8 Important Things We Know: The 2020 CrossFit Games

Every Second Counts

Shortly after the 2019 CrossFit Games, ArmenHammer.TV announced (citing an interview with Greg Glassman) that the 2020 Games would follow an “Every Second Counts” format. The official word is that cuts will not occur until after one and a half days of competition, in which athletes will compete in a number events for the lowest overall combined time.

This is similar to the early structure of the CrossFit Games, and can be seen in the 2008 documentary Every Second Counts, which saw dark horse athlete Jason Khalipa come from behind for a last-minute victory.

Ticket Release Date

CrossFit announced in December that tickets would go on sale (for elite Madison Club and camping/RV sites) on January 13th, followed by General Admission tickets on February 17th.

The Games themselves will follow a “first weekend of August” trend, with a fitness festival running the week of July 27th – August 2nd.

The Last Year in Madison, WI

CrossFit’s agreement to move the CrossFit Games in 2017 to Madison, Wisconsin expires after the 2020 season. Where will they go next? Will they stay in Madison? Will they return to the StubHub/Home Depot Center in Carson, California? Only time will tell.

Familiar Title Sponsor

Along with CrossFit’s expiring contract with the city of Madison, their title sponsor contract with Reebok expires after the 2020 season. Don’t expect the organization to immediately pivot to the Rogue CrossFit Games, Nike CrossFit Games, or anything like that. Founder and Chairman Greg Glassman was on the Pursuing Health Podcast with Julie Foucher-Urcuyo in August and told Julie he’d like the event to take a hiatus from having a title sponsor.

Currently, Reebok is responsible for putting up the CrossFit Games prize purse, so questions remain to be answered as to how CrossFit will pay for more than a million dollars in event and podium prizes. This journalist thinks it may come from damages coming out of CrossFit’s game-changing lawsuit against the NSCA.

200+ National Champions

CrossFit has now finalized their CrossFit Open National Champions, stating the hard-earned title will go to 239 individuals around the globe. Also showing the growth of the initiative, the number has grown by seven National Champions in 2020.

Also notable among CrossFit’s statistics is that 115 athletes (57 men and 58 women) managed to defend their National Champion status this year.

Thanks to these special invites, we’ll see the return of legends and 2019 phenoms like Alessandra Pichelli, Laura Horvath, Anna Fragkou, Willy Georges, Gabriela Migala, Adrian Mundwiler, Simona Quintana, Brenda Castro, Ant Haynes, and Shahad Budebs.

CrossFit Open Winners

With the finalization of the 2020 CrossFit Open, we also now know a number of big-name athletes who have earned their way back to competition. Among them are:

  • Sara Sigmundsdottir set a record as the first woman to win three CrossFit Opens.
  • Kristin Holte took third and is headed to the games as the defending second-Fittest Woman on Earth
  • Jamie Greene took fourth and is set to defend her third-Fittest on Earth status
  • Tia-Clair Toomey, fresh off her three-consecutive Fittest on Earth titles, took sixth.
  • Katrin Davidsdottir, a two-time champion, earned an invite in the top-20.
  • Samantha Briggs, despite a severe penalty, came back to earn an invite.
  • Tasia Percevecz, despite declining to compete on CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, theoretically earned an invite.
  • Haley Adams, a former Fittest Teen on Earth, is headed back to the Games after placing in the top ten last year.
  • Patrick Vellner unseated Mat Fraser to win the 2020 CrossFit Open.
  • Lefteris Theofanidis of Greece fought off penalties to place in the top-three.
  • Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson, after making his second podium appearance last year, is headed back to the Games after finishing fourth in the Open.
  • Noah Ohlsen, the man who took Mat Fraser’s leader jersey for a time in 2019, is headed back to the Games.
  • Roman Khrennikov, the fittest man to never compete at the CrossFit Games, is going to make another attempt at getting his visa sorted out in 2020.
  • Jacob Heppner, as a perennial fan favorite who missed the Games a few years, has punched another ticket after defeating a handstand push-up workout that took him down in a previous Open.
  • Rich Froning surprised nobody when he qualified yet again as an individual, before declining his invite to helm is CrossFit Mayhem Freedom team.

Sanctional Winners

The Sanctional season is well-underway, with a number of events having already given invites to winners (or runners up in cases where winners already have invites).

CrossFit Filthy150 Invites

  • Justin Medeiros
  • Andrea Solberg

Pandaland CrossFit Challenge Invites

  • Harriet Roberts
  • Khan Porter

The Southfit CrossFit Challenge Invites

Dubai CrossFit Championship Invites

CrossFit Mayhem Classic Invites

CrossFit Strength in Depth Invites

  • Kelsey Kiel
  • David Shorunke

All About CrossFit Teams

Only 26 (possibly 25) teams will receive invites to the 2020 CrossFit Games. This is because the only way for a team to win an invite is to win a Sanctional. Of the 28 Sanctional events in the 2020 season, two (Italy and Mayhem) will not have team competitions. Additionally, the Fittest in Cape Town competition has been postponed indefinitely after venue disputes.

  • CrossFit Filthy 150 – ROMWOD Meatsquad (Christian Harris, Dex Hopkins, Kelly Baker, Brooke Haas)
  • Pandaland CrossFit Challenge – Team Butcher’s Lab (Julian Kragh-Maschvitsz, André Houdet, Louise Wickström, Rebecka Vitesson)
  • Southfit CrossFit Challenge – Team Odd Squad (Alexis Johnson, Emily Tanner, Jordan Cook, Brandon Luckett)
  • Dubai CrossFit Championship – Misfit 10 (Travis Williams, Roy Gamboa, Taylor Williamson, Andrea Nilser)
  • CrossFit Mayhem Classic – Did not have a team competition.
  • CrossFit Strength in Depth – CrossFit Mayhem Freedom (Rich Froning, Scott Panchik, Chyna Cho, Tasia Percevecz)

By Ben Garves

Ben Garves is a digital product expert, author, entertainer, and activist. His portfolio of thought leadership in digital marketing and web experiences has included major clients like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, eBay, and Facebook. He’s also a freelance health and fitness journalist with over 400 stories written since 2018, a podcaster with 200 episodes to his name, and runs a YouTube channel with over 100 fitness and activism-oriented videos and live streams. Ben has founded the Fitness is for Everyone™ initiative to raise awareness about social injustice in both racial inequality and socioeconomic disparity in access to quality fitness and nutrition options around the globe.