Ring the Bell: Five Records Up for Grabs at the 2022 CrossFit Games
Records are made to be broken. From the heaviest lifts to the fastest track times, there is nothing like seeing an athlete do something that no one has done before.
When 40 men and women, along with 37 Teams, take the competition floor at Madison, just making it this far is a pipe dream for most CrossFit athletes in their local affiliates but a small few have their sights set on record breaking PRs.
Below are the top 5 on the line this year at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.
CrossFit Games Titles, Career and Consecutive – Both Men and Women
In the hunt: Tia-Clair Toomey. Toomey stands alone at the top of the women’s podium for CrossFit Games titles for the women’s division already. Next up, in second, on the all-time women’s title podium, Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir with two each, and out of the individual competition this year aren’t even in Toomey’s competition anymore. Toomey has her sights on what no man or woman has done yet.
Remind me: When analysts and commentators talk about the ‘Michael Jordan’ and ‘Lebron James’ of CrossFit two names first come to mind for most: Rich Froning Jr. and Mat Fraser. From 2011-2014 Rich Froning Jr. set the high mark with four consecutive titles. Followed shortly thereafter in 2016-2020 by Mat Fraser 1-up-ing Froning with five consecutive titles. Like Éowyn’s declaration to the Witch-king, “I am no man!” from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Tia-Clair Toomey can declare with six straight titles to the CrossFit Games crowd that she is the reigning Queen of CrossFit and has done what no man or woman has done before.
CrossFit Games Total Event Wins by a Rookie – Men or Women
In the hunt: The Rookie Class. With this Next-Gen class anything is possible. Just a year ago we saw Mal O’Brien smoke everyone in the 10-1 Wall Walk/Thruster couplet event under the lights of night one at Madison and we won’t forget Gui Malheiros winning the Sprint, the Run / Clean ladder Couplet, and his 305 pound snatch. With athletes succeeding at a younger age and new names in the mix, the spotlight has never been brighter for the newest class.
Everyone has their favorite rookie at the Games and who they believe will make a statement from Alex Gazan and Alexis Raptis to Spencer Panchik and Dallin Pepper. Will they be able to outperform the veteran women and men to win the most events by a first-timer? And will they be able to outperform historic past performances?
Remind me: Currently, the records are held by a select few of past and present athletes who excelled in their rookie season at the Games. On the men’s side and holding the all around title, Brent Fikowski won 4 events in his first season, the Ranch Mini Chipper, Climbing Snail, 100% and Rope Chipper to finish 4th and just three points out of 3rd place. For the women, the current record is shared by Kaleena Ladeairous, in 2013 winning the first 2,000 meters of the Half Marathon Row (2,000m and half marathon were each scored events), Burden Run, and Naughty Nancy, along with Laura Horvath, who in 2018, finished 2nd overall on the podium racking up event wins in The Battleground, Two-Stroke Pull, and Aeneas.
CrossFit Games Total Event Participation – Men
In the hunt: Noah Ohlsen: There has been a lot of talk about the rookie class along with the latest CrossFit Games documentary titled Next-Gen, however veterans of the sport continue to show up and show out. Noah Ohlsen is back at the Games again, something that can’t be said for other Games vets this season with a changing of the guard in 2022. Noah has a chance to grab a record that adds up quickly but doesn’t jump off the page.
Most Events. Noah, through 8 seasons so far, has stacked up 114 event finishes, 55% of those being in the Top 10 (this includes 2020 finishes in a five-man field).
Remind me: To stack up event finishes you have to be in the right place at the right time, and stick around through Sunday. With big cuts in multiple years including 2019 and 2020, cutting a majority of the field by the last day, just getting your name on the heat list is skill in and of itself. Ben Smith sits atop the current list, who from 2009-2019 has 123 Games event finishes. With Ben not at the Games in 2022 and 12 windows on the CrossFit Games calendar, if Noah can stay in the top 30 and stay healthy throughout the weekend he could set a new record for long time Games veterans.
Multiple Teams from a single Affiliate on the Podium – Team Division
In the Hunt: CrossFit Mayhem & CrossFit Oslo: If it wasn’t hard enough to get a single Affiliate Cup team to the Games, CrossFit Mayhem has three and CrossFit Oslo has two.
CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, CrossFit Mayhem Independence, and CrossFit Mayhem Justice all will be competing at the Games this weekend along with CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue and CrossFit Oslo Purple Red. With most of the focus throughout the season on Rich’s Mayhem Freedom vs Annie Thorisdottir’s CrossFit Reykjavik, the rest of the teams both Mayhem and the two Oslo teams, are fighting for airtime and looking to make their presence known. Three teams scored the best possible 600 points in the semifinals this season, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, CrossFit Reykjavik, and CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue. Not too far behind them in scoring is CrossFit Invictus, CrossFit Mayhem Independence and CrossFit Oslo Purple Red. Oslo Purple Red finished 2nd in three events behind CrossFit Reykjavik at the Lowlands Throwdown semifinal. For Purple Red strength could be their limiter as they finished 18th in the Snatch Ladder event and out of the lead pack in comparison to these other teams. All of these teams have their sights on the podium but for CrossFit Mayhem and CrossFit Oslo there may be strength in numbers when compared to the Icelandic team.
Remind me: This may sound familiar. That’s because in 2018 this almost happened. Mayhem Freedom won the Team division beating out Invictus X and Mayhem Independence finished 4th by 70 points to third place CrossFit OC3. This year Independence, led by two-time teen champion Angelo DiCicco, could be a different story. Mayhem is going all out for what is being said to be Rich’s final year. Not only could Rich get his 6th Team title giving 10 total championships between Individual and Team divisions but he and Mayhem may look to leave no doubt this time around.
CrossFit Games Youngest Podium Athlete – Women
In the Hunt: Mal O’Brien…Emma Lawson and Paige Powers
Entering the 2021 Games at just 17 years old and becoming Rookie of the Year, there has been a lot of talk around what Mal does returning in her sophomore season. That was turned up to 11 when she was brought on to HWPO by Mat Fraser and won the 2022 Open. Now she may set a new record by becoming the youngest podium athlete ever. Not to play favorites, Mal isn’t the only teen athlete with podium hopes at the Games. Paige Powers at 19 and Emma Lawson at 17, both have the opportunity and the fight to shock the world.
Remind me: In 2010, when O’Brien was still in elementary school,, a young Icelandic Games sophomore, Annie Thorisdottir, won four total events and ended up finishing in 2nd place to Kristan Clever by just 12 points. This could look to be a familiar roadmap for Mal to follow twelve years later.