Smiths, and Djukics.
At the 2023 NoBull CrossFit Games only one sibling pair took the floor together.
The solitary sibling pair.
Ben and Alec Smith competed together on team CrossFit Krypton alongside Erin O’Donnell and Caroline Spencer. They took home 19th.
Going into the Semifinals, most fans of the sport would have predicted that there’d be several more sibling pairs taking the Alliant Energy Center floor in August.
Four other families with fit sibs.
During the early stages of competition we saw a number of additional pairs with the same parents throw down. Including:
Saxon and Spencer Panchik
Brittany and Allison Weiss
Lazar and Luka Djukic
Brooke and Sydney Wells
Two sidelined siblings, one per family.
Spencer and Saxon Panchik both competed in the North America East Semifinal. Saxon withdrew after the 3rd test, due to an ankle injury. Spencer went on to come in 12th, earning the last qualifying Games spot at his Semifinal event.
The Djukic brothers faced a similar fate to the Panchiks. Sick with the flu, Luka withdrew from the Europe Semifinal after Day 1.
Lazar took home gold at the same Semifinal event, earning him the right to compete at the 2023 Games where he came in 9th overall.
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Bid on Some Amazing Prizes for Chalktober: Proceeds Benefiting Compete for a Cure
Want to win signed swag from Dani Speegle, Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr, Fee Saghafi and more? How about a pink barbell or a full set of sandbags? Check out the Chalktober auction for new prizes to be released up until the 15th. Bidding is LIVE.
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