CrossFit Games Wild Card- Good or Bad?
This past year there were many changes made to the CrossFit Games. One of those changes that has flown rather under the radar is the new wild card system.
The Wild Card system gives CrossFit HQ the ability to invite a small number of individual participants to the Games, even if those individuals didn't meet any of the predetermined qualification standards for the Games. These of course are handed out at the discretion of CrossFit, and would only be given to people who have some business being at the Games. At least, that's the idea.
This year, the wildcard invites went to Ben Smith and Hunter McIntyre. Smith is a former Games champion who tried and failed on multiple occasions to qualify for the Games. McIntyre is a controversial figure in the community, a trail runner and obstacle course racer who continued to publicly state he could win the CrossFit Games.
I originally liked the idea of the wildcard, but to be honest I didn't love how this played out. Personally, I thought Ben Smith was past the times. He is older and has been slipping lately. Sure enough, he was cut early on in the competition, day 2. As for McIntyre, obviously anyone who hasn't trained CrossFit for years would have no chance at the Games. He was eliminated on day one.
Overall I really wound up thinking that the wild cards cheapened the competition. they were a joke, and it just didn't work. I saw some comments after the fact from McIntyre, saying this won't be his last go at the Games. I hope it is. Unless he earns his spot, and the same goes for Ben here, they simply don't belong there. Say all you want about the national champs who couldn't quite get it done, they earned their spot and belong. The wildcards do not.
What’s your stance on wild cards? Let us know in the comments!
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