Pearce Ends U.S. Podium Drought with Dramatic Final Event Win

October 25, 2020 by
Photo courtesy of CrossFit LLC.

We knew the drought would end this year, we just didn’t know which female athlete would end it. In arguably the most impressive performance of the weekend, Kari Pearce sold her soul in the final event of the 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games and was rewarded with a spot on the podium, snapping the five-year drought for American women that dated back to the 2014 Games.

  • “I’ve been the fittest American the last two years so coming into this weekend I knew an American was going to get back on the podium…I put my best effort forward and I’m so pumped that I was the one to break the drought!” said Pearce.

How she got there: Pearce sat in fifth place heading into the final event with little indication that she would be able to move up in the leaderboard. She would not only have to win the final event but also need help in the form of two competitors to finish between her and Haley Adams, who was holding onto the final podium spot.

  • Then, Director of Sport Dave Castro made the announcement of what the final event, Atalanta, would entail. A workout that included a one mile run and then 100 handstand push-ups, 200 pistol squats, 300 pull-ups and concluding with another one mile run, all while wearing a 14-pound weight vest.
  • In what Castro called “the hardest final workout he ever programmed,” Pearce was immediately picked as the favorite to win the event based on her impressive past performances at the Games in Murph in 2016 and Mary at last year’s Games.
  • She didn’t disappoint as she and Adams ran side-by-side for most of the opening mile, but when they returned to the Ranch to complete the “Mary” portion of the workout it was all Pearce. She dominated the movements just like the year prior as Adams fell behind in the pistols and then suffered tears on both her hands, dropping her even further back on the pull-ups.
  • Davidsdottir made up ground and was just eight reps behind Pearce as she took off on the final run. Tia-Clair Toomey, working alongside Mathew Fraser, would also pass Adams on the pull-ups, giving Pearce her shot.
  • She just needed to hold off a Davidsdottir, which she did, finishing in 47:56.60 ahead of every man and woman in the field. Adams placed fourth in the event securing Pearce the spot on the podium and the distinction of being the American woman to snap the U.S. drought.
  • “It feels amazing,” said Pearce. “Even better than I could ever imagine. It’s been a lot of work but all worth it. I’m lucky to have such an incredible team behind me that makes it possible!”

The bottom line: Pearce has been the fittest American woman at four of the last five CrossFit Games. With this podium finish, she now solidifies her argument in a big way.

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