What Did We Learn from the 2024 Open?


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • What did we learn during the 2024 CrossFit Open?

  • 7-Time Games veteran and pliability athlete Pat Vellner’s Workout (Mobility Flow) of the Week

  • First-ever adaptive Festivus competition coming to Wisconsin next month


“Don’t be afraid to try new things in training. Unless they’re stupid.” - Greg Everett, Catalyst Athletics


Credit: @crossfit9stpete / Instagram 

Our “7 Questions Leading Up to the 2024 CrossFit Open,” Answered

In early February, we laid out seven questions we had heading into the 2024 CrossFit Open. With the Open now officially in the rearview mirror, we can take a look back and answer them.

1. Was this the biggest year yet?

No. 2024 comes in fourth all-time for total registration, and the final number represents a 6 percent year-over-year increase.

The 2018 Open still holds the all-time title with 416,000 registered athletes. However, since the major drop-off of 2020, we have seen a healthy increase each year, and registrations surpassed 2023 by 20,514. Here are the top years by the numbers:

  1. 2018: 416,000

  2. 2017: 380,000

  3. 2019: 357,000

  4. 2024: 343,528

2. Did we see any new movements?

Yes. Kind of. 

We have seen at least one new movement every year. (The shoulder-to-overhead in 2013 is debatable as new since we previously saw the push press).

While we did not see a completely new movement like crossovers or pull-overs that some were expecting, we saw a new way of doing burpees – jumping laterally over a dumbbell. 

3. Did we see a repeat?

No. For only the second time in the history of the Open, we did not see a workout from the past. Both times have been since the move to the three-week format in 2021. 

  • The longest period between a workout and its repeat has been nine years (from 14.4 to 23.1).


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💪 Saunders to Compete at CrossFit Expo Games: The AusFitness Expo announced that fan-favorite CrossFit Games veteran Kara Saunders will compete at the CrossFit-licensed Expo Games at the AusFitness Expo on April 13-14. Saunders announced earlier this year that she will lead Team Mayhem Thunder in the 2024 season.

  • Saunders will be joined on the competition floor by Harriet Roberts and Saunders’ own 2024 Mayhem Thunder teammate, Emily de Rooy. Khan Porter will be on hand as co-emcee of the event.

🎉 Crossfit’s New CMO Introduces Herself: Crossfit’s new Chief Marketing Officer, Jenna Hauca, took to her Instagram yesterday to announce that it was her official first day with the company:

  • From the post: “I’m excited to share that today is my first day as Chief Marketing Officer at CrossFit.”

  • “I’ll be joining an incredibly talented and devoted team to expand CrossFit’s global reach by supporting our 12,000 affiliate gyms in 140+ countries while generating demand for new gyms and supporting the CrossFit Games.”

  • “It’s an absolute honor to serve a brand that has been in the business of saving, improving, and transforming lives for more than 20 years and I’m eager to join in the efforts of amplifying this mission.”

🥇 Kristi Eramo O’Connell won her first women’s pro HYROX event in Houston last weekend. It’s worth noting that it was also the first pro HYROX event she’s entered.

ICYMI: In the “Open Report” this week, writer Mike Halpin revisited some highlights from the past eight weeks of registration numbers and related data and looks ahead to Quarterfinals.


Credit: pliability

Pat Vellner’s Workout (Mobility Flow) of the Week

Today’s workout (mobility flow) is programmed by seven-time Games veteran, current Second Fittest Man on Earth, and pliability athlete Pat Vellner. The Canadian fan-favorite first competed at the CrossFit Games on a team in 2015 before switching to the individual. Since then, he has finished on the podium five times (twice in third, three times in second).

This off-season, Vellner won the 2023 Rogue Invitational for the second time (the first in-person) and unofficially finished 10th worldwide in the 2024 CrossFit Open.

Pat Vellner’s Mobility Flow


Credit: Felicia Davis

Festivus Games to Host First Adaptive-Only Competition Next Month 

The Festivus Games, originally launched in 2011, is targeted at novice and intermediate CrossFit athletes who want to compete. 

  • As of April, adaptive athletes are being added to that list too. 

Felicia Davis is the founder of Inclusive Performance, a (soon-to-be) non-profit organization for adaptive athletes in Waterford, WI. 

  • Davis is an adaptive athlete herself. She has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is a genetic condition affecting the connective tissues in one’s body. 

She launched Inclusive Performance in May 2023 to expand CrossFit to other adaptive athletes with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. 

The program is run out of CrossFit Syndicate, where she now has almost 40 adaptive athletes participating in free classes. Davis wanted to go even further for her athletes and hold a competition, but she didn’t know where to begin, so she reached out to Maggie Ludwig, owner of Festivus Games. 

  • “I sent her [Maggie] a message and said, ‘Hey, how do you run a competition?’ I've never done this before and she's like, ‘I have an idea’,” Davis tells Morning Chalk Up in an interview. 

  • “She offered an opportunity to run the first-ever adaptive Festivus Games in the world, and we're hoping if this goes well, we can get more athletes involved. I mean, it would be really cool to expand across the U.S., but right now, it all starts with this little competition,” said Davis. 

  • “We have 16 athletes so far. We have upper extremity, lower extremity, seated, intellectual, and neurodiverse divisions.”

Inclusive Performance is a completely free program and Davis hopes “the more athletes we get for the Festivus competition, we're able to raise funds for our free program and really expand it.”


Chest-to-Bar Drills

Was 24.3 an eye-opener for you that your chest-to-bar pull-ups could be more efficient? Try these drills from RX Gymnastics to build strength in those pullers.


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Brooke Wells Doesn’t Finish 24.3

Check out Brooke Wells’ latest YouTube video, in which she explains why she didn’t finish the last workout of the Open. Don’t worry — she still made the Quarterfinals and is planning on continuing the season.


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Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise? Send us a tip.

  • 🎂Happy birthday to Devyn Kim and Jenn Dancer.

  • Nice work to Games athlete Griffin Roelle on the ten touch-and-go power cleans at 315 pounds/143 kilos.

  • Happy belated anniversary to Lodewyk and Rebecca Etsebeth.

  • Congratulations to coach James Townsend, who competed in the USATF Masters meet.

  • 💪Congratulations to Tammy and Christina from Fire Power CrossFit in Canada for getting their first bar muscle-ups on 24.3.