Just like that, another competitive season is over. The 2018 CrossFit Games have concluded, and what a week it was. The fittest athletes from around the globe gathered in Madison to leave it all on the competition floor.

Competitors train all year for these few days, and while only a small handful walk away with podium finishes, it goes without saying each of them put on one heck of a performance. Here’s what 19 of them had to say about the Games this year.

Mat Fraser

Another season, another custom trophy. #metcon #teamnike @niketraining #HWPO

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It never gets easier but it’s always worth it. #crossfitgames #HWPO

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Tia-Clair Toomey

Part 1. I want to start by congratulating each athlete and to their support teams who took part in the 2018 games. Every year the competition gets tougher and the events more gruelling. The quality of athletes competing makes it impossible to take any event lightly, even so much so that the slightest of slip ups and you’ve fallen down the leaderboard. Even more important though is the quality of camaraderie and respect amongst the athletes, who all continue to push each other even though they’re competing amongst one another for the top spot. You all did an amazing job and it was inspiring to be a part of. To the Crossfit team; the organisers, the judges, the volunteers and the media team, without you this doesn’t happen. Your professionalism doesn’t go unnoticed by the athletes and we appreciate all the sacrifice and hard work you put into making the games what they are. Thank you! To all our family, friends and supporters back home, and those who ventured over with us, your support is invaluable. We’re constantly lifted by all the kind and supportive words and the respect we are given by each and every one of you. You add so much meaning to our journey. #TBC @crossfitgames

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Patrick Vellner

One step closer to the goal. . Lots of ups and downs this week but I’m proud of myself. Whether it’s resilience or just plain old stubbornness, I proved this week that great things can happen if you just keep picking yourself up and moving forward. I want thank all of the volunteers and staff of the @crossfitgames who work tirelessly to make us look good (special shout out to the medical team). Thanks to all of my sponsors for supporting me this year and to my family and friends for tolerating me during both during the games and the months leading up. @mich_letendre and @mworkunhill both deserve medals for dealing with me. I want to send a special thank you to all of the crossfit fans in the community. Thank you for sticking with me and cheering me on no matter what. I really felt the love this year and there are times when I needed that boost more than you know. Congratulations to all of the athletes who competed on a truly great accomplishment. It was a great test @thedavecastro , and you better believe I’ll be back for more. #neverquit #podium #crossfitgames #fitness #crossfit #onemorestep #reebok #reebokcanada #dekacomp #foodspring #wodproofapp #drinkmetta #proenergynutrition @reebok @reebokcanada @foodspring_athletics @dekacomp @wodproofapp @proenergynutrition @drinkmetta

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Laura Horvath

&&& just like that my very first @crossfitgames is over! WHAT A WEEK! The most FUN I ever had on the competition floor & I cannot believe it’s already over. I came into the week feeling prepared & ready to compete. What a couple of days to be tested physically & mentally alongside all these amazing & ridiculously fit women. It was something very special & I cannot wait to be back next year! Thank you to my family, friends & total strangers for your well wishes over the course of the week. Thank you to all the familiar faces in the crowd for coming out to Madison! I heard you ALL the most! Thank you for all the kind messages I read every single one of them! Thank you to everyone that ever trained with me, coached me & believed in me these past few years. Thank you to my home box @crossfitbbros for being the best ever & my home away from home box @dekacrossfit for welcoming me in your community from day one! Thank you for cheering the loudest & being there for me every step of the way! Thank you Bálint, Zsolti & Kristóf for literally helping me with anything & everything! You guys rock! I can’t tell you how much your support means to me! I love you! ?? Thank you @mich_letendre for EVERYTHING! I cannot tell you how proud I am to call you my coach! I couldn’t ask for a better person to stand by me every step of the way! You helped me in so many ways this past year! You made me a better person & athlete. THANK YOU!?? & @ledancose let’s just say Bla-Bla-Bla?You guys are the best thing that ever happened to me! Thank you @thedavecastro for putting up an amazing event! It was a true test of fitness. Thank you to the staff, judges & volunteers for making this week such a success! You guys ROCK! Thank you to my sponsors for helping me get here & providing me with awesome gear & helping me recover faster than I ever thought possible! @blachprofil2 & @progenexeurope Thank you so much @adeecazayoux & @workingagainstgravity for helping me fuel my body properly to perform at its very best! That all being said I am so so excited for next year but first I am ready for some R&R with family & friends.. beyyy ?? #ThankYou #MyHeartIsSoFull #ILoveThisSport

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Lukas Hogberg

Not the biggest flag but for sure the proudest one ??????

