10 Consecutive Years at the Games

I watched the “Behind the Scenes” today for the California Regional. Much of the early part of the video is about Becca Voigt making it to her 10th consecutive Games appearance.

I, of course, have some thoughts and two stand out.

  1. Sure, 10 years is super impressive, but the first several years competition wasn’t the same. Making it to the Games in 2008 took nothing more than buying a ticket, much like you buy a ticket to any local competition. The first two years (’08 and ’09) Voigt went to the Games there wasn’t any sort of qualification process – you could just go. So she was really trying to qualify for her 8th consecutive, the first two there was no qualification process. I suppose that is just nit-picking, though. My real point here though is that qualifying for the Games six or seven years ago wasn’t nearly the same thing as it is today. Even as recently as five or six years ago many of the competitors to qualify for the Games were not full time CrossFit athletes – that wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind yet. The sport has come a long way. The athletes weren’t to the standard they are today. I’m not trying to say Voigt qualifying six years ago isn’t impressive, but it isn’t as impressive as qualifying now. There were also slightly more competitors invited to the Games in the early 2010’s and the pool of available candidates was not as large, so the percentage of athletes to go was larger – albeit very small.
  2. Now, do we think we will see anyone else do it again? I bet we will. Let’s take Alec Smith, for example. Smith is 24 and going to his first CrossFit Games. He appears to really love the sport and has an older brother and younger brother that also love it and compete. He is part of a family that owns an affiliate. He appears immensely talented and while this is his first CrossFit Games I don’t think it is out of the realm to think he might go to nine more…in a row. And speaking of his older brother, Ben Smith has been on the podium several times in recent history and is going to his ninth consecutive Games, so if he qualifies next year it will be 10 in a row. Voigt would have company next year. Not to mention other young CrossFitters making their second appearance at the Games before they are 23. Jonne Koski is only 22 and Sam Kwant is only 21. For such an unimaginable achievement you wouldn’t think she would have company next year.

Making it to the Games 10 consecutive years is definitely impressive, but not nearly as impressive as Rich Froning winning it four years in a row. Someone in the video compared the two and said that those two achievements were equal. I think that is hyperbole at its best.

Voigt is amazing, a great athlete and certainly very, very fit, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves by acting like it would be the biggest achievement in the sport of CrossFit, equal to Froning winning it four times in a row. Just like I don’t count Froning winning the team division as anything equal to him winning individual. Two completely different things.

Who do you think will make it 10 years in a row? Noah Olsen?