The Afghanistan Games

By Sgt. 1st Class Rafael C. Lopez II

In Competition, LEO/Mil

October 22, 2010

PDF Article

Deployed U.S. Army troops experience the intensity of CrossFit competition. Sgt. 1st Class Rafael C. Lopez reports.

We are an aviation unit that is deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. For people who are unfamiliar with us, you can view our history in the CrossFit Journal article APFT A-OK.

Our soldiers work a 12-hour day for 13 days straight. During deployment, they have experienced climates and higher altitudes the majority of them have not seen before. We started our CrossFit program about half a year ago and have been going strong. We decided about four months ago to hold our own CrossFit competition here in Afghanistan. We wanted to create something that would increase both unit cohesion and boost esprit de corps within the ranks.

We designed the event to work like an Affiliate Cup competition. The main reason why we went this way instead of an individual competition was a lack of judges and a lack of equipment. We formed groups of four soldiers to compete in an all-out war against each other. We published the idea of the competition about a month and a half out, but the WODs remained a secret to allow for the unknown and unknowable.

Smack talking began quickly, with everyone explaining why their team was better than other teams, and we knew this would be the fuel that would keep everyone burning for the battle. When Day 1 arrived, the talk was at its peak.



9 Comments on “The Afghanistan Games”


wrote …

Outstanding job SFC Lopez & a big shout out to all the Soldiers who took part in the competition. I don't know if Crossfit is the be all end all of excersise programs, but I do know that the mental attributes gained and improved upon have made a huge difference in the Soldiers I work with when it comes down to mission execution. The physical improvements are undeniable. The Soldiers who PT with Crossfit have far less difficulty day to day in this environment. It's nice to see Esprit de Corps built amongst brothers and sisters in arms as well. Congratulations once again to all who gave their all not only in service to our country, but selflessly to each other to make it through the four days of grueling workouts.


wrote …

Love the IV shot idea. Its hard enough to do it in the class, after a WOD, it must have been nerve racking. Great job!!!!!


wrote …

Awesome article and great pictures! Thanks for sharing.


wrote …

Awesomeness Extraordinaire!! Loved the article and the pictures and LOVE our soldiers! Thank you!!


wrote …

The Army doesn't rate to have a crossfit games,this is due to the fact that:
1) 99% of the Army is overweight and nasty
2) Almost all of them are POGs and are an occupying force that gets the best of everything because they are on some huge built-up FOB
3) They are the Army, I mean seriously...


wrote …

Gregory I could not agree more we have had great results across the board with our Soldiers.
Tony, They definatly were challanged with hitting the vein when they were shaking from the worjout.
Stephanie and Ashley thanks for the support.
Justin, Anything that gets Soldiers mobile, no matter what their job or physical stature is, does nothing but good things for the Soldiers and the unit. I am sorry that you feel this way but the bottom line is our Soldiers have benifited from the program and that is all that matters. They gave 110% and that is what Soldiers do.


replied to comment from Rafael Lopez

I would agree that it benifits the soldiers but to reward mediocrity is to damage what crossfit is. If soldiers gave 110% they would not get looked at as the garbage of the military so often. Why not reward someone who busts their tail everday and never gets rewarded? Such a group might be Marine Corps infantry. Not some POG unit that just sits around on their computers. Food for thought.


wrote …

Justin I presume you are an 03?


wrote …

Justin, only a Marine would use a crossfit website to try to talk trash about other military. Clearly that aviation unit has time on their hands and equipment, and probably unknowlingly made fun of their nice lifestyle by posting that article about it. The next time you need CAS or Medevac becuase your being over-run, please call them "POG"s and watch them not help you. The majority of the military is overweight these days and its sad. However to say that they are ALL overweight and POGs is a gross generalization and even you are smart enough to know that. Just becuase theres only a few of you doesnt make you special, lets appreciate effort towards better physical readiness anywhere we see it, especially on non-military pro-fitness web sites. No one wants this military crap on here. Lets focus on crossfit.

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