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Katrin Davidsdottir

PROUD: of the hard work, the focus, commitment, effort & belief we put into this every . single . day. ??? – HAPPY: that we enjoy this journey. That we love the preparation as much as we love the bright lights & we walk away from this season with a heart full of incredible memories. ???? – THANKFUL: that I have this opportunity to do what I love most with the people I care about most in this world. That I get to share my journey with all of you guys & through it all inspire others to be a better version of themselves. The time, effort & love my coaches put into me every single day & the support my family & friends show me throughout the whole year. I really don’t know WHO or WHERE I would be without them .. ????? – HUNGRY: to get better. We work to become the BEST & we want to be the best. We showed up the best we could be in THIS MOMENT .. but there is so much work to be done that I am excited to build upon! Nr1: get so STRONG! ???? – Here is to MY TEAM! I feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world.??? My coach: @benbergeron (@comptrain.co), my endurance coach @hinshaw363 (@aerobiccapacity), my agent @okeefmr (& my @sammymoniz ofc!), my FAMILY (thank you @wowair for getting them all to me!) & my Bergeron’s <3 & my best friends & my nutritionist @adeecazayoux & penpal (those who know .. know hehehe) & all of you supporting & cheering for me. I love you all. xoxo – &&&& last but not least all of my sponsors who allow me to do this! I am forever thankful & proud to be a part of these companies! @reebok, @roguefitness, @ascent_protein, @zevia who all stand for HARD WORK & the never ending journey towards becoming the best version of ourselves. ??

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Brent Fikowski

Finished fourth place this weekend at the Reebok CrossFit Games, missed out on a podium spot on a tiebreak to the fit and handsome @hogberglukas Very similar situation I was in two years ago where I was outside third place by a few points. I went as hard as I could on the finale to close the gap and it wasn’t quite enough. In situations like these you can choose to be bitter by looking at what could have been, or you can be grateful for everything you have. Happiness is a choice, so I will choose to be thankful for this amazing weekend! My goal as always was to use my abilities to place as high on the leaderboard as I was capable, and block out any noise that didn’t align with that focus. I was able to do that and have a lot of fun competing against some great men. Lots of thank you’s are in order for making this season so great: CrossFit staff and volunteers, your tireless efforts create this amazing competition. My wife @Clairelouisefikowski for your unwavering support when most of the year is anything but glamorous. My coach @rawstrengthandconditioning for your year-round wisdom. Mr worldwide assistant coach @danielcondon My sponsors allowing me to take my training to new levels: @Ascent_Protein @ReebokCanada @sidekicktool @Zevia Home-town support team: @drbanman @kelownacrossfit @organicbonebroth @sabretoothlifestyle My friends, family, and fans for your encouragement all year. This pursuit of self-improvement can often be a selfish journey, beyond grateful I still have you all on my side. And last, certainly least, my #emotionalshepherd @MitchBarnard Like every year this one has presented new challenges mentally and physically, proud of my growth through it all and finish the season the way that I did. Excited already to continue growing for the next 12 months and prove again I’m one of the best in the world. This journey is far from over! #CrossFitGames

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Kara Saunders

Dear 20 year old Kara, Just a heads up that you’re about to start this thing called CrossFit and it’s going to rock your world. You’re going to fall in love with it but face more challenges you could ever imagine. The cool thing is though, you’re going to overcome them. Through the struggle and heartache you will rise a better woman than you would have been otherwise. At some point in time you’ll think it’s about winning and you will cry when you don’t, but then it will become so clear that the process was what holds the most value to you. Work hard despite the outcome, build a good life with people to share this with and you will forever be content. There will be some amazing people by your side including the love of your life, so don’t ever for a moment forget to see how lucky you are. Soak it all up. P.s. your mum raised you to be that special kind of resilient so when times get hard just remember its temporary and that stubborn head will come through with a win in some capacity every single time. Love from your 28 year old 4th Fittest Woman in the world self. ? . #imhisnumberone

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Björgvin K. Guðmundsson

Here I am again writing the post Games wrap up status – an event as annual as the Games themselves? I am as grateful as ever to be able to participate in a competition like this one where every single aspect of my physical and mental strength is tested. This time we REALLY had to dig deep and that started on the very first day of the competition. The Marathon Row is simply the most horrible thing I have ever endured and I know I speak for every single one of us. We all hated it but still we all did it and that is what the Crossfit Games are all about. We get to test ourselves to the max and in the end that is what we are there for. Coming in at fifth place is an achivement I am sincerely proud of but it does not quench my thirst for more. My goal was to reach the podium and I was relatively close to it the entire time. I´d like to congratulate those who finished above me and thank everyone else for the push. It is an extraordinary group of people that qualifies for this competition and I am proud and honoured to belong to it. There are many people that play a role in my life. A role that makes it so that I can put my sole focus on training and competing. My coach @thetrainingplan (Jami), my main training partners @frederikaegidius and @anniethorisdottir , my physio @activebacks and @snorribjorns for allt the photographs and social media support, my team Crossfit Hengill, everyone in my beautiful hometown of Hveragerdi, my brothers, parents and family and then most of all my beautiful girlfriend @katlaket. Thank you all for being there for me. A VERY special mention goes out to my sponsors; @VirusIntl, @Xendurance, @RPStrength, @Sportvorur, @WOWair. Without your support I would not be able to do this. So to wrap it up. When I look back on the Crossfit season this year; from the opens to the Regionals where I really had to push, the training camp for the Games and then the Games themselves, I feel grateful, priveleged and happy. I really love it. All of it. A few days of rest and good times with friends and family await me but once that´s done I´ll back in the gym ready to push harder than ever for the next season.

