Ricky Garard Redemption Tour Off to Hot Start
The individual athletes kicked off the first day of the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games on August 3. They dealt with the return of the Trek Bike, new versions of double-unders, and massive storm cells that brought the action to an unexpected halt. Ricky Garard remained consistent through it all and he kicked off his redemption tour by wearing the leader’s jersey after all three events.
A fast start: Event 1 marked Garard’s first action at the CrossFit Games since his disqualification in 2017. It would be understandable if he dealt with some nerves early, but he started quickly by cranking out massive sets of toes-to-bar. He then proceeded to lock up his first official win at the CrossFit Games.
- Garard didn’t spend the majority of the event at the front of the pack. Jonne Koski actually turned heads as he led the way on the second and final bike ride.
- It appeared that Koski would win the first event of the CrossFit Games, but Garard made up a seven-second deficit entering the stadium. He then jumped ahead on the final sprint to the finish after Koski slipped and fell while setting down his bike.
Garard headed to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the white leader’s jersey after the severe weather forced CrossFit to postpone Event 2. His next test was the unique Event 3 featuring numerous trips up the pegboard, single-leg squats, increasingly difficult jump rope reps, and handstand walks over obstacles.
- Garard finished third in his heat in the Quarterfinal round of the Skill Speed Medley, just behind Koski and defending champ Justin Medeiros. He then won his heat in the Semifinal round to secure a spot in the top five.
- Garard appeared to be en route to another event win after he was the first man to finish his strict pegboard ascent in the final round. However, he struggled on his double-under crossovers while Nick Mathew, Guilherme Malheiros, and Medeiros all completed their 25 reps. He remained on the movement until the time cap and finished fifth while Patrick Vellner took fourth.
Garard headed back to the Coliseum for the final event of the day, Elizabeth Elevated, in a tie with Medeiros. Both men had 188 points each and their sights set on the another 100. All they had to do was complete 21-15-9-9-9 of squat cleans and dips with P-bar traverses.
The final event of the day was all about Vellner. The four-time podium finisher went out at a blistering pace and demolished the time to beat at 8:42.16. Meanwhile, Roman Khrennikov and Garard battled for the second-fastest time in the heat.
- Garard took a slower, more methodical approach. He walked between each station and he chipped away at each repetition. He would have posted a better time than 9:49.82, but he had to walk back to move his barbell past the line after completing a set of nine reps.
- Garard took second in the heat, but he finished seventh overall in the event. This was enough to help him take sole possession of the top spot on the leaderboard. He now sits at 270 points while Medeiros is in second at 258.