CrossFit Games

The Dubai CrossFit Championship Returns With International Roster of CrossFit Stars

December 14, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Dubai CrossFit Championship
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The second major off-season CrossFit competition kicks off this weekend, as the Dubai CrossFit Championship makes its return after a year hiatus. The elite individual competition will take place December 16-18 with over $250,000 worth of prize money on the line.

What’s on the line: The top five overall finishers will be paid out with additional money to be earned for top-3 finishes in events. Event payouts include $3,000 for wins, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third place finishes.

Overall Finish Payouts

  1. $50,000
  2. $30,000
  3. $20,000
  4. $10,000
  5. $5,000

Don’t be surprised if the stakes are raised in one or more of the events as the Dubai CrossFit Championship organizers have been known to sweeten the pot for the sake of competition. In 2018, the organizers upped the ante to $30,000 for the final event winner.

Who to watch: The DCC has long been the proving grounds for athletes outside of North America. The organizers have taken pride in identifying and inviting athletes specifically from Europe to compete and prove themselves against the best CrossFit athletes in the world. This year’s roster is no exception as the organizers have assembled a 40-person athlete roster with 21 different countries represented.

Podium Contenders (Women): This field of women includes CrossFit Games podium athletes including a past Games champion. Nineteen of the athletes have competed at the Games either as an individual or on a team.

  • Laura Horvath: The two-time Games runner-up makes her fourth trip to Dubai. After a second place finish in 2017, she failed to finish the competition in both 2018 and 2019, something she intends on not doing after her 2021 Games performance and a fourth place finish in October’s Rogue Invitational.
  • Gabriela Migala: Migala returns to the competition that essentially put her on the CrossFit map. Back in 2017, the then 19-year old made her debut at the competition and placed 13th. In 2018 she returned and placed 9th followed by her fourth place finish in 2019. Fresh off her third place finish at the Rogue Invitational, the 23-year old is looking for her second career major competition title
  • Kristin Holte: Holte makes her final appearance as an individual competitor. She just missed out on the podium, finishing fourth, in her final Games appearance and recently placed sixth at the Rogue Invitational. She makes her first appearance at Dubai since placing 5th in 2017.
  • Samantha Briggs: Briggs is no stranger to Dubai and also no stranger to success at the competition. The 2013 “Fittest Woman on Earth” has made four appearances, claiming podium finishes in three of them including a DCC title in 2018.
  • Sara Sigmundsdottir: Sigmundsdottir makes her well-publicized return to competition following an injury that cost her the 2021 Games season. One of just three athletes to have multiple DCC titles, she hopes to join Annie Thorisdottir as the only athletes to win three times in Dubai.
  • Staff Dark Horses: Emma Cary, Andrea Nisler, Emily Rolfe, Thuri Helgadottir, Mikaela Norman, Emma Lawson.

Podium Contenders (Men): The men’s field might not have the names you are used to seeing on the podium but they definitely have podium contenders. Eighteen of the men have competed at the Games as individuals or on a team.

  • Jeffrey Adler: Adler bounced back from a disappointing Games finish to place third at the Rogue Invitational. In 2019 the Canadian competed at the DCC placing 8th, improving on his 13th finish in his 2018 debut..
  • Roman Khrennikov: The Russian once again finds himself as a favorite in an international competition where he has been able to showcase his skills while awaiting the opportunity to compete in-person at the Games. No stranger to the DCC, he placed third in 2019 after placing fifth in 2018.
  • Lazar Đukić: Đukić is another athlete that made his name known at the DCC before appearing at the Games. He makes his third appearance in Dubai after placing ninth at this past year’s Games. In 2019, Đukić placed fifth at the DCC.
  • Andre Houdet: Houdet makes his DCC debut after a successful Games season that saw him place 15th in his rookie campaign.
  • Henrik Haapalainen: Like Houdet, Haapalainen makes his DCC debut after his first Games appearance. The native of Finland placed 18th at this past year’s Games.
  • Ricky Garard: Much has been said about Garard and his past, the DCC represents his opportunity to start to build to a new future. This will be his first CrossFit competition since his drug suspension concluded. This is his second time competing in Dubai after placing fourth in 2016.
  • Staff Dark Horses: Luka Đukić, Tola Morakinyo, Uldis Upenieks, Willy Georges

What to watch for: The DCC organizers and programmers have in the past put on a competition that not only tests the fitness of the athletes but also how they deal with the unique environment that surrounds Dubai. Whether it be the sand dunes of the desert or the salty waters of the Persian Gulf, the elements play a factor and this year they will introduce the snowy slopes of the indoor ski resort of Ski Dubai to that list of unique challenges. The first day of competition will kick-off with events at the location before transitioning to the Duty Free Tennis Stadium for the final two days of competition.

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