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National Pro Fitness League signs top CrossFit athletes for first season

With hopes of turning "human performance" team competitions into a professional sport, the National Pro Fitness League is on schedule to kick off its first season this Summer.

The National Pro Fitness League and CrossFit Games will expand in 2014
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Founded by former Co-Director of the CrossFit Games Tony Budding, the NPFL is billed as “first professional spectator sport with co-ed teams competing in human performance races."

The NPFL has been announcing its first athletes on its YouTube channel, signing many of the world's top CrossFit athletes in the league's early stages. With the sample movements and skills used for the races and Budding's background, it's no surprise that the league's athletes have come from CrossFit affiliates.

Here are the signings that have been featured so far:

Los Angeles Reign

  • Dusty Hyland (Coach)
  • Becky Conzelman
  • Lindsey Valenzuela
  • Tommy Hackenbruck
  • Elisabeth Akinwale
  • Kenneth Leverich
  • Jon Pera
  • Chris Dozois

New York Rhinos

  • Annie Thorisdottir
  • Amy Mandelbaum
  • Shawn Ramirez

San Francisco Firebreathers

  • Annie Sakamoto
  • Chad Augustin
  • Cheryl Brost
  • Ben Garard

Philadelphia Founders

  • Kaleena Ladeairous
  • Amanda Allen
  • Megin Oczkowski
  • Eric Magee

Phoenix Rise

  • Danny Nichols
  • Amanda Goodman
  • Gabrielle Andrews
  • James Fitzgerald
  • Marcus Filly
  • Nate Schrader
  • Lisa Rendic
  • Jamie Hagiya

While the NPFL prepares for its first season of fitness competition, it looks like 2014 will bring more official CrossFit events as well.

At yesterday's 14.5 workout announcement for the CrossFit Games Open, CrossFit's Director of Training and the CrossFit Games Dave Castro commented that there would be multiple competitive events over the course of the year, where "super teams" would be compete. These events would hypothetically be in addition to the annual CrossFit Games and Team USA vs. the World competitions.

With the NPFL combine on its way and its upcoming season, 2014 will undoubtedly be CrossFit's biggest leap into the world of spectator sports. Top CrossFit athletes like Games champions Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir still aren't household names, but with about a million CrossFit athletes around the world (and growing!), 2014 will provide the biggest exposure the sport has ever seen.

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