CrossFit Games

Annie Thorisdottir is Back

July 31, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Kay Wiese
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It feels normal, almost comforting, watching Annie Thorisdottir at the CrossFit Games. 

We first met her in 2009, when the then unknown 19-year-old from Iceland showed up at the ranch in Aromas, CA. Twelve years later—with 11 Games appearances and two titles to her name—Thorisdottir’s singular wave to the crowd and her mid-grueling workout smile, has become an expected part of the CrossFit Games experience. 

But this year is different. 

This year, behind the fierce competitor with the patented smile currently sitting in 9th overall after 10 events is an emotional journey, a comeback story that took her to the edge and back. 

One year ago, Thorisdottir gave birth to her first child, a baby girl named Freyja, in what can only be described as a traumatic birth that sent her on a downward spiral to the lowest place she has ever been in her life, an experience she shared with the Morning Chalk Up in her article My Postpartum Fall: Speaking Up.

Coming Back

After hitting rock bottom, the following weeks and months for Thorisdottir were spent, not just physically rehabilitating —she experienced severe diastasis recti from her pregnancy—but also mentally and emotionally. The experience involved coming to terms with the fact that her body wasn’t what it had been.

  • “I had this big empty belly and I just didn’t recognize my body. And that was really really difficult for me because my body is my work tool, and it has been such a big part of my identity. Not just the way that I look, but the way I feel, and I felt so powerless, so weak and just not myself, and that was the biggest shock,” Thorisdottir said at a press conference in Madison, WI on Friday evening.

Scared she would never find herself again, Thorisdottir decided to start training again, not because she was thinking about competing at the Games this summer, but because she wanted to feel whole again, she explained. 

“It wasn’t because I had to compete at the CrossFit Games. That wasn’t even crossing my mind at that point…I wanted to gain myself again…I wanted to gain the empowerment and the confidence that I could continue being myself after giving birth,” she said. 

Soon, however, Thorisdottir felt the competitive fire burning again. 

Getting Back to Competition

Thorisdottir has performed better and better in each round of competition this season. 

  • She was 118th in the Open, 9th in Quarterfinals, and went on to finish third at the CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown Semifinal.
  • So far this week at the Games, Thorisdottir has had five top ten finishes in the first ten events, her highest placing being second on Event 9. 

But Thorisdottir’s message to others isn’t about her successful comeback. It’s about something bigger than that.

  • “I would like women to know that they’re going to make their way back…you’re going to start regaining yourself again,” she said.

And if what we have witnessed from Thorisdottir all week in Madison is any indication of where she’s at, then it’s safe to say she has found herself again. 

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