This year, the lucky winners of the CrossFit games will be rewarded with real guns to match their figurative ones.
Dave Castro, director of the CrossFit games, took to Instagram on Wednesday to declare that "The top male athlete, the Top female athlete, and every member of the winning team will receive a @GlockInc pistol." Castro, a former Navy Seal, is one of the most recognizable faces of the CrossFit movement. His Instagram account has 300,000 followers, and it showcases his feats of physical fitness, adherence to the Paleo diet, and appreciation for firearms.
The CrossFit Games bills itself as the only true test of fitness—better than Ironman triathalons, the NFL, and decathlons. The website for the Games declares, "Make no mistake—the CrossFit Games are designed to test, not train, fitness. The goal is to find the fittest athletes, not to produce an easily replicable workout program."
Broadly reached out to Dave Castro, who responded to questions via email. Per his request, we've reprinted his statements exactly as he wrote them.
BROADLY: How did the partnership with Glock come about?
Dave Castro: Its not a partnership,
We have a very limited number of partners. Reebok and Rogue being an example of some of the partners we have.
I am very active in the shooting community.
I was a Navy SEAL for 12 years and used guns in my line of work.
When I got out of the Navy I was introduced to recreational and competitive shooting by a fellow CrossFitter and now CrossFit employee, Dave Re. He is a professional shooter. I was hooked on the sport the minute I tried it.
So for the past 6 years I have been engaged in a legal and safe recreational activity with guns. We have even done events where we combine CrossFit and shooting...
Shooting is a sport, a legal sport. Shooting is used for recreational purposes by millions of people. And gun ownership is legal.
Since I am an avid shooter, I have friends at some of the major shooting companies. One of them said Glock would be interested in giving guns to the winners of the Games. I said absolutely. We have gifted guns at the Games before, this is not a first.
They are not a sponsor, they are not a partner, they are simply providing some legal pistols to the winning athletes.
What message do you hope to convey with this as a prize?
No message to be conveyed, other then its a cool prize for athletes who are putting themselves through an intense competition.
Rich Froning is a favorite to win the Team competition. He supports it...
Mat Fraser is a favorite to win the mens competitions, he also supports it...
How does the reward of a pistol fit in with the CrossFit ethos?
What is the CrossFit ethos? Can you show me one? Every type of person does CrossFit, so there are dozens of expressions of whats important around it to people.
That said, CrossFit has always openly supported MIL/ LEO and the sporting use of guns. From day 1 we've posted things that would point to this support. We understand people will take from CrossFit what they like and leave what they do not, that is fine. The same can be done here, no one is being forced to take the gun if they do not want it.
Is the timing of this announcement intended to make a statement in any way about the current gun control debate in light of recent events, such as the sniper attack in Dallas and the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile?
[Castro did not originally respond to this question. In an email sent after the article's publication, he said, "My response to the final question is no" and that the Glock initiative was "something that has been in motion for months."]
In a statement to Broadly, a representative for Reebok wrote, "As the title sponsor of the Games, we unfortunately do not have input regarding other partners or promotions. While we understand CrossFit's foundations are tied to law enforcement, military and first responders, we do not agree with this decision, particularly in light of current events in the United States."