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Day 4 of the 2021 CrossFit Games

Goosebumps. Goosebumps everywhere.

The 2021 CrossFit Games put the athletes to the test like never before, and to say that competitors left it all out on the floor would be a massive understatement.

Event 13

To start the final day of competition off, Castro gave competitors four rounds of 20 GHD sit-ups, 8 cheese curd burpees over the hay bale at 70/100 lb., and a 168-ft. yoke carry at 425/605 lb. There was a one-minute reset in between each round, with time caps of 2, 2, 2, and 3 minutes per round.

In other words, pain. Lots of it.

Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson went in for the kill and swept 1st, although Pat Vellner was on his heels just three seconds behind. Another two seconds later came powerhouse Justin Medeiros in 3rd.

In news that surprises no one, Tia-Clair Toomey nabbed first (ahead of the time cap, no less), five seconds ahead of Gabriela Magala, with Laura Horvath in 3rd.

Event 14

You didn’t think Castro was going to let up on these people, did you? Quite the opposite, in fact. In Event 14, we saw 6-10-14 reps of deadlifts at a massive 275/405 lb, on the short bars, which make it feel even heavier. The second movement was freestanding handstand push-ups, which are an entirely different sensation from doing them against the wall — which is likely how most of these athletes train them. The time cap was seven minutes.

Pat Vellner finished with 30 seconds left, Medeiros 10 seconds behind him, and Saxon Panchik at CAP + 3.

Annie Thorisdottir — what is there to say?! She demolished Event 14 in 5:22. Keep in mind that years ago, she thought she’d never train again after injuring her back, but here she is, deadlifting 275 for reps. Kristin Holte and Tia took 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Event 15

This was it. This was what it all came down to. For time, athletes had to complete a 600-m row, 90 chest-to-bar pull-ups, a 36-ft. back-rack walking lunge, a 36-ft. front-rack walking lunge, and a 36-ft. overhead walking lunge, at 135/185 lb. with a short bar, at a time cap of 11 minutes.

This. Looked. Painful. It had everything: endurance, grip, strength, technique. What better way to cap off the Games than with a spicy full-body event to zap the athletes of whatever energy they had left?

Solidifying his spot as the fittest, Medeiros took 1st, with Saxon Panchik really pushing him and finishing 2nd, Jonne Koski in 3rd. On the women’s side, Tia finished 1st by more than 30 seconds, with Horvath in 2nd and Thorisdottir coming in at 3rd.

All of these athletes put on a tremendous, memorable performance. But we all know that at the end of the week, only a select few will finish on the podium. And this year was incredibly special.

Men

  1. Justin Medeiros
  2. Pat Vellner
  3. Brent Fikowski


Women

  1. Tia-Clair Toomey
  2. Laura Horvath
  3. Annie Thorisdottir

Let’s start with Justin, last year’s Rookie of the Year. He’s the youngest athlete to ever top the podium. Seeing Fikowski and Vellner on the podium is long overdue. These two have been in the game for a long time, and their performance this week proved that experience is beyond valuable.

Tia? No surprise here. We knew earlier on that the other ladies were going to have a tough time catching up. Really, the Games are about who can get 2nd and 3rd. Horvath was on our radar already, and it was only a matter of time before she made her way back up to the podium. The real highlight of this week, though, was Thorisdottir. As a new mom, getting to the Games required a vastly different path for her, and she wasn’t sure she’d get there. During an interview, she revealed that she also lost her grandmother on Friday. Nothing got in her way, though, and like every other year, she’s inspired millions around the world.

The world has been through a lot in the last year and a half. This was exactly what our community needed — a chance to come together and celebrate the sport that has helped us make new friends, find a healthier way of living, and most importantly, have fun.

Another year, another solid Games in the books.

Congrats to the winners!

Day 3 of the 2021 CrossFit Games

How ’bout those max snatches, huh?

Day 3 was a roller coaster, as expected. The end of  Day 2 brought us a cut, down to the top 30 men and top 30 women. After Day 3’s first event, it was once again cut down to the top 20. We’re getting closer to the grand finale, but let’s back up for a moment and talk about Day 3.

Event 10

We started with Event 10, 30 toes-to-bars, a 1.5-mile run, 30 toes-to-bars, another 1.5-mile run, and 30 last toes-to-bars, with a 27-minute time cap. Lots of grip. Lots of running.

