CrossFit Games athletes and community react to Dave Castro’s dismissal


Photo credit: CrossFit LLC

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The sudden dismissal of longtime CrossFit Games mastermind Dave Castro sent shockwaves throughout the sport – especially just seven weeks before the CrossFit Open 2022. With many questions still unanswered, we’ve compiled the athletes current and former CrossFit Games, and well-known personalities in early community reactions that they posted publicly or responded to us directly.

Note : While plenty of social media has been outspoken since the news of Castro’s sacking, it’s important to point out that several of the Games’ top athletes have remained silent. Our staff reached out to dozens of athletes and most wore a similar tone, responding “no comment”. While those we spoke with have consistently expressed their sadness and frustration, we have yet to hear if any athletes feel this was a positive gesture for the sport.

CrossFit Games Athletes

  • Patrick Vellner: “He’s been doing a good job of programming for years. But he’s always been part of a team and now we see what the team can do without him.
  • Lazar Đukić: “I really don’t know what to think. I don’t know how they thought it would benefit the sport in the future to do it right before the start of the season. Plus, we knew what to expect (sometimes we didn’t), but it was familiar. I’m curious to see what happens next from the Open.
  • Caroline Conners: “I am really disappointed. As an athlete who has spent over 5 years working to get to the Games, it is such a disappointment not to have more opportunities to experience the Games that we all know. Dave was a big part of the experience. Even just for affiliate members participating in the Open. He is the face of competitive CrossFit. Whether you love him or hate him, it was part of your experience. I can hardly imagine walking on the playground and seeing someone else trying to fill their shoes. Getting to know about Castro and see behind the scenes of the games has been one of the coolest experiences. He was the last most authentic thing in sport. I just hope they keep the spirit of what he built.
  • Michelle Basnett: “Honestly, there is very little or almost no information on the situation (as to why) and like a lot of people, I’m not happy with the choice to fire him. I think Dave is an integral part of the culture that has been created in the sport of CrossFit and whether you love it or hate it you have to thank the guy for what he has done for the sport over the years. , really from the start. Unless something happened that we weren’t aware of, I would say it was unwarranted and obviously not a mutual decision. It might be a good choice for CrossFit, but at the moment it doesn’t quite look like it. It looks like another change in the sport and we’ve had a LOT of it over the past few years. He was a constant and they just took him away.
  • Cole Sager on Instagram: “Has Dave done things perfectly over the years? Nope. But neither do you and I. However, he served our sport with passion and cared deeply for its success. And that, I really appreciated.
  • Brooke Wells on Instagram: “A true legend, thank you @thedavecastro.”
  • Rich Froning on Instagram: “Love him or hate him (and I’ve had many moments of both) @thedavecastro cared more about our sport and its success than anyone else. Whoever takes on his role will have huge shoes to fill.
  • Khan Porter on Instagram: “Sad news from CrossFit HQ today. It’s even hard to imagine the CrossFit Games without @thedavecastro. Thank you for everything you have done for this sport and mine and all the other athletes really live it.
  • Danielle Brandon on Instagram: “Big change 🦍🦍🦍.”
  • Jay Crouch on Instagram: “We need @danawhite.”
  • Becca Voigt on Instagram: “It makes me sad! It has been an honor to play your game. @Thedavecastro.
  • Ben Smith on Instagram: “It’s a bad move.”
  • Adam Davidson on Instagram: “I don’t think people know how wild it takes to lead a tight ship like the games, @thedavecastro wasn’t everyone’s favorite authoritarian because he’s exactly what it took to put on such an event which requires strict deadlines and tracking. We’ll see what happens. Awesome 15 years old, did I hate every workout he was planning 90% haha ​​but thanks for the right race.

Former Games athletes:

  • Jacob Heppner on Instagram: “Wasn’t your biggest fan dying during Open practices and I might have cursed your name a little bit on forearm standards too haha.” But regardless of all of that, it’s impossible to deny your love for what you do and being fantastic. I’m sure what you’re going to do next will be no different #From… PSA: I’m not here to comment on the situation of who did what and so on. I don’t know all the details and neither do you, so it’s probably best to keep your opinions to yourself. Do you remember… what your mother taught you?
  • Emily Bridgers on Instagram: “Thank you @thedavecastro for all you have done for the sport of CrossFit and the opportunities in my life personally. It won’t be the same without you.
  • Jason Carroll on Instagram: “Un.fu * kin.real. Like many athletes I have had the privilege of working alongside him and we all know he is a standing guy… as true as they come. I truly believe there will be no one like him who can advance the sport like this while still having the “core” feel of CrossFit the way he did. Sad day. “
  • Josh Bridges on Instagram: “This guy here (Dave Castro) will be sorely missed from the sport of CrossFit. His impact on the sport and my personal life has been profound.”
  • Jared Enderton on Instagram: “Shit. I really like Castro. Entertaining, intelligent and entirely dedicated to his profession. I’m sure it’s not the last we’ll hear from him, it will be a man on a mission 🔥 “

Coaches and community figures:

  • Justin Cotler, Founder and Coach of the Underdogs: “This is obviously major news. The timing is quite odd so close to the Open, but I guess a plan has to be in place. My greatest hope is that we finally get good governance for sport. This is something that CrossFit, the sport, desperately needs. So hopefully there will be some transparency about the vision and how they plan to get there. “
  • Snorri Baron, manager of several top European athletes, on his Instagram: “Holy shit 🤯.”
  • Mariah Moore, Director of the CrossFit 2018 and 2021 Games Documentary, posted a photo of Dave with “Thank you.”
  • John singleton, the founder and coach of PROGRM, “So it is obviously very difficult to give an informed opinion without knowing what really happened behind the scenes. However, from the current point of view, it does not appear that HQ handled the situation in the best way. I really want to see the sport unify and believe that a unified sport will bring the most benefit to everyone involved, I hope that Dave’s sacking doesn’t just create more divisions.
  • Craig Howard, owner and founder of the Diablo CrossFit and Row’d Royalty indoor rowing competition, on Twitter:
  • Peter White, host of the Coffee, Pods & Wods podcast on Instagram: “It woke me up anyway. I am quite shocked. Very out of the blue, especially with open programming going on. I have no idea what happened or why, but the fact that he’s sharing his recent dating post with Glassman seems relevant. Good luck to JBergh, big boots to fill. To all the people who ask Castro to go, here it is… Never nice to see someone “fired”, especially when it has blinded them as it seems to have been. He was testing open practice sessions two days ago and seemed excited about the season. From his stories, I guess the hunt and other things that he shared weren’t viewed positively. It remains to be seen whether he was asked to tow the line and refused or was not requested. Or I could be totally wrong and there are other reasons we will probably never know. It’s a daring move from Rosa[sic] but Justin knows the tricks of the trade. I’m still pretty stunned by this to be honest.

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