Achilles Tendon Tear Ends Alexis Johnson’s 2020 CrossFit Games Season

Feb 14, 2020 by

In an Instagram post on Thursday afternoon, Alexis Johnson disclosed that she tore her Achilles tendon. The injury occurred on Tuesday morning while performing box jumps. On Wednesday she underwent surgery to repair and reattach the tendon.

Johnson has three CrossFit Games appearances, two as an individual in 2016 and 2017 before transitioning to team competition. Last season she competed with Team Don’t Stop which finished sixth at the 2019 CrossFit Games. This season, she received her fourth Games invite after her team, Team Odd Squad, won the SouthFit CrossFit Championship back in early December.

Morning Chalk Up reached out to Johnson, who took the time to talk to us about her injury and recovery.

  • On the extent of the injury. “I completely tore my Achilles. Luckily there aren’t any other injuries.”
  • On the surgery and upcoming recovery. “The surgery lasted about 40 minutes. It’s possible that in nine months, I’ll never even think about the injury. I’ll spend the next two weeks in a cast, and completely non-weight bearing. Then I’ll move to a boot and start walking with crutches. That’ll be for 3-5 weeks. After that, we’ll just have to wait and see how everything is healed. I want to be cautious, but I’m also itching to breathe hard again already!”

What happens to Team Odd Squad?

  • The injury to Johnson comes just a week after Team Odd Squad accepted their formal invitations to the 2020 Games. Part of that invitation process was declaring the male and female athletes who would act as alternates. According to the official 2020 CrossFit Games Rulebook, once those alternates are declared and submitted to CrossFit headquarters they cannot be changed and teams can only choose from those athletes submitted to field a team at the Games.
  • The team that competed and won at SouthFit consisted of Johnson, Emily Tanner, Brandon Luckett and Jordan Cook. Those four names were submitted to HQ as the team competing at the Games with Johnson serving as team captain.
  • McKenzie Flinchum and Nick Mathew were named alternates. Flinchum will now step in for Johnson per the rulebook.
  • Flinchum is no stranger to the Games, having burst onto the scene last year. She made her first Games appearance after finishing 17th in the Open last season. At the Games, she finished 50th overall.
  • This season, Flinchum did not compete in the Open, and had planned on taking the season off to concentrate on her health.
  • According to Johnson, the team had planned on competing at the West Coast Classic, Rogue Invitational and the Granite Games in preparation for the Games prior to her injury. She stated that plans are “up in the air a bit” after the setback.
  • Johnson has kept in contact with Flinchum, “she is ready to to step in” and “I trust her fitness,” she said.

Johnson’s response to the outpouring of love and support from friends, fans and the community: 

  • “I have never felt so much love and support. All from people who are as bummed out as I am. I love training and I love competing with my team and I am going to miss out on that for a while. That part sucks. But, CrossFit has provided me with so much joy, great memories and strong friendships. Sure, I wouldn’t be going through this if I sat on the couch eating Doritos, but it happened because I was doing something that I love, something that makes me proud of myself and something that has provided me with opportunities to meet incredible people.”

Alexis Johnson

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