Lazar Dukic, who’s grabbed our attention more than once, finished in 1st for the men, followed by Bayden Brown and Uldis Upenieks, all within 11 seconds of each other.

On the women’s side, we had a real nailbiter. Emily Rolfe and Kristi Eramo O’Connell were in an epic race for first, but ultimately, O’Connell finished just one second behind, with Haley Adams in 3rd, a full 23 seconds later.

At this point, the pool of athletes was cut down to 20.

Event 11

Castro shook things up with an 11-minute AMRAP: 1 pegboard ascent, 7 single-arm dumbbell overhead squats, and 15 heavy double-unders. You had to know that the pegboard was going to make an appearance.  In previous years, it was a serious challenge for these competitors, but they’ve clearly been working on it. And, keep in mind that we’re on Day 3 of the Games, and Event 10 already taxed the heck out of their grip. So, how did they do?

Cole Sager enjoyed the event win with a whopping 276 points. Lazar Dukic was not far behind with 271. Another 10 points behind was Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson in 3rd.

Tia made a nice comeback here and finished in 1st with 231 points. Danielle Brandon gave her a good run for her money, finishing in 2nd with 226 points. And finally, we had Baylee Rayl in 3rd with 215.

Event 12

There was no better way to end the day than with a max lift. In this case, they snatched. Castro added a twist by adding a tie-breaker event (a race to complete three squat snatches), and the max lifts were also performed on a pretty tight clock — 20 seconds to start, followed by 30 later on.

What. A. Rush. All of these athletes put up a tremendous fight, but for the men, Brazil’s Guilherme Malheiros swept first with a 305-pound snatch and made it look like a cakewalk. Royce Dunne was behind him with 300 pounds (he almost had 205!), and Pat Vellner came in 3rd with a beautiful 290 pounds.

You probably already know who won on the women’s side. Tia is lethal with a barbell and finished with 200, but! So did Annie Thorisdottir, which means it came down to the tiebreaker, ending with Tia victorious. In third was Laura Horvath, at 190 pounds. Incredible. This moment will live forever:

We’re really starting to zero in on the fittest, and for the men, Justin Medeiros is standing strong in 1st with 949 points. However, Vellner remains close behind him with 907. In 3rd is Fikowski with 888. It isn’t over yet, and those top three spots are not guaranteed.

For the women, it might be a different story. Tia is very comfortably in 1st with 1,145 points. In 2nd is Laura Horvath with 939 — a pretty significant gap. Kristin Holte is third with 834. Worth noting is that Thorsidottir is only 10 points behind Holte, and she’s hungry for a big win. 2nd and 3rd place are going to be a big fight. But Tia? She’s looking at her next gold medal.

Day 2 of the 2021 CrossFit Games

Competitors, you okay?

Day 2 brought us… all the things. We had rope climbs and sandbag carries. Running and clean ladders. One epic handstand walking course, and plenty of snatches thrown in for good measure. So, where do things stand? Let’s talk about some of the highlights and how the leaderboard is looking as of now.

Event 5

We started the morning with Event 5: 4 rope climbs, 500/400 ski erg, and sandbag carries. Laura Horvath took the event win and summed it up perfectly: This was a rope climb workout. We saw Gabriela Migala finish in 2nd and, maintaining that consistency she’s becoming known for, Haley Adams secured 3rd. Surprisingly, we saw Tia-Clair Toomey have a 6th-place finish, although all of her event wins prior to this gave her solid ground to stand on.

On the men’s side, Pat Vellner once again reminded us that we should never underestimate him, no matter how rocky of a start he had. He secured 1st, with best bud Brent Fikowski (who makes rope climbs look easy) behind him, and Royce Dunne finishing 3rd within a fraction of a second.

Events 6 and 7

Dave Castro gave us a real good laugh on this one. Event 6 would be five rounds of a 250-meter run plus one clean, growing in weight each time, with a seven-minute time cap. And then everyone went on their merry way.

That’s when Castro was all, “JK we’re not done.”

Event 7 would follow with the same format, except it was 200-meter runs and the cleans got heavier. Women would finish at 230 pounds, and men at 350. No big deal. Event 7 had an eight-minute time cap.

The goal for these two events? Finish. Just finish. And we did indeed see some athletes not being able to successfully finish those last cleans in time. It’s safe to say strength wasn’t the issue, but rather the fatigue settling in due to the combination of the cleans and the decent amount of running in between.

