Colten Mertens

Crossfit Games Athlete


I have grips to help my gymnastics, shoes to help my lifts, but only my AIRWAAV improves my breathing and power output.

Colten, an Iowa native, made his CrossFit debut in 2018, initially competing in the team division before transitioning to individual competition. Despite starting modestly with a 31st place finish in 2021 and a 32nd place in 2022, his determination and resilience propelled him to an impressive 18th place in 2023. With a background in high school wrestling and a strong work ethic as an avid farmer accustomed to grunt work, Colten’s tenacity was evident. His breakthrough moment came at the 2022 Granite Games, where he caught everyone’s attention by securing the last qualifying spot for the CrossFit Games, marking a pivotal milestone in his career.

While training for Wodapalooza, Colten experienced a sudden onset of illness, leading to almost a week of medical tests, ultimately resulting in a diagnosis of a rare autoimmune disorder known as myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibody disease. This neurological, immune-mediated disorder induces inflammation in the optic nerve, spinal cord, and/or brain. Colten and his medical team faced uncertainty regarding his future in CrossFit, unsure if he would ever compete again. With unwavering dedication and a determination to overcome adversity, Colten has continued to compete at his best despite his autoimmune condition.

Colten has been utilizing the AIRWAAV Mouthpiece for the past few months, attributing it to improvements in his breathing and power output. He eagerly anticipates observing its impact on his performance for the 2024 season.