CrossFit is making a last-minute change to the US$20 registration fee required for participation in the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Open. A second option now allows athletes to pay only US$10 if they plan to fake an injury during the competition.
“Basically we noticed a trend among certain athletes in the 2016 season,” said Jason Borg, General Manager of the CrossFit Games. “They were completing two or three of the workouts, and as soon as something came up that they knew they wouldn’t score well in, they would fake an injury and drop out.”
The CrossFit Open is a five-week, five-workout competition held in the winter prior to the CrossFit Regionals. Open Workouts are released online each Thursday, and athletes have until the following Monday to submit their scores. While most athletes are hoping to honestly compare their final scores to their friends and family, some competitors are hoping to show off their strengths while avoiding any score that might highlight their weaknesses.
One such athlete, who asked to be identified only as “Chad,” was candid about his strategy.
“I can move weights around really well, and I’ve got a good engine, but I suck at more technical stuff like double-unders and muscle-ups,” Chad explained. “If I just fake an injury and drop out when those workouts are announced, I still look pretty awesome. People just assume I would have kept crushing workouts if only I hadn’t gotten hurt.”
CrossFit doesn’t expect this option to be very popular, but wanted to offer it anyway.
“There’s one in every gym,” Borg explained.