Jeremy Thiel, Jason Khalipa, and Josh Everett in 2008

2010 CrossFit Games Finals

Games Competitor Database

The Athletic Backgrounds, CrossFit Experience, and Jobs of the Top CrossFitters

The Games site staff has compiled comprehensive data on the athletic backgrounds, jobs, and length of CrossFit experience of the top five male and female athletes at each of the past four CrossFit Games, from 2007 to 2010. This is not an authoritative database, but rather a working document that we've compiled based upon incomplete and often unclear data. If there's any information in it that we should change, please contact us.

The Google spreadsheet is available here.

Given the limited nature of the data and the early stage of CrossFit's development as a sport, it's too early to draw steady conclusions about fitness and athletic training from this document. Nonetheless, this document may be useful as a tool to evaluate current claims regarding fitness training.

It's not yet clear what sports produce the best CrossFitters. We've seen top performers at the Games come from as backgrounds as different as water polo, triathlons, football, and gymnastics. One pattern that has appeared, though is that individual performers often come from unusually broad and diverse competitive athletic backgrounds. Outside of CrossFit, it's not often you find an athlete such as Breck Berry, who has competed in both distance running and powerlifting, or Moe Kelsey, who has competed in sports as diverse as football, olympic-distance triathlons, and firefighter challenges.

Similar variance is found in the amount of time that top performers have been exposed to CrossFit. The length of CrossFit experience of top fiv e competitors has been as high as five years, and as low as 6 months. The average length of CrossFit experience for the top five male and female athletes has remained relatively constant at just under 2 years of CrossFit exposure. Top CrossFitters have also earned a living through a wide variety of careers, though firefighters, CrossFit trainers, and CrossFit affiliate owners regularly seem to find their way into the top five. 7 of the 40 athletes included (and 6 of the 20 male athletes) are firefighters, while 22 out of 40 work as trainers.

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Gillian Mounsey, Caity Matter (now Henniger), Tanya Wagner in 2008 Moe Kelsey, Mikko Salo, and Tommy Hackenbruck in 2009 Carey Kepler, Tanya Wagner, and Charity Vale in 2009 Chris Spealler, Graham Holmberg, and Rich Froning Jr. in 2010 Val Mackenzie, Kristan Clever, and Annie Thorisdottir in 2010
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4 comments on this entry

1. Kim wrote...

It would be great to also see the breakdown in age. I have been Crossfitting for 1.5 years and I am obsessed with the competition. I competed with our team, RAW TRAINING, at the Games last year. I LOVE THE COMPETITION, but being 39 seems to be a little bit of a disadvantage. Although I can hold my own at our box, and I have competed well in a few competitons, it is a challenge when you have 10-15 years on these firebreathers. Waiting until I'm 50 to compete in the Masters is too far off! I'm hoping HQ can somehow broaden the playing field a little more at the Games! (And sometime in the near future would be sweet!!)
Lastly, it seems from these stats, that unless you are blessed with the means/ability to work in the athletic field, have a physical job, or the money to take time off from a job or family to train, your not going to stand as much of a chance.
One thing that is hard to measure, but is something all of these athletes posses is that mental toughness - that never say die attitude! I LOVE IT - thanks for the stats!

2. Frosh wrote...

@Kim

What about Lindsey Smith working as an estimator, and Jessica Pamanian in the culinary field (can't imagine doing burpees in the kitchen haha).

I think you said it best, all of these elite athletes posses a mental toughness that is hard to be matched.

3. Laura wrote...

I can't wait for the day and Accountant leads those stats.

cooks aren't sitting for 10hrs a day.. so its not quite the same

Def interesting to see the breakdown!

4. chat wrote...

Thanks very good

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