Adaptive athletes' experiences in the CrossFit open through a quality participation lens


CrossFit is a popular form of physical activity and has presented numerous physiological and psychosocial benefits. Although CrossFit is promoted as an inclusive form of physical activity, there is little research examining the benefits of CrossFit for people with disabilities (PWD). The purpose of this study was to compare the experiences of individuals with and without disabilities participating in the 2021 CrossFit Adaptive Open. CrossFit participants with and without disabilities (N=133; 58 men, 75 women; mean age: 35.11± 8.25; 104 without disability, 29 with disability) completed an online survey including the Measure of Experiential Aspects of Participation (MeEAP) following participation in the CrossFit Open. Individual sample t-tests with unequal variances were performed to compare the experiences among participants with and without disability. A significant difference was observed for quality engagement (t (84) = 1.99, p = 0.04) with PWD having better engagement (M = 6.09, SD = 0.67) than people without disability (M = 5.70, SD = 1.33). The results suggest that the Adaptive Open can improve the experiences of PWD, but more research is needed to better understand quality participation for PWD within the context of CrossFit.