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Considering we didn’t even know if (and how) the CrossFit Games were going to happen this year, it’s pretty incredible to be in the middle of competition week and seeing these athletes kick butt. Major precautions were taken to ensure everyone’s safety, but unfortunately, for a few athletes, they’ve found themselves testing positive for coronavirus anyway.

Kari Pearce, 2020’s third-place finisher, recently took to Instagram to share that she tested positive and has dropped out of the competition. It’s safe to say that this was a serious blow, considering a podium finish was probably at the front of her mind.


Bethany Shadburne, who had been in close contact with Pearce, also tested positive for COVID-19 during pre-competition tests and was subsequently removed from the competition.


Bethany posted on Instagram sharing more about her experience, what led up to her testing, and how she’s treating this experience, reaffirming that she believes everything happens for a reason.

Additionally, Kara Saunders’ husband, Matt, shared on Instagram that Kara also came down with COVID-19. However, because her symptoms started 13 days before the Games and she also tested negative with an antigen test on-site, she was allowed to compete.

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A post shared by Matt Saunders (@mattsaund0)

Like the warrior she is, Kara powered through the first four events as best she could. But safety comes first, and her health has to take priority.

We can’t imagine the heartbreak these athletes must be feeling. To spend the last year training so hard, with their eyes on the prize, only to get to the competition floor and end up sick must be absolutely devastating. But we can say this: All of these competitors got this far because of how strong and resilient they are. While this might be a tough time, we have no doubt that they’ll come back stronger than ever.

In a recent announcement, CrossFit shared that Dan Bailey And Danielle Brandon were also in recent contact with Saunders and Shadburne, respectively. While they tested negative during on-site screenings, they’ll be kept separate from others and will also undergo daily antigen testing throughout the duration of the competition. As long as they test negative, they can compete and will have heightened safety protocols, like separate housing, transportation, and separated workout areas.

Stay safe, athletes! The WOD Life is cheering you on.

Main image: Matt Saunders/Instagram