The 2010 CrossFit Games
The ultimate proving grounds of the world’s fittest athletes.
July 16-18, 2010 • Carson, CA
The Home Depot Center Sports Complex
Select a 2010 CrossFit Games event
United States Qualifiers
Pat Sherwood on the Games
Another perspective from the analyst desk.
Pat Sherwood joined the likes of Josh Everett, Lisa Ray, Caity Henniger, Kim Malz and others at the analyst desk during the 2010 CrossFit Games. His unique perspective as a former Games athlete as well as a trainer put a keen eye on the competition. He checks in with the following words on his experience at the Home Depot Center.
It is just a few short days after the 2010 CrossFit Games and I already want to speed up the hands of time for the 2011 Games. I get paid to talk about CrossFit, to spread the message of what we do, how we do it, and why it is effective to the world. Those who know me would rarely describe me as tongue tied, yet, I’m almost at a loss for words to describe the epic events that unfolded before our eyes at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The Games were absolutely incredible! They were mind-boggling! They were unprecedented! Do you guys realize what the hell just happened? Has it had a chance to soak in and hit you yet? Please allow me to help put it in perspective.
The number one most impressive aspect of the Games was, and always will be, the athletes. Approximately 4000 men and women started out in the pool of contenders trying to fight for a spot to the Games. That huge number was whittled down again and again until finally we were left with 45 men and 41 women. The work these athletes did day-in and day-out to prepare both mentally and physically for the Games is worthy of an article by itself! Every single individual competitor, masters athlete, and affiliate team earned the right to compete through old-fashioned hard work. Congratulations to all. Those of us in the stands were inspired time and time again by your amazing displays of fitness and tenacity.
In my opinion one of the coolest aspects of CrossFit is that it provides anyone the opportunity to become a 100% badass elite athlete in their garage with a few simple pieces of equipment. Don’t believe me? Go pay a visit to Ben Smith’s garage in Chesapeake, VA. You will witness a 20 year old with a 444 Fight Gone Bad, a 320 lb. clean & jerk, a 265 lb. snatch, a 515 lb. deadlift, a 450 lb. back squat, a 2:36 Fran, a 7:25 Helen, and 67 pull-ups. He is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet (think Chris Spealler). Ben epitomizes what the CrossFit community is all about. Elite fitness is available to the entire world for free. I’m not sure the gravity of that simple statement is fully comprehended by most people. We have changed the face of fitness forever, and we are just getting started.
On Wednesday I went to CrossFit Verve, in Denver. The WOD was the psychotic variation of Helen that was Event 2 at the 2010 CF Games this year. I consider myself a pretty good CrossFitter, so I was expecting to knock this puppy out in the 18 to 20 minute range. Negative. I yelled “TIME” at 21:46 and hit the floor hyperventilating. I literally did not get up for about 3 minutes. I was completely useless and nauseous for the next 10 minutes. The only thing going through my mind was that the athletes at the Home Depot Center did that WOD, then had a measly 90 seconds to establish a 1RM overhead lift! Holy crap! I cannot imagine jerking a PVC pipe after that WOD.
How in the hell did DJ Wickham jerk 325 lb.! Ben Smith not only beat my time on the WOD, but also then threw 295 up! Crowd favorite Chris Spealler, who electrified fans under the stadium lights by winning the muscle-up/snatch workout, finished the event in 17:02, nipping at Holmberg’s heels. Speal then proceeded to throw 225 over his head at a bodyweight of 140. The men’s champ, Graham Holmberg had the fastest time on the crazy variation of Helen with 16:59, then took 3rd in the overhead lift with a staggering jerk of 285 lb.! I can’t split jerk that when I’m fresh. These guys are insane.
As if the gentlemen are not unbelievable enough, what about the ladies of the CrossFit Games? What are you looking for? Strength? Beauty? Grace? Fierce competition? These girls have it all and they make it look easy. Annie Thorisdottir destroyed this workout and crossed the finish line at 17:53! She then jerked 165, which was good enough for 8th place. Four women completed the workout in less than 19 minutes, including the amazing Kristan Clever who came in at 18:23. Another four crossed the line before 20 minutes elapsed! Three girls jerked 175. Two ladies jerked 185. Jessica Pamanian showed incredible strength as she locked out 195 overhead while still struggling to catch her breath as the 90 window screamed by. If that is not impressive enough, Kristan Clever made a split jerk of 205 look easy. I’m in awe of these amazing ladies.
CrossFit workouts simulate life. The overwhelming majority of time the real world will demand that you are strong at a high heart rate. The psycho Helen followed by a very short 90-second window to max out overhead brought to light many athlete’s limitations. This event was breathtaking to watch and provided the crowd with both entertainment and inspiration.
A recurring theme we saw through the 3-day event was the athletes were expected to perform technically challenging movements under demanding loads, while being extremely metabolically taxed. The 3rd workout kept this theme of the Games going much to the delight of everyone watching. Heavy deadlifts (315/205 lb.) paired with technical pistols and double-unders started to really create some separation amongst the competitors. Rich Froning, Jr., who would take 2nd overall at the Games tied for 1st place in this event with dark horse Austin Malleolo. Froning confessed after the fact that he had never done pistols in a WOD before this event. What!?! Let me restate that he tied for 1st place in this WOD! If this does not speak to his incredible athleticism, then I don’t know what does. Rich, that was impressive.
I’ve only written about four of nine workouts that these athletes competed in and I just hit 1000 words. There is literally too much that went down during the 2010 Games for any one article. We had everything from well-known CrossFit athletes that were expected to be shoe-ins not even qualify to compete. This year’s event also had many top-level athletes that got eliminated early or were challenged by certain events more than any of us could have imagined. There were ups and downs, high and lows, suspense and drama that all culminated in the most spectacular CrossFit Games ever! We would be remiss if we forgot to mention CrossFit set another record. As many of you know the Games were filmed and streamed live in high definition over the internet for FREE! No one has ever done that before. I’m constantly in awe of the generosity of this incredible community we are all so proud to be a part of.
Thank you to everyone that helped in any way, shape or form to make this event such an impressive success. The list of people to thank starts with the Glassman’s, makes its way through every department of CrossFit HQ, to the judges, volunteers, competitors, and extends to each and every member of the global CrossFit community hitting the WODs in their garage with a couple friends. I can’t believe how far we have come in 4 short years. Our future is bright, very bright.