The crowd at the CrossFit Games has often been described as the fittest on earth, and not just ‘fit’ in the athletic sense. After years of watching live footage of the Games on my laptop, in the early hours of the morning at my home in Australia, I finally got to witness the competition first hand as a spectator in 2014.
After just an hour at the StubHub Center during the 2014 CrossFit Games, it’s very easy to see why the crowd is regarded as one of the fittest on earth.
There’s an ample dose for even the perviest CrossFit enthusiast with an abundance of chiseled abs, bulging biceps and squatting arses in the walkways, vendor city, beer tents, stadiums and anywhere else you can go as a spectator.
And that’s even before the competitors take to the floor!
One look at the line for the tennis stadium and one could argue that the best human specimens are on display.
And it’s lucky really, because as the Games get more popular, the lines get longer and the amount of time spent squished up against random strangers increases.
It’s fair to say the expected additional event that took place on the Wednesday at Hermosa Beach was the closest the spectators got to personal space for the entirety of the competition.
It’s really saying something considering ‘The Beach’ took place under the blistering Californian sun and glistening bodies were tightly packed along the pier and the blue line that separated the workout area from the crowd.
Funnily enough, there were no complaints.
When you get down to it, beneath the super toned surfaces, the crowd is so absorbed in the athlete action they don’t really care who they’re next to or if it’s slightly uncomfortable.
The dedication is admirable.
As expected, gold passes were completely sold out before the weekend, which meant the line for the tennis stadium was painfully long.
If the stadium opened at 3pm, the line was well and truly underway by 11am and by the time the spectators were allowed to file in, it was a few hundred meters long.
Again, no complaints!
The likelihood is the same attitude went into spectating as WODing.
If you’re queuing, it was for time and when it came to beer and Paleo food runs, it was a team AMRAP.
Despite the long lines, the hours under the hot, Californian sun, and the expensive food & beverage prices ($15 lunches in square cardboard bowls and $10 beers), there’s no better spectating experience than the CrossFit Games.
It’s been said time and time again, but the difference between CrossFit and other sports is that the crowd literally understands the pain the athletes go through.
You could consider it a very safe bet that a large portion of the ‘spectathletes’ went home to their boxes elsewhere in America, or around the world, and smashed out those exact same workouts.
Just a little slower, a little lighter and perhaps with a little more rest in between events.
From a spectators point of view, the 2014 CrossFit Games get’s a big tick, and i’d encourage any functional fitness enthusiast to check the event out for themselves in person in 2015, just to see what all the fuss is about.