On Jan. 4, 2022, CrossFit CEO Eric Roza sent an internal email effectively stating that General Manager of Sport Dave Castro had been fired. Part of Castro’s job was programming for the CrossFit Games — a task he performed 15 times. That responsibility now belongs to former Vice President of Sport and Partnerships Justin Bergh, who has been promoted to assume Castro’s previous job just seven weeks before the start of the 2022 CrossFit Open.
So who is Justin Bergh? As previously mentioned, Bergh’s title changed to VP of Sport and Partnerships in 2021. Before that, he was the General Manager of the CrossFit Games, a position he first assumed in 2013. According to his profile on games.crossfit.com, Bergh first joined CrossFit in 2006 and has competed in the CrossFit Open every year since 2012.
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Bergh’s introduction to CrossFit came when his roommate in 2006 wanted to emulate the training of a Navy Seal he knew — programming that consisted of two CrossFit workouts per day. Bergh, a former college baseball player, was interested in picking up a training routine and gave CrossFit a shot following his roommate’s recommendation.
His first workout involved kettlebells, and he “fell in love with it,” according to an Oct. 23, 2021 interview with CrossFit Games Analysts Sean Woodland and Tommy Marquez on episode 149 of the Talking Elite Fitness Podcast. Bergh became so invested in CrossFit that he left his job at SportsMEDIA Technology Corp and opened CrossFit Southside, an affiliate in Jacksonville, FL.
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At a CrossFit affiliate gathering in Austin, TX, Bergh met with CrossFit’s Director of Training Nicole Carroll, who offered him the opportunity to try out for the Level One Internship Program for trainers.
That was like winning the lottery to me. I’m all in on CrossFit.
That opportunity led Bergh to a spot on the seminar staff in 2009. In 2010, Bergh’s professional background and knowledge of sports arenas across the US proved valuable as the CrossFit Games moved from the ranch in Aromas, CA, to the then StubHub Center in Carson, CA (now the Dignity Health Sports Park). At those Games, Bergh said Castro was responsible for programming, Director of Media Tony Budding was responsible for media, and he was “responsible for everything else.” Bergh was promoted in 2013 to General Manager of the CrossFit Games.
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At the time of this article’s publication, Bergh has not yet made a public statement regarding his promotion as the new General Manager of Sport. However, he stated multiple times to Woodland and Marquez that his aspirations in CrossFit are to “transform lives.” That mentality has guided his decision-making during his time with the company.
Before his release, Castro suggested that the programming for the 2022 CrossFit Open is nearly finalized in a video on the CrossFit Games YouTube channel. However, the programming for the 2022 CrossFit Games will be Bergh’s responsibility.
BarBend’s CEO and Co-Founder David Tao interviewed Bergh in 2020 on an episode of the BarBend Podcast. You can listen to the conversation below:
Featured image: @jb_crossfit on Instagram