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2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Individual Events – A Spectators Perspective

Elisabeth Akinwale 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games

Elisabeth Akinwale a crowd favorite at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games

The 2012 CrossFit Games saw the introduction of a fourth day of competition as well as some unique movements never before seen in the history of the Games. Being a spectator at the Games puts the Sport of CrossFit in a new light, particularly witnessing the almost super-human abilities of the competitors. It also allowed me to critique the events as both a spectator at the live and live stream level. There were some definite winners and losers; below are three of the best and worst.

The Bad

1. Ball Toss: Sitting in the GHD, athletes will throw as many medicine balls as far as possible

I didn’t get it. It’s like HQ forgot to add the GHD in the events so they decided create an event for it. Good to watch? No. Will we see it at the Games again? I hope not. Rogue specially made 2 and 4 pound medicine balls for this event. I wonder who got those in the sale of used medicine balls afterward.

Rich Froning 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games

Rich Froning during the Sled Drive

2. Rope-Sled: Five rounds for time of: 20 foot Rope climb, 1 ascent, 20 yard Sled drive. The athletes will drive the padded sled 100 yards in 20-yard increments

I watched this event at the field. The sled drive looked brutal, and the 20’ rope climb was impressive to watch from the other end of the field. However as a spectator it lacked the excitement of other events. The sprint prior was far more exciting. Unfortunately the most exciting part of this event was Neal Maddox being no-repped twice on the rope climb.

3. The Final: Elizabeth/Isabel/Fran

Really, this is the final event? Don’t get me wrong, I was in awe as the competitors threw down crazy times (after 4 days of competition) which the majority of individuals couldn’t do on their best day.  But to have heats of three WODs was more like a fire cracker which fizzled out.

Take a step back to one year ago and the 2011 final event named ‘The End’: a 3min, 6min and ‘for time’ chipper which pushed every competitor to the brink of exhaustion, the crowd on their feet willing everyone to pull that sled that little bit further.

‘The End’ outshines the Elizabeth/Isabel/Fran final by far. The saviour of this event however was probably the most dramatic showdown in the history of the Games between Kris Clever and Talayna Fortunato for a place on the podium. Their Fran-off will go down in Games history as one of the best head-to-head competitions ever.

Rich Froning and Matt Chan 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games

Rich Froning and Matt Chan battle it out

The Good

1. O-Course: Complete Camp Pendleton School of Infantry Obstacle Course. Athletes will race against each other head to head in a 3-round bracketed tournament

Although this event wasn’t made available to spectators as it was at The US Marines Camp Pendleton, the inclusion of this event was a great addition. It tested speed, strength and agility all without the use of Rogue equipment (!). Did I mention that it was after a 700m swim, 8km bike ride and an 11km run? Well done HQ for its inclusion. Will it be the GoRuck Challenge or Tough Mudder next year?

Annie Sakamoto 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games

Annie Sakamoto 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games

2. Clean Ladder: 1-rep Clean every 30 seconds with progressively heavier barbells

Having the Snatch ladder at Regionals and it being such a popular event HQ embraced its popularity and threw it in for our enjoyment again. The difference being that the time limit was halved to 30 seconds which made multiple attempts almost impossible. Being in the stands willing the barbells up was a true joy to be part of; I’m talking goose-bump material. Only two athletes completed the ladder: Lindsey Valenzuela and Elizabeth Akinwale both of whom are Outlaw Athletes. Throw a couple of deadlifts in there for good measure Elizabeth and Lindsey. Hat’s off to Rudy Nielsen.

Julie Foucher 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games

Julie Foucher during Double Banger

3. Double Banger:  For time: 50 Double-unders, Low banger, 50 Double-unders, Down banger, 50 Double-unders, Mid banger

The Double Banger WOD was the highlight of the weekend. The Double Banger implemented the GPP (General Physical Preparedness) principle whilst piggybacking on the Fire Fighting skills that some competitors the number 1 & 2 Fittest Men in the World have. When Dave Castro explained the WOD with a demonstration from Jason MacDonald the crowd went wild, and that was for the DEMO! One word can explain it: badass. I want to go and get my sledge hammer and hit some shit. Please HQ, more of this next year.

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.