As we make the turn from 2020 into 2021, I thought maybe it would be fun to look back at all the media coverage of the CrossFit Games.
Below, you will find a list of videos that you can start watching to get a sense of the history of the CrossFit Games and the many faces of that journey since 2007. This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are THOUSANDS of videos available via YouTube, Vimeo, and The CrossFit Journal.
Be warned, there are hundreds of rabbit holes down which you could easily fall and never be seen from again.
I recommend staying on the surface at first, and then returning to the years that capture your attention. Once you find a hole worth digging into, go deep by either following an individual athlete or thematic thread.
There’s plenty to keep you busy before we venture into this year’s Open!! Have fun and remember, watching people do CrossFit is ALMOST as good as doing some yourself :).
2007 CrossFit Games
Hodgepodge of videos from a variety of sources on YouTube that capture the three WODs. This is a quick summary:
The OG that started it all…the original CrossFit documentary…
Must be purchased on Apple, Amazon, or YouTube
Only follows a couple of the notable “dudes” in the sport. Apparently women didn’t do CrossFit back then…wait, what?
There is no single documentary but the entire weekend is captured on YouTube through a series of videos for each event.
This is also the first year that CrossFit did a documentary on the champion, however, only the MALE champion. That’s a nice little taste of equality from the Sport of Fitness for ya’.
Sisu – The Mikko Salo Documentary – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y50JVgMEgxo
There is no single documentary but there are a few recaps:
CrossFit’s – https://youtu.be/OmXqLcEJDjw
Again Faster’s – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA1u8ujUh-Q (super cheesy)
All the events can also be watched on YouTube.
There was also a post-Games documentary on the male champion, Graham Holmberg (in all honesty, this is a little boring. The best part is the 100 burpees for time!) – https://vimeo.com/19425226
This one is of Graham and Rich in preps for the 2011 Games…a little bit more exciting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mRbkhRJJug
Even more fun, and a little taste of what was to come from CrossFit media is a series of “events” that took place after the 2010 Games.
CrossFit: Tahoe Throwdown – Rogue vs. Again Faster (search in YouTube for this playlist…there are 3 episodes for the “competition” and then 8 more “profiles” of the various athletes).
There is also a really fun road trip that follows Rob Orlando as he travels through California (7 Parts total) : http://journal.crossfit.com/2010/11/roadtrip2.tpl
There is no single documentary, but much of the drama around the actual competition gets captured in the Froning documentary that captures his 4th win after 2014. Almost all of the events are also available on YouTube and you can watch CrossFit’s “recap” – https://youtu.be/CpzLZsawtPY’
This was also the first year of the Open!! Here are the series of Open workout release videos:
11.1 Explanation – https://youtu.be/-wGQ-Pg8lb0
11.1 Demo – https://youtu.be/JHk1YBVjUIU
11.2 Explanation – https://youtu.be/Hiluk9nhGXs
11.2 Demo – https://youtu.be/SV7cQvD-e2o
11.3 Explanation – https://youtu.be/UznaLYllaXw
11.3 Demo https://youtu.be/LnraUt0SQow
11.4 Explanation – https://youtu.be/CH_BWsOb4Ac
11.4 Demo – https://youtu.be/9m1-jWLd8vI
11.5 Explanation – https://youtu.be/zE0DaqWDErw
11.5 Demo – https://youtu.be/RJES_dZ2QVM
11.6 Explanation – https://youtu.be/jgvLTh6W_jQ
11.6 Demo – https://youtu.be/RmXWMz-CjdM
6 weeks of workouts not 5. No Nanos. No Castro. Was this even CrossFit?!!
Dan Bailey Winning the Open Series (3 Parts):
Regionals summary: http://games2011.crossfit.com/content/regionals.html
This was the first year of some legitimate “behind the scenes” videos that are MUCH longer for those who have the time…and the stamina. Search on YouTube for “2011 Behind The Scenes: CrossFit Games”
Recap video from CrossFit: https://youtu.be/ElHq13QiNA0
All the events are on YouTube
The “release” videos for the 2012 Open started to look a little bit more professional (and who’s that…It’s DAVE!!)
12.1 – https://youtu.be/UU9vmUk8jUg
12.2 – https://youtu.be/boRe82OwxU4
12.3 – https://youtu.be/mMU4_evJHKA
12.4 – https://youtu.be/lMJYvetSHvk
12.5 – https://youtu.be/_nlGXXQyxJ8
Regionals video coverage did not exist but there is this “summary” of the Regionals. This was the last year that we all had to “watch” real-time via Twitter coverage: http://media.crossfit.com/games/pdf/Games2012_RegionalOverviews.pdf
Behind the Scenes Series (Pendleton through Sunday). Easiest way to find all the videos is to search on YouTube for “CrossFit Games Behind the Scenes – 2012”
A more robust “recap” that starts to look much more like the documentaries that would eventually get made in years to come.
