This week, the CrossFit Open will kick off the 2021 season of the new-look sport of functional fitness.
CrossFit is entering its first full competition cycle under the guidance of new CEO Eric Roza, and the widely popular Open is the first step of the regime's efforts to make the sport more inclusive and accessible to all comers. The all-online event, which has always provided an entryway for everyday CrossFitters to measure their fitness against the pro class of the sport, is even more, well, open, than ever, with new workout variations and divisions for different types of entrants and new divisions for adaptive athletes.
Athletes can take on the competition Rx'd (CrossFit parlance for its standard, Games-level workouts), scaled (adjusted for people who can't complete the Rx'd workouts), foundations (for newcomers to the sport), and, in a nod to the adjusted workouts many people used to make due amidst gym closures during the Covid-19 pandemic, an equipment free category.
For 2021, the Open has been shortened from five weeks of WOD challenges to three. More athletes will be able to qualify for the next round of competition to make the cut for the CrossFit Games. But one wrinkle in the Open structure that CrossFit has carried on from years past: athletes won't know the exact details of their WOD of the week ahead of time.
Each Thursday night, CrossFit HQ will host a pair of high-level competitors to reveal the details of the challenge, then duke it out head-to-head on video to set the tone for the rest of the field. The one thing that we do know ahead of time, however, is who will be on-hand to make the announcement each week.
Where to Watch the CrossFit Open 2021 Announcements
You can tune in to watch all of these events online. Streams will be available on Games.CrossFit.com, the CrossFit Games YouTube channel, and the CrossFit Games Facebook page. The first is set for this Thursday, March 11, at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT), then repeating at the same time the successive two Thursdays.
The 2021 CrossFit Open Announcement Matchups
CrossFit Open Workout 21.1 - March 11, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT)
Kristi Eramo O'Connell and 2020 Games third place finisher Kari Pearce will match up to kick off the Open, running back the 17.2 announcement matchup from 2017 and giving Eramo O'Connell a chance to settle the score.
CrossFit Open Workout 21.2 - March 18, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT)
With five-time Games champ Mat Fraser enjoying retirement, the men's field is wide open. To announce 21.2, Samuel Kwant and Justin Medeiros, the top two runners up to Fraser in the 2020 Games, respectively, will go head-to-head to set the tone for the season.
CrossFit Open 21.3 - March 25, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT)
Open Workout 21.3 will be a family affair. Scott Panchik, an eight-time Games competitor, will face-off with his younger brother, three-time Games competitor Saxon Panchik.
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