CrossFit Games Going Global With Events In Capetown, China, & Iceland

By Roger Lockridge

It’s safe to say that CrossFit is a yearlong passion for many in the fitness community. However, the chatter lessened after the CrossFit Games in years past. That certainly hasn’t been the case in 2018. The talk ever since the conclusion of this year’s event has been about the changes in qualifying and the increased number of athletes that will be able to compete on the biggest stage in fitness starting in 2019.

In an interview on the Girls Gone WOD podcast, Greg Glassman made his intentions about globalizing the Games clear: “I’m gonna have roughly 160 men and 160 women from each of the countries. I’m going to have, we’re talking initially within the first year or two, launching with 16 sanctioned events that give a pathway to the Games. Those are where the teams are going to come from. We’re going to have 16 teams.”

In the weeks that have passed since, 14 qualifying events have been announced via press releases. The events and locations will serve as opportunities for more men and women across the globe to prove that they are the Fittest on Earth. While they have been announced at different times, the list of the first 10 competitions is below in the order that the events will be taking place, starting in December of this year.

  • Dubai Championships — December 2018
  • Wodapalooza – January 2019
  • CrossFit Fittest In Capetown — February 2019
  • CrossFit Strength In Depth — February 2019
  • CrossFit French Throwdown — April 2019
  • Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge — April 2019
  • The CrossFit Italian Showdown — April 2019
  • Brazil CrossFit Championship — May 2019
  • The CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown — May 2019
  • Granite Games — June 2019

This week there were four more events announced for 2019 as well as one in 2020.

Australian CrossFit Championship — January 2019

The new year is going to start with a bang Down Under with 32 men and women along with 16 teams qualifying via online qualifier to compete for their respective spots at the Games. This event will take place in Queensland.

Asia CrossFit Championship — April 2019

This event will be historic because it’s going to be China’s first CrossFit Games qualifier in April. CrossFit Games athletes Austin Mallelo, Spencer Hendel, and James Hobert will be directly involved in the event programming for this event.

Reykjavik CrossFit Championship — May 2019

The director for this event in Iceland is none other than Annie Thorisdottir. Outside of the qualifying events to determine the man, woman, and team going to the Games, there will be an “Rx” event for local athletes in the Icelandic CrossFit community. Events like this could be the source of future Games athletes to come.

Down Under CrossFit Championship — May 2019

The second qualifying event for Australia, this one will be in Wollongong which has hosted Regionals events in past years. This part of the world has flourished when it comes to fitness.

Another shoe dropped on November 1 when Rogue Fitness announced that the Rogue Invitational will be taking place on May 18 and 19, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio, where the Rogue headquarters are located. The information shared about the athletes that will be a part of this event was eyebrow-raising, to say the least.

”Invitees will include the top 10 male and female finishers from the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games, along with a select number of additional athletes from the top ranks of the sport. The final competition spots will be filled via an online qualifier.”

Remember that Glassman said that there would be 16 events in total. So if he wasn’t counting the Open itself, that means there is still one more event that has yet to be announced. This might be an event in Canada since the nation is well known as a home to many of the elite in fitness. Nothing has been made official, and the new rulebook has yet to be published, so there is also the possibility that even more events could be added.

The Year Of Two Opens

As for the Open itself, changes have been made there as well. 2019 will have two Opens. One will take place in February with those who qualify being able to compete in the 2019 Games. Online registration for that will begin on January 10, 2019.

The second Open will take place in October 2019 after the 2019 Games have concluded. That Open will qualify athletes for the 2020 Games. No more information about the October Open has been announced as of this writing. Starting in 2020 and going forward, the Open will only take place in October every year.

Speaking of 2020: Two qualifying events for that year have also been announced. The SouthFit CrossFit Challenge will take place in November next year. The Pandaland CrossFit Championship event was announced earlier this week and will take place next December.

The Games Stay In Madison

Although more changes in qualifying are imminent, the Games event itself will remain the same for the next few years. The Games are committed to take place in Madison, Wisconsin, until 2021 so there is obviously a long-term commitment to the Games and this process. The Games will also continue to take place in August every year.

For more information on these events and the updates that will be sure to come in the near future, click here as well as sticking with us here at FloElite.


Roger Lockridge is from Lewisburg, WV. His work has been featured on numerous platforms and magazines in the fitness industry over the last 10 years. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @rocklockridge.

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