This post is sponsored by Fitfluential, LLC on behalf of Reebok.
Wow, this year the Games seemed closer than ever! No one knew who would win but I was more informed and invested this year — and had my favs. It was supposedly Rich Froning‘s last year in the Games and it didn’t look like Annie Thorisdottir or Julie Foucher were going to take first in in the beginning. With Sam Briggs and Lindsey Valenzuela (last year’s first and second place winners) out — there were so many ways it could have gone.
It was exciting not knowing who would win, though it was pretty obvious Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (in photo above) was likely going to win the whole thing for women. I really really really didn’t think Froning would pull at 4th win in a row — but he is seemingly unstoppable in the last few rounds of competition.
Personally, I would have loved to see Valerie Voboril and Jason Khalipa win (Khalipa’s the best!) first but alas, here were the final results:
- Rich Froning
- Matt Fraser
- Jason Khalipa
- Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
- Annie Thorisdottir
- Julie Foucher
To go back a bit, I wanted to recap some of day #2. It was full of excitement and a long one! We arrived at the StubHub Center at 12:30pm and stayed until after 9pm but let me tell you, this is the ONLY sport I would be okay with that for. I can watch all day long and still love it — even in the bleachers way far up (which is where we had sit unfortunately!)
It was hot and these athletes were wearing themselves out with work out after workout, day after day. I was in awe of every single one — especially those like Anna Tunnicliffe and Talayna Fortunato who were injured and continuing in the competition.
Day 2 early workout was the Muscle Up Biathlon:
— 400m Run
— 18 muscle ups
— 400 m run
— 15 muscle ups
— 400 m run
— 12 muscle ups
But the catch is… you had to run 200m every time you dropped from the rings so none of the girls were able to actually complete 18 muscle ups unbroken. Sadly, one of my favs, Julie Foucher, had ONE muscle to go on the last round and got a no rep, had to run 200m and lost out getting first place. That judge sucked!
I’ve been supremely impressed with 20-year-old Lauren Fisher, I believe the youngest in the competition and a total beast. She doesn’t look as big as the other women but she can hold her own. She did spectactular in the clean and clean/squat complex.
This year is more fun for me because I feel more informed about the athletes. I know most of them by name and have favorites for reasons like any other sports fan would. I feel pretty knowledgable about the sport and love having that inside baseball information.
For example, I know Chris Spealler is a CrossFit favorite but he’s a really small guy and has trouble with the heavy weight exercises. I know that Rich Froning is terrible at running (can you believe he came in 37th place in that part?!) I know that I love Elizabeth Akinwale for being fierce, strong and awesome. And I like Tiffany Hendrickson and Lauren Brooks because they are both moms of 2 or 3 kids and are competing at this level like champs!
CrossFit has been around for such a short period of time that there actually aren’t that many winners of the Games, which began in 2007. So these new winners will really make history and it’s very exciting. In the press conference after the event was over, Annie T. talked about how her back was injured last year, she had to drop out of competition and was worried she may never be able to compete again.
Im sure glad she’s back because she’s honestly like a ray of sunshine, with such a great smile, positive attitude and determination like you’ve never seen. She finishes every WOD with her hands in the air like she just won the world.
After the squat/clean complex, they moved onto yet another WOD, which was a mix of handstand pushups, sled pull, deficit hand stand push ups, more sled pull and deeper handstand pushups. Brutal on the shoulders they were this year.
It was hard watching some because you can just FEEL how hard it would be after awhile to pull yourself up from those handstand pushups. However, it was pretty much a given that those who started out in first never finished first. Pacing yourself seemed to be the name of the game.
I love this last photo because all the guys from this heat went to go cheer on the last guy who was having trouble completing his last set of deficit handstand pushups. The crowd was on their feet cheering, the announcers were saying, “this is what CrossFit is all about” and it felt awesome to will our positive energy to the last place finisher.
In fact, many times over the course of the Games, it seemed like the crowd literally cheered someone up out of an impossible squat. Lauren Brooks actually hit her knee (which I didn’t know was legal but is), brought it back up without dropping the bar and stood it up! See here:
Since I didn’t cover it before, here are a couple of shots from the swimming portion of the competition:
It was so great working with the Reebok team, as well as meeting other press from various outlets, including SHAPE, Men’s Fitness, Fitness Magazine, SELF, Popsugar, Refinary29, Realist and more. I’m excited to see what they write about the Games — and was excited that those last two were there to cover it!
Also, in case you missed my pic from the #ReebokBacon truck (yes, I ate the bacon!):
On our second day in California, we did a beach WOD with Lindsey V. and Blair Morrison, 3x Games competitor who now runs his own box, CrossFit Anywhere. He wasn’t competing this year but hung out with our team most of the time. His WOD on the beach for us included a brutal 20 minute AMRAP with mega bear crawls that my forearms are still dying from!
Also, DJ Swizz Beatz (Alicia’s Keys husband) was there playing music, which by the way, I loved. Every song gets you pumped up and majorly contributed to the feel of the whole event production. Best pic I could get:
Sadly, on the last day of competition, I brought my camera but left my card so I couldn’t take photos with my nice lens but here are a few other shots I did get plus a couple credited to CrossFit HQ Facebook page below:
There are about a million more photos I could show you — and a thousand more things I can say about the Games this year. In fact, I’m quite sure another post is coming soon but I wanted to get this out there!
Once again, I walked away inspired and joyous that I have a body that works and that I can use to do these amazing things (to a much lesser extent of course!). There’s been criticism in the past that the Games are just a place for people show off their bodies. Well, that’s certainly something you see, but if you are there in the midst of it, you just know — these people aren’t doing this just to have muscles.
We love what we do and feel naturally drawn to others that do it as well. It radiates strength, confidence and determination. Yes, it’s symbolized in a physical form — and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!
Work harder, get stronger, be better. CrossFit helps you get there.