Strength, endurance, and flexibility  - Crossfit. Foto: Cylon, Wikipedia Commons.
Strength, endurance, and flexibility - Crossfit. Foto: Cylon, Wikipedia Commons.

The Fittest Game on Earth

Residents of the High North seem to take pride in living healthy, active lifestyles.  As more and more nations seek to tackle the global obesity epidemic, many have embraced the world’s fastest growing fitness trend: Crossfit. 

Crossfit combines extreme exercising with competition, helping people lose weight and improve muscle and endurance while bonding over exercise as a sport.  The ultimate culmination of Crossfit takes place every summer as the top athletes of all ages compete at the Crossfit Games. 

 

The Crossfit Games

Since 2007, the most competitive Crossfit athletes have converged in Carson, California to compete in the Crossfit Games.  After a series of qualifying rounds, the top athletes emerge from regional competitions to demonstrate their skills in a three-day, grueling test of their fitness acumen, ending in the crowning of the fittest man, woman, and team.

 

Impressive northerners

Scandinavian (and the immediate surrounding region, namely Iceland and Finland) Crossfit athletes represent some of the most impressive competitors worldwide.  2011 and 2012 female champion Annie Thorisdottir hails from Reykjavik and, after an injury setback prevented her from participating in the Games in 2013, she qualified as the top athlete in Europe and seeks to regain her title this July.  Joining Thorisdottir as the top qualifiers from the European region are Swedish athlete Bjork Odinsdottir and Norwegian Kristin Holte, both qualifying for their first trip to the Games.

 

1,5 millioner kroner

On the male side, top qualifier and Finnish athlete Jonne Koski is joined by Sweden’s Lukas Hogberg and Iceland’s Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson, all making their first appearance at the Games.  Among the team competitors, Scandinavia dominated again, with two teams from Sweden and one from Iceland besting the talent from across Europe to compete for the title of fittest team in the world.  Winners in the men’s and women’s division receive cash prizes of over $250,000 (over 1.5 million NOK).  The Games being July 25 and can be viewed via live stream on the Crossfit website.

 

Strength, endurance, and flexibility

Crossfit is a competitive fitness activity that combines (or highlights) physical strength, endurance, and flexibility.  Competitors participate in workouts either for best time or highest number of repetitions that involve Olympic weightlifting, metabolic conditioning, and gymnastic movements.  Any given workout may involve, for example, a combination of pull-ups, deadlifts, and a 1600 meter run.  The goal is to engage in functional moves that activate multiple muscles (as opposed to isolating one particular muscle set) and improve one’s ability to perform real-life tasks. 

 

History

Beginning as a small fitness company in Santa Cruz, California in 2000, Crossfit has grown to an international business with nearly 10000 affiliates worldwide.  Crossfit is a private corporation and, thus, information regarding its net worth is hard to come by.  Some sources estimate that the corporation’s value may exceed $500 million.  Needless to say, it is a growing business enterprise, a rapidly expanding fitness phenomenon and an emerging global competitive sport.

For more information about Crossfit or the Crossfit Games visit games.crossfit.com

2011 and 2012 Crossfit Games champion Annie Thorisdottir of Iceland. Photo: Wikimedia/Helgi Halldórsson.

2011 and 2012 Crossfit Games champion Annie Thorisdottir of Iceland. Photo: Wikimedia/Helgi Halldórsson.

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