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Kristin Holte

Noah Ohlsen

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet

Cole Sager

Lauren Fisher

Being an inspiration for young kids like this…. This is what it’s all about! ????????? Yesterday, I was really sad after the final workout because I just couldn’t get that last Pegboard. I knew I had a lot more in me to finish that workout so of course was bummed the way I went out. These kids came up to me after with big smiles on their faces and reminded me exactly why I was here. ????????? At the end of the day, it’s so easy to get caught up in your performance but competing at the highest level in CrossFit is so much more than that. There’s more to life than your ranking at the Games. Of course all of us want to place well and do the best we can, but sometimes your best just isn’t enough. And that’s how I felt this weekend. I was reminded by a good friend the other day that you are more than just your performance in a few workouts. You have the ability to inspire those around you and that’s exactly what I hope I’m doing and will continue to do. I will strive to put my best self forward, smile and stay strong no matter what challenges are thrown my way. 6 years in at the #CrossFitGames and not stopping anytime soon. ?? ????????? XOXO LF ?? #MoreThanAnAthlete #GrownStrong

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Khan Porter

It’s taken me a few attempts to try and adequately summarise my CrossFit Games season, but here it is as succinct as possible ?? This year I worked really hard and was rewarded with my best Games to date. That makes me proud, happy and so fucking ready for the offseason hahaha. However to say I’m completely content with how the weekend went would be a lie. There were a handful of events on which I got caught with my pants down. All single modality tests. One I knew was a major weakness of mine, that would likely show up and yet STILL neglected to address sufficiently in my prep. That’s a mistake I’ll never make again as an athlete. Aside from that I’ve loved the process of getting myself in the best shape of my life for this years Games and far surpassed my expectations in a lot of ways over the 14 incredibly well programmed tests of fitness we faced. And what tests they were. Riding a criterium after using a road bike maybe 5 times in my life. Rowing a marathon. Doing an obstacle course. An event where we didn’t know the movements or reps until we started doing them and then finished, setting a squat PR in the rain, running, swimming, padding, climbing, carrying well over triple my body weight on my back and so much more. I executed as well as I could and am proud beyond words of the effort I put into each event. But I feel like this twelve months has been an awakening for me as an athlete, like I’m only just now (after 6 years in the sport) truly figuring out how to push my body towards what it’s capable of and I look forward to continuing to explore this after a few weeks of downtime and recovery. Thank you to all the CF Games staff, the volunteers, the fans, the other athletes, my sponsors, my family, my partner and my friends for being in my corner once more. Let’s see what happens in the next twelve months…

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Sara Sigmundsdottir

Sometimes things are unfair and don´t go as planned?? _ I have never been as well prepared for the @CrossfitGames as I was this year but early on in the competition something happened and my ribs got really sore and bruised. I was in a bit of denial and decided to tough it out. In the “Marathon row” the pain went a way as soon as had hit 10 km, so I thought this couldn´t be that bad. Afterwards the pain got so much worse of course. I started Friday, still in denial, and after the “Clean and jerk ladder” pain killers had become my best friend. I decided to keep on pushing today regardless of all the alarm bells but once I started warming up for events 9 and 10 the pain had become so bad that I could not bend over to do a snatch or complete a muscle up on the bar. _ It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life but I have decided to withdraw from the competition due to a stress fracture injury on my rib. _ This desicion is made after a consultation with my coach and doctors. There was only one decision to be made, and as much as I hate the fact that I am not going to finish this competition I know that this is the only right way to proceed. _ I will give a better and more detailed explanation on all of this when I know more but one thing is for sure. I´ll be back!!! _ Love, Sara ??

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James Newbury

The lads! Great showing this year fellas ? @crossfitgames

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Margaux Alvarez

Dean Linder-Leighton

We define out own success, and make our own antisipation. In the presence of other world class athletes it’s so easy to develop doubt. Hesistate when you should attack, rest when you should move, drop when you should hold on. Never doubt yourself, never let your actions be determined by someone else’s experiance or expectation. In a sport where 1st and 20th place could be 5-10 seconds, that rest may change your entire year. This is something me and my coach spoke about before the open and still this is a big lesson I learnt first hand, repeatedly, this last week. Not only do you need to execute, but you need to be aware that seconds equal points, and seconds go past very quickly on a competition floor. I loved learning from the best in the sport over the weekend. Watching first hand as I competed in the next lane and seeing that translate onto the scoreboard. Someone crosses the finish 10 seconds before you because you chalked up. You just lost 10 placings and 50 points. The lessons will make me twice the competitor next year and I cannot wait! Fired up is an understatement! #HWWPO #teamAUS #teamLIONMODE

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Main image: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet/Instagram