What can anyone say about Tia? She demolished Event 6 and made it look easy, crossing the finish line at 5:43. Kristi Eramo O’Connell really impressed us, completing Event 6 just two seconds after Tia. Kristin Holte grabbed third. Event 7 shook things up a bit. Tia still won by a hefty margin, finishing at 4:45. Laura Horvath was behind her, followed by Gabriela Magala.

For the gentlemen, a few other athletes really got their chance to shine. Jeffrey Adler, Bayden Brown, and Travis Mayer grabbed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively, all within six seconds of each other. Adley held steady in Event 7, finishing 2nd, but Guilherme Malheiros (the Event 3 winner) finished 1st and Alex Vigneault landed in 3rd.

Event 8

Castro had already hinted to this on Instagram, and he wasn’t messing around. This lengthy handstand walking course took the competitors up and down ramps and even across parallel bars, which became quite shaky when you hit the middle point. The time cap was five minutes, and losing your balance in the wrong place could mean having to back to the last breaking point and starting again. In other words, time was of the essence.

Danielle Brandon came to slay, and she finished the course in a cool 1:43. Haley Adams is not to be dismissed, though. She practically ran on her hands and finished in 2:04, saying afterward that at CrossFit Mayhem, they do this all the time. (Your hard work shows, Haley!) Brooke Wells proved that walking on her hands is definitely her expertise, finishing 3rd at 2:08.

Scott Panchik gave everyone a run for their money and completed the course in 2:05, a full 10 seconds ahead of 2nd-place finisher Justin Medeiros, with Samuel Cournoyer another four seconds behind in 3rd.

Event 9

CrossFit isn’t CrossFit without a 21-15-9 rep scheme. For Event 9, that meant calories on the Echo bike and snatches with the short bar, 75 pounds for the women and 105 pounds for the men, with an eight-minute time cap. Amanda Barnhart flew through this, finishing in 4:01, commenting afterward that she was “dying” and wanted to make sure it was all worth it. (It was.) Annie Thorisdottir was just a couple of reps behind, and Laura Horvath in 3rd.

Brent Fikowski, who never shies away from intensity during his training, crossed the finish line first after powering through these reps like a serious champ. And keep in mind that height is typically a negative when it comes to lifting. You’d never know, watching Fikowski. Alex Vigneault was six seconds behind him, followed by Chandler Smith, who, notably, didn’t even look winded when he swept the first heat.

Other Happenings

During Event 5, it was clear that something was off with Dani Speegle. She was walking with a limp, although that didn’t stop her from crushing it on the ski erg up until the buzzer sounded for the time cap. The leaderboard shows her having withdrawn as of Event 7, but as of right now, she hasn’t commented on it. Adrien Mundwiler also withdrew after Event 7, although he hasn’t yet commented on it. However, CrossFit confirmed that both athletes are out of the competition for medical reasons and that it has nothing to do with COVID-19.

And, very sadly, Kara Saunders is out. We reported yesterday that in an update from husband Matt, he shared she would do as much as she safely could, being on the mend after coming down with COVID-19. But it became clear that continuing on just wasn’t in her best interest. Saunders left a heartfelt message on Instagram, and in true form, was raw and transparent and also reminded us why there’s nobody quite like her.

Ireland’s Sam Stewart bowed out as of Event 5, explaining on Instagram that during Event 2’s pig flips, he sustained an injury in his bicep that he just couldn’t ignore.

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Current Standings

Based on the current leaderboard, Justin Medeiros leads the men with 744 points. However, Brent Fikowski is not far behind, with 723 points — and if he keeps this up, he could close that margin. Behind him with 674 points is fellow Canadian Patrick Vellner in 3rd.

On the women’s side, Tia-Clair Toomey still has a healthy lead, with 861, well ahead of Laura Horvath, currently in 2nd place with 723. She’s also got a good lead on Kristin Holte, who’s in 3rd with 684 points. While it looks like Tia is already closing in on yet another Games win, the other spots are still very much up for grabs. Stay tuned!

Day 1 of the 2021 CrossFit Games

And, they’re off! 

Today marked Day 1 of the 2021 CrossFit Games, and it didn’t disappoint. We saw the fittest in the world compete in four grueling events, and the leaderboard is already a rollercoaster of emotions. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

Event 1

Tia won, obvi.