The Open WOD movement standard videos can be found on the games.crossfit.com website.
In addition, we have the Open release videos:
13.1 – https://youtu.be/4z_fayol-SI
13.2 – https://youtu.be/EIUaPnrGYTs
13.3 – https://youtu.be/3bz6ijC_f5o
13.4 – https://youtu.be/hq9_jFQzTLc
13.5 – https://youtu.be/GUzZETReP1c
(This is a two-parter…women than men…it’s LONG)
Regional movement standard videos are archived on the games.crossfit.com site.
Behinds the Scenes of the Games can be found by searching on YouTube. There’s also some regionals coverage showing the road to the games via these events.
A legitimate “documentary”
All the Open Release WODs are archived on YouTube. We have now entered into the age where there are WAY too many videos to link here. Simply search for CrossFit Games Open 14.# release and you should be able to find the specific WODs. You can also go through the games.crossfit.com site for archived versions.
All the Regionals are on YouTube and like the Open, too much to put here. Search CrossFit Regionals 2014 and you’ll find a series of stories.
There is also a series of Games behind the scenes on YouTube at “Behind the Scenes: 2014 CrossFit Games”. These are fun to watch after the “documentary” if you want to dig into more detailed stories.
Finally, this is the year that the Froning: Fittest Man in History is released.
You are now in the age where all the Open, Regionals, and Behind the Scenes video make up 100s of hours of video coverage.
Some of the best include two episodes of “Before the Games”. These clearly set the stage for what would become the “Road to the Games” series in 2016, 2017, 2018.
There are also a series of private, third party entities and sponsors who are beginning to profile their individual athletes with some legitimate videos. Google is your best/worse nightmare at this point.
Outside of what is available EVERYWHERE, these are a fun set of videos to watch to get a sense of who is who in competitive CrossFit for the 2016 season:
Tia and Matt begin/continue their reign of dominance
There is another Road to the Games Series. This year it is only on YouTube, search for “Road to the Games 17” and there is a playlist.
There is also a Behind the Scenes series nicely compiled here: https://games.crossfit.com/article/7-hours-behind-scenes-17-crossfit-games
No final documentary for the year due to the creator and former CEO of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, firing the majority of the media team and making a major overhaul of CrossFit’s focus away from the Games about 2 months after the Games finished.
For the recap of the actual Games, go to YouTube and watch through the list of episodes titled
“2018 Reebok CrossFit Games – Men’s Ep 18.##”
“2018 Reebok CrossFit Games – Women’s Ep 18.##”
In preparation for the Games, there is also a series of episodes titled:
“Road to the Games Ep. 18.##”
By the beginning of 2019, all but about 3-4 personnel from the media team had been fired, the Open coverage disappeared, Regionals were gone, “official” Games coverage was cancelled and the feed was made available to the world. No one knows what has happened to this coverage but supposedly, there is a documentary in the making; we shall see.
There is so much on YouTube and on the Games site but these two links are your best bet to get a succinct summary:
One “silver lining” of this year’s shake-up was Rogue’s Iron Games coverage emerged. Rogue stepped up to the table and began providing incredible videos with commentary. You can watch ALL the live streamed events, starting with Day 1, archived here…WARNING: it’s a lot of video.
There is so much video coverage of this most recent CrossFit Games due to Part 1 being online and then Part 2 being streamed by CrossFit with a significantly more robust media presence. We all anticipate the variety of videos and documentaries that are sure to come.
In retrospect, what I find most interesting is how the Games continues to be a small slice of the larger CrossFit community experience. Originally heralded as the “proving ground of fitness” in 2008 and 2009, the Games evolved into what appeared to be something completely disparate from the average CrossFitter’s experience in the box.
In all honesty, by the second decade of the 21st century, the popularity and allure of the competitive CrossFit world began to degrade the larger message of health that CrossFit seemed to want as its focus.
Perhaps this explains the rift between elements of the CrossFit HQ leadership. Perhaps this is why the surge in popularity had an equally detrimental surge in negative press. And perhaps this is simply an ongoing process of growth that the methodology and the Sport of Fitness must continue to navigate as it moves into its third decade.
Whatever the future holds, I believe there is room for all of CrossFit’s many faces. We’ve seen the pendulum swing across this spectrum and we’ve seen the enterprise surge from underground fitness phenomenon to marquee media company back to whatever we would call it today. In the end, one thing has never changed – improved work capacity across broad time and modal domains makes all of us better human beings.
Keep moving those large loads long distances quickly and we’ll see you in the box.