The 2021 CrossFit Open begins Thursday, with the first stage of the CrossFit Games functioning as a key qualifier for the CrossFit Games Finals this summer. The Open is the annual competition for hundreds of thousands of athletes all over the world to compete, and this year is being touted as the “most inclusive yet.”
This year’s athletes have a myriad of choices, included scaled workouts, equipment-free workouts, and Rx’d, and divisions for individual, masters, teenage, and adaptive divisions. Last year, and in 2019, the Open workouts were announced from a CrossFit affiliate or alternate location.
This year, those announcements will be made from the CrossFit home office in Scotts Valley, California.
One thing that isn’t changing this year is the fan-favorite athlete matchup.
How to Watch the CrossFit Open
The CrossFit Open will stream on the CrossFit YouTube channel. The athlete matchups will take place at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST Thursdays, with the first airing on Thursday, March 11, 2021. CrossFit Open 21.1 will be presented by FITAID.
Here are workout details:
21.1 — Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. EST
21.2 — Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. EST
21.3 — Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. EST
CrossFit Open Workout 21.1: Engine v. Skill
The first CrossFit Open workout is going to wow fans by having favorites Kristi Eramo O’Connell versus 2020 CrossFit Games third-place finisher Kari Pearce. O’Connell has been in the CrossFit Games since 2016 and took 8th place her rookie year. America’s Fittest Woman Kari Pearce has been in the CrossFit Open since 2014 and has already won against O’Connell in 2017, and we’ll see if that is set to happen again.
CrossFit Open Workout 21.2: Youth v. Experience
For the men, the CrossFit Open Workout 21.2 will include 2020 CrossFit Games podium winners facing off. That will be the 2020 CrossFit Games Samuel Kwant second-place finisher with third-place winner Justin Medeiros. Samuel Kwant has been in CrossFit since 2016, and has been the youngest male at the CrossFit Games. He’s finished 16th with 4 top-10 finishes and one event win. Madeiros became an icon last year when he made Rookie of the Year.
CrossFit Open Workout 21.3: Panchik v Panchik
In this workout, Scott Panchik will take on his brother Saxon Panchik. Scott Panchik is a 5-time CrossFit Games veteran who has never hit below sixth place. Scott Panchik has not ranked below sixth and missed the podium by just one rank last year. His brother Saxton ranked 19 at the Games in 2018 and 9th in 2019.
Qualifying for the 2021 CrossFit Games
To qualify for this year’s NOBULL CrossFit Games, there is a three-step process. This includes the Open, Quarterfinals, and semifinals, last-chance qualifier. The last-chance qualifier is open to anyone in the top 3 spots.
Qualification is also continent-based. Continents recognized by CrossFit this year include North America, Africa, Europe, South America, Asia, and Oceania.
The Quarterfinals will include the top 10 percent of athletes will move onto the Quarterfinals. 25% of teams and 10% worldwide will move on to the Quarterfinals.
Here’s how Semifinals will look by the continent:
• North America: 150 women, 150 men, 100 teams
• Europe: 90 women, 90 men, 60 teams
• Oceania, Asia, South America, Africa: 50 women, 50 men, 40 teams
The Semifinals will include 10 total live events. Four will be held in North America, two in Europe, and one each from Asia, South America, Oceania, and Africa. The Semifinals will include:
• North America: 30 men, 30 women, and 20 teams, in each of the 4 Semifinals events held in North America
• Europe: 60 men, 60 women, 40 teams in each of the two Semifinals events in Europe
• Asia, Africa, South America, and Oceania: 30 men, 30 women, 20 teams respectively.
Once the Semifinals are complete, 38 men, 38 women, and 38 teams in total will qualify for the CrossFit Games. The Last-Chance Qualifier will have 2 men and 2 women moving onto the Games.