We started the morning with a one-mile swim with fins followed by a three-mile kayak — shoulders on shoulders. This event was unique because, as Tia explained in the post-event interview, you wouldn’t really have an opportunity to “catch up.” If you started the event behind, you were going to finish behind.

This meant that you needed to be kicking butt from the get-go if you wanted to stand a chance at dominating. Bear in mind that this was over an hour of nonstop movement for these competitors.

Toomey got in first, sprinting across the finish line at 1:10:45. Behind her were Kristi Eramo O’Connell, Emma Tall, Emily Rolfe, and Haley Adams, who we’re expecting an amazing performance from this year.

For the men, Jonne Koski finished only seconds ahead of Tia at 1:06:44. Next up, we had Lazar Dukic, Alex Vigneault, Brandon Luckett, and Justin Medeiros — 2020’s Rookie of the Year, also likely to wow us this week.

Important to note that in true Pat Vellner fashion, he finished Event 1 in 35th place. But! He’s known for digging himself a hole early on and then making a huge comeback.

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Let’s keep going.

Event 2

Tia lost this one…

… Kidding! She won. Again.

Event 2 brought us a 126-foot sled drag, five pig flips, 12 muscle-ups, and 12 bar muscle-ups… and then they had to do the whole darn thing in reverse.

This came not long after Event 1, which already taxed competitors’ grips with the kayak. Muscle fatigue was likely already settling in, but they had to power through it for the MUs and massive pig flips — 350 pounds for the women and 510 pounds for the men!

Tia somehow finished at 8:27. Don’t ask us how, because we don’t know. Emma McQuaid was more than a minute behind her, followed by Laura Horvath, Kristin Holte, and Haley Adams, staying solid in the top five.

Maybe you saw this coming, but Vellner pulled a rabbit out of his hat and absolutely demolished Event 2 in 7:42.

The rest of the men in the top five also, oddly, were athletes who didn’t score too well in Event 1: Samuel Cournoyer, Scott Panchik, Jason Smith, and Royce Dunne.

Way to come back, fellas!

Event 3

This one was a little more straightforward, although not simple: a 550-yard sprint for time with a four-minute time cap.

Where Event 1 brought distance and Event 2 added strength, Event 3 was all about speed.

No surprises here: Tia finished 1st again. Brooke Wells was a fraction of a second behind her, finally getting a chance to shine. 3rd was Haley Adams — the queen of consistency — followed by Kristin Holte and Danielle Brandon.

On the men’s side, we saw some new names topping the leaderboard, with Guilherme Malheiros in 1st, followed by Will Moorad, Pat Vellner, Saxon Panchik, and Andre Houdet in 5th.

At this point, we have to remember that Event 3 wasn’t merely about who the best sprinters were. It was just as much about what each athlete could bring to the table already having completed two insanely challenging events.

Event 4

Because the competitors’ shoulders weren’t already completely dead, Dave Castro handed them 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of wall walks and thrusters, with a 20-minute time cap.

At this point, we’re tired just writing about this.

Strategy played a bigger role here. The good news about this rep scheme is that it gets easier as you go. So after just the first few rounds, you’ve technically gotten the majority of the reps out of the way.

However, breaking the reps up strategically and giving yourself quick rest at the right times is also important.

Shockingly, Tia didn’t come in 1st this time. Don’t worry — she came in 2nd. Mallory O’Brien secured the event win. After Tia came Emma Cary, Brooke Wells, and Amanda Barnhart.

Scott Panchik, who we’ve predicted will be a podium finisher when all is said and done, crushed this and came in 1st, with a time of 13:39. More than a minute behind him was Justin Medeiros, followed by Brent Fikowski (the master of wall walks), Saxon Panchik showing some brotherly love, and Jay Crouch.

So, where do competitors stand? Here are the women’s and men’s leaderboards, as of right now:

women's leaderboard 2021 crossfit games

men's leaderboard 2021 crossfit games

Toomey has a whopping 57-point lead ahead of Adams, and Fikowski has a nine-point lead ahead of Medeiros. Some athletes are already starting to separate from the pack, but you probably already know: The only thing we can expect from the CrossFit Games is the unexpected.

Tomorrow, competitors get a well-deserved rest, and then we’ll be back the next day. Stay tuned!