Games 09: The Judges

July 28, 2009 2:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
19 Comments » on this entry

Games09BlairChuckCarswellJudge.jpgAt the 2009 CrossFit Games, spectators saw amazing performances from a variety of the top athletes across the world. They also got to see something else: Top-notch judges.

The judges at the Games were extremely professional throughout the weekend. "Just to be clear," Dave Castro told them, "you are not cheerleaders. That's what the crowd is for." In spite of this, they are still CrossFit trainers, and seeing athletes push their limits can excite even the best of them.

Dan Thacker of CrossFit Valley Park, who watched the action from the stands, sent in this picture of Chuck Carswell and Blair Morrison. He wrote, "I was amazed at how well the judges did. I've been a judge for many local competitions and it is such a hard job. They all deserve tremendous recognition. Chuck Carswell showed tremendous enthusiasm with the athletes. You could really see his passion. Anyway, just thought I'd pass this one along. Great job on the event! Can't wait until next year."

HQ trainer Todd Widman judged many of the events throughout the weekend. He had this to say about the competition, and the judging in particular:

"I can sum up my experience at the 2009 Games with one word: Heart.

This was the first CrossFit Games I had the privilege of attending and was humbled to have the opportunity to help out as a judge for the competing athletes. Though not knowing fully what that charge would entail I was certain we would see some extraordinarily talented athletes compete, so in turn I was not shocked at the caliber of athleticism displayed over the three days.

Also, the standards for judging were neither that surprising nor different than any other CrossFit event, a squat is a squat, whether in Aromas or Montana. Once a few specifics were decided upon, i.e. what did and did not equal a repetition for scoring, we were off and running.

What shocked me was the heart each and every athlete displayed, through every workout, all day, every day of the Games. Every one of the athletes endured limitless physical, mental, and emotional hardship all day long, and did so with a positive attitude bordering on selflessness. More emotion was spent by the competitors on cheering for others than themselves. More drive was put forth to better one's times and weights, for that reason alone, than to win when stacked up against another's time or weight.

These were amazing athletes with a ton of heart at the 2009 Games, but are, more notably, remarkable people.

Thank you to the 2009 CrossFit Games competitors for outwardly displaying all that is exceptional about CrossFit."

Although Todd thanks the competitors, and we in turn do the same, we must stop and give thanks to the many volunteers, media personnel, and the outstanding judges that held the high standards that CrossFit demands.

Thank you.

19 comments on this entry.

1. Lindsey Smith wrote...

July 28, 2009 2:14 PM

I am glad someone took the time to thank the judges. I cannot say enough about their fairness and support (not in a cheeleader type way though... Don't worry Dave). Seriously though, they were encouraging and demanding. I could literally see that it pained them not to count some of my reps on difficult movements(i.e. handstand push-ups and muscle-ups) and they were the first to hug me after a PR was met! It was truly awesome. I cannot imagine how tired and drained they must have been. I remember specifically one of my judges barely having a voice on day two, but he did not allow that to impede his ability to make sure I knew exactly what repetition I was on and the standards that needed to be met. They truly understood the importance of their accuracy in helping us reach our goals. That is easier said than done. So, as a competitor, I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you!

2. Adam Kayce wrote...

July 28, 2009 2:31 PM

When I saw that Chuck Carswell was one of the judges, I just thought, "Geez, whoever gets Chuck as their judge is stoked!" Talk about the kind of guy you want in your corner... just having him around is inspirational.

3. Rookie wrote...

July 28, 2009 3:26 PM

Just had Chuck at my Level 2 here in Australia and he is an outstanding coach and motivator. Can only imagine what he was like for the Games as a judge. Inspirational.

4. bingo wrote...

July 28, 2009 6:20 PM

Chuck might be the only Crossfitter at the Games I wished to meet and did not. Each time I was ready to say howdy he was deeply engaged with one of the athletes--it would have been impolite of me to interrupt. From afar, what a class act, what a gentleman.

I'll be a little more bold next time Mr. Carswell in looking for a handshake.


