A Brief History of the CrossFit Games

CrossFit. The ultimate test of fitness. USA


What started as a gathering of friends and a barbecue has rapidly become a major, international sporting event. Considered the ultimate test of fitness, the Games has seen an incredible rise, not only in popularity and as a business, but also in the abilities of the competitors themselves.

So, just how far has the CrossFit Games come? Well, since it’s inauguration, the Games have been hosted annually in the States.

Here are the highlights:

2007 – So it Begins

  • The first Games is hosted on Dave Castro’s family ranch in Aromas California.
  • It consisted of 3 events, including a 5kms trail run
  • First prize for the individuals was $500
  • James Fitzgerald, Jolie Gentry and CrossFit Santa Cruz won their divisions respectively


  • The venue moves from Aromas to The Home Depot Centre – AKA StubHub Centre – in Carson, California
  • First prize for the individual winners is $25,000 each, sponsored by PROGONEX
  • It consisted of 9 events, including ‘Double Helen’
  • The Regionals qualifiers and the Masters divisions were introduced
  • Graham Holmberg, Kristan Clever and CrossFit Fort Vancouver won their divisions.


  • Reebok becomes the headline sponsor
  • The Open format is introduced, to bring in international competitors
  • First prize for individuals is $250,000 each
  • There are 10 events in total, including a beach event
  • Rich Froning, Annie Thorisdottir and CrossFit New England won their divisions


  • David Levey goes beast mode and represents South Africa for the second time
  • ‘The Pig’ is introduced
  • The infamous rowing event takes place. First 2000m as fast as possible, followed by a half marathon row
  • Rich Froning, Sam Briggs and team Hacks Packs UTE win their divisions



  • Celestie Engelbrecht represents South Africa in Carson
  • The Games are televised on ESPN in the US
  • First prize for individuals is $275,000
  • There are 13 events in total, including the Double Grace Final, which was only announced 30seconds before the start.
  • Rich Froning wins for the 4th Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and CrossFit Invictus, win their divisions.


  • Regionals structure changes, making it more difficult to get to the Games
  • Scaled workouts are introduced to The Open
  • Teenage division is introduced
  • Having competed since 2009, Ben Smith finally takes the title. Katrin Davidsdottir and CrossFit Mayhem take their divisions.
  • Samantha ‘the Engine’ Briggs sets a record time for Murph (39:10)


  • Dave Castro sends the Games athletes back to Aromas for 3 events
  • There are 15 events in total, including a re-introduction (Redemption) of the Peg Board ascent
  • Matt Fraser, Katrin Davidsdottir and CrossFit Mayhem win their divisions

2017 and Beyond

  • BoxChamp brand ambassador, Jason Smith, qualifies for the Games, after 8 appearances at Regionals.
  • Games venue moves to Madison, Wisconsin


Watch history in the making as the CrossFit Games 2017 streams live on Facebook and YouTube

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