Does the CIA have athletic competitions for its employees?
~Spy vs. Spy
Dear Spy vs. Spy,
I’ve worked at CIA for a long time, and I can honestly say that one of the coolest things about being here is meeting and working with all of the interesting people who have the privilege of calling themselves CIA officers. They come from all walks of life, all corners of the world, and each inject a small bit of themselves into the Agency’s living history.
I don’t mean to wax poetic, but I think it’s important to know that the culture of CIA is shaped entirely by the people who work here. There are employee-created groups for outdoor enthusiasts, for chess players, for musicians, for gearheads, for writers, and everything in between. So, to answer your question: of course CIA has athletic competitions. Not only do we have competitions, but we have athletic leagues, fitness classes, and a whole host of other enterprise services to help our officers stay healthy.
CIA’s Employee Activity Association (EAA) is the organizing group behind our athletic leagues and manages seasonal play for soccer, volleyball, softball, basketball, and other team sports. And while competition is generally pretty friendly, none of us are totally immune from a bout of competitive angst (we just have to reckon with it the next morning, in the office).
Beyond the more traditional intramurals, CIA’s Office of Medical Services also sponsors a range of annual athletic competitions intended to get the workforce moving. These include;
A 5K or 2.5K run/walk, which has been an agency staple for over 30 years. We also have a Virtual Run for officers who would like to participate from different locations.
A pedometer challenge in which teams go head-to-head to see who can record the most steps to meet weekly goals.
And if you needed any more evidence to convince you of how much we love athletic competitions, look no further than our Deputy Director, David Cohen, who has been known to trade in the briefing table for the ping pong table, challenging brave Agency officers to a battle of the paddles.