5. Pat Sherwood wrote...

July 28, 2009 7:50 PM

Thanks to all the judges, you all did a kick ass job!

6. grambo wrote...

July 28, 2009 10:27 PM

I don't think I've read a single complaint online about judging standards at the game - that is a pretty good compliment. Bravo.

7. Mike - CrossFit PEI wrote...

July 29, 2009 2:10 AM

Chuck, Todd and everyone else judging did an amazing job at the Games. As a member of the CrossFit PEI affiliate team and as a coach for an individual athlete from our affiliate, I was extremely impressed with how clear things were and the fairness of the judging.

Great words Todd. You were judging a girl from our gym in the last workout of the day on Saturday. While being strict with the standards, your encouragement not only got her going but also the crowd - with that she was able to finish that workout with only 4 seconds left. That meant a lot to her. Thank you.

8. Jason Khalipa wrote...

July 29, 2009 6:59 AM

I already mentioned this before but wanted to say one more time THANK YOU to all of the judges and volunteers that came out and made the 2009 Games possible. I had the pleasure of having Chuck as my judge for the Kettlebell, HSPU, GHD WOD. Chuck made sure that I kept my movements legit! I must have done almost 3 extra reps every round. I totally appreciate the fact that the judges this year had a standard and stuck to them, thank you again!

9. gaucoin wrote...

July 29, 2009 7:52 AM

Gotta love Chuck; the judges really elevated their game for all the athletes this year. Nice work, folks!

10. Tom Brose wrote...

July 29, 2009 8:11 AM

I got to judge pretty much the whole time, and it was an honor. While we were working pretty hard, I think a lot of volunteers put in more work, without even getting to see the action. On Sunday morning, the young guys in the parking lot were asking about the Deadlift wod. They had overheard people discussing it, but had been in the lot directing cars from before sunrise, and had't seen any of the games. A lot of people put in very selfless work.

11. Andy wrote...

July 29, 2009 9:51 AM

As a volunteer I want to say Chuck was really great, he snapped one of the other judges back in line after he/she made a less than possitive comment to our performance.

12. Kim Malz~FitMom wrote...

July 29, 2009 6:00 PM

Thank you judges, media crew, volunteers, and organization crew...your energy and enthusiasm was endless!

13. bingo replied to comment from Tom Brose...

July 29, 2009 6:03 PM


Good on ya for making that call. Lots of folks worked very hard behind the scenes and never saw a minute of the Games. Thanks for calling them out.


14. Ash wrote...

July 29, 2009 8:02 PM still owe me a beer...or ten! Your the greatest!!!!!

15. Kristine Reinking wrote...

July 30, 2009 10:55 AM

God I love this pic! Nothing sums up the enthusiam better,,,

16. S. Carswell wrote...

July 30, 2009 3:44 PM

What a pleasure to be part of your passion! We love u! The Carswell Crew...

17. S. Carswell wrote...

July 30, 2009 3:53 PM

We're so honored to be part of your passion! We love u. SC, CC, & EC...

18. Chuck Carswell wrote...

July 30, 2009 4:47 PM

Thanks ya'll. I was on of the MANY volunteers at the Games this year and the role I was able to play was a challenge for obvious reasons. There were so many others that had it tougher than I. It's true, many of those volunteers never stood on the staduim grounds, many of them won't have their pics posted on the site, some of their names will never be uttered here, but their value to the '09 Games is immeasurable. They're -at minimum the equivalent to the dark horse performer, quietly going about their work without the fan fare and before it's all said and done they've left an indelible impression on the event and those in attendance. I hope this isn't presumptuous, but on behalf of all the volunteers, thanks!

BTW- there no cheering in the picture! 1. I stepped on a bug 2. I pulled my hamstring or 3. I was angry with Blair for putting the weight down. HA!

19. ec wrote...

August 3, 2009 9:15 PM

yes - thank you to ALL the volunteers; all of your efforts REALLY helped the judges.

on another note - LOVE the pic. two studs!