Rich Froning is an amazing athlete, and certainly the fittest in 2011. Incredibly strong, skilled, etc… However, will he be the standard in 10-20 years, assuming CrossFit maintains some of its growth? So how do we really find the fittest in the world? There are two options; we can throw more money at it, or make it more prestigious.
Dave Castro said, after the 2008 CrossFit Games, that if anyone could come to his ranch and reenact what Jason Khalipa did, in the 2008 CrossFit Games, he would give them $5,000. A bold statement 4 years ago. But the Games are nothing like they used to be. They are way more challenging today. I bet we could find 50 guys who could top the 2008 games. What will be said in another 4 years, 10 years, or 20 years?
REEBOK and NETS
Greg Glassman said last year when he announced the CrossFit Open that if he really wanted to claim the fittest on earth he would need to “throw out a larger net”. This is true for finding some of the most intrinsically motivated and fit people on earth. By now you have all seen this commercial:
Commercials like these will certainly increase his “net reach”. There were 20,000+ athletes who competed in the CrossFit Open last year. I can only imagine what it will be this year. But is he solving the right problem? Is it sample size we should be after? Unfortunately, I think what needs to happen is either more money or more prestige.
Right now in the CrossFit community we have seen the fittest man/woman $250,000 can buy. But this sport is growing like wild fire, so that number could change over time. I think CrossFit is an acquired skill. It is my personal belief that if we were to take some of the top college or young NFL athletes out of football and put them in CrossFit for a year, things would get shaken up quite a bit. Unfortunately this won’t happen and don’t talk to me about retired players and all this other crap. I am talking about 19-24 year olds. Why this wont happen? CrossFit cannot compete with full ride scholarships, scouting, agents, multi-million dollar a year salaries…However, as things change and grow we may see a different type of competitor come out and play. Now I don’t want to disrespect anyone, but a lot of the CrossFit Games athletes were collegiate athletes…that didn’t make it to the next level. What is to be said about the people who did make it to the next level? What if those people only wanted to do CrossFit?
We will talk about this because some of you are under the impression that CrossFit Games athletes don’t care about the money. Kind of true, but you know it factors in these days. While most of them compete for noble reasons, no one competes for more noble reasons than an Olympian.
Olympians are crazy impressive people. Training like you wouldn’t believe, doing things that are unimaginable, and most do it for far, far less money than you get at the CrossFit Games. These are the people who train for sport and praise. They want their name in the books, they want to be the best.
Dave Castro said himself that the CrossFit Games competitors are NOT the best athletes in the world. In fact, he said the decathlete is the best athlete in the world. The winner of the CrossFit Games is the fittest individual, not the most athletic. What if you were to take an Olympic-caliber decathlete and have him or her train for CrossFit only. What would happen then? They won’t do it. You know why? Because there is no Gold, there is no real prestige, there is not enough there for these people to dedicate there lives to it.
Currently CrossFit has their standard. I am not sure if CrossFit will ever offer more money and they may never be in the Olympics, but I really like the “what-if” game. Some belive it wouldn’t matter. People like Rich would still be at the top of the pack. I don’t think so. I think we have only seen the fittest man $250,000 can buy.