The top 20 women to watch at the 2017 CrossFit Games
The barbells are loaded, the rowing machines are ready, and the weight vests are prepared in Madison, WI. Now, all that stands between the women of the 2017 CrossFit Games and the title of Fittest on Earth are 15 of the most grueling WODs imaginable.
Of course, there’s no denying that all 40 women who walk into the Alliant Energy Center on August 3 possess extraordinary power, strength, and stamina. But who among them will emerge victorious?
In preparation for the CrossFit Games from August 3–6, we’ve prepared a guide of the 20 strongest female competitors—starting with last year’s champion and progressing in a seeded order according to their Regionals finishes if they had all competed in one division.
1. Katrin Davidsdottir
Davidsdottir has been the Fittest Woman on Earth for the past two years. (Check out our interview with her after last year’s win.) At this year’s Regionals, she narrowly missed first place—but that’s still fairly impressive considering that she didn’t qualify for the Games at all in 2014. Davidsdottir has said the ’14 failure pushed her to train even harder, which ultimately allowed her to take the crown in 2015 and 2016—so expect a spectacular performance from the Icelander, who will be looking to three-peat.
2. Sara Sigmundsdottir
This year, if all the athletes at the eight Regionals had been competing in the same room, Sigmundsdottir would’ve taken first. Currently the third-fittest woman on Earth, she’s been the frontrunner in the past two Games, only to lose the title at the very end to Davidsdottir. An avid lover of pizza, Sigmundsdottir is nonetheless a top contender.
3. Kristin Holte
4. Samantha Briggs
At the 2013 Games, which Briggs ultimately won, the second event was a half-marathon row (21,097 meters). The famously indomitable Briton not only won first by 85 seconds, but she also had 500-meter split times of 2:04 for almost the entire 87 minutes she rowed, helping her earn the nickname “The Engine.”
5. Kara Webb
This year, the powerhouse Australian is making her sixth appearance at the Games, and shows no signs of slowing down. A month ago, Webb split jerked 286lbs after a full workout of running, kettle bell swings, and pullups. With her best performance being fifth, she’s certainly a contender for the podium.
6. Jamie Greene
Originally from New Zealand, Greene now lives and coaches in Abu Dhabi. In 2015, she won the Open but decided to go to the Games as part of a team, which she also did the following year. A former gymnast and rugby player, she’s a big fan of Beast Mode.
7. Cassidy Lance-McWherter
Lance-McWherter is the first American on the list. After three consecutive Games appearances from 2013–2015, she barely missed qualifying last year (but was part of the demo team, the group of athletes who help test the workouts). After a short break from the sport, the CrossFit pillar (she owns a box in Florida with her wife) is ready to compete again.
8. Tennil Reed-Beuerlein
Reed-Beuerlein won her Regional by overtaking eight-time CrossFit Games veteran Camille Leblanc-Bazinet in the end—and if she can power past Leblanc-Bazinet, then she can power past anyone in the Games. Unlike every other woman on our list, Reed-Beuerlein is unaffiliated, meaning she doesn’t train out of one specific gym—but that doesn’t make her any less dangerous.
9. Annie Thorisdottir
“Iceland Annie” won the Games in 2011 and 2012, took second in 2014, withdrew because of heat stroke in 2015, and took 13th last year. She enjoys 20- to 30-minute “chipper” workouts with heavy barbell movements—and as a former winner, she undoubtedly has the mental endurance to tough out all 15 events in the Games.
10. Tia-Clair Toomey
It’s safe to say that Toomey had the most epic 2016 of anyone on our list. After taking a silver medal at the CrossFit Games, she competed in Olympic lifting for Australia’s team in Rio. Though she didn’t make the podium there, anyone good enough to make an Olympic weightlifting team will likely dominate the barbell events among the more generalist CrossFit crowd. If she’s improved her performance in the other events, there’s no limit to how well Toomey could do in 2017.
11. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
Though she’s 5’2” and 130lbs, Leblanc-Bazinet is a savage competitor. The Canadian sparkplug won the 2014 Games and took 13th in 2015 despite being infamously no-repped three times on a snatch ladder. She easily crushed one of our editors in a workout a few years back, and she’ll be looking to do the same in Madison.
12. Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault
In the 2013 Open, Reason-Thibault finished 647th in the world. Last year, she finished 14th at the Games, a meteoric improvement that she attributes to working on her gymnastics (handstand pushups are now her favorite exercise). With a deadlift max of 400lbs and a 300-lb squat, she’s certainly ready for the barbell events.
13. Kari Pearce
Pearce made it to the Games in 2015, the first year she started CrossFit, and in 2016 she returned and took fifth. Also a former competitive gymnast—she’s 5’3”, 139lbs—Pearce practices visualization before she steps onto the competition floor (and can also still throw a decent backflip).
14. Kristi Eramo
Eramo had the best rookie performance of anyone at the Games last year: fifth place. A former endurance athlete and professional swimmer, she can do Grace (30 clean and jerks as fast as possible) in 1:47. She also introduced CrossFit to her mother, who took 10th in the Masters division of the Games last year.
15. Emily Bridgers
16. Thuridur Erla Helgadottir
Another Icelander on the list, Helgadottir explains the country’s dominance in the sport by saying, “We all start very young in competitive sports, and Icelanders are very competitive by nature.” This will be her fourth appearance at the Games, and, in true Icelandic fashion, she hopes to crush her countrywomen. (Politely, of course.)
20. Stacie Tovar
Tovar has qualified for the Games a stunning eight times and can snatch 192lbs, clean and jerk 235lbs, and back squat 310lbs. She took third in the Central Regional, and has finished as high as 11th.
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July 25, 2017 at 09:29PM
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