Top Ten Athlete Payouts for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Season
In the second season of the new payout structure for the NOBULL CrossFit Games season, not much changed from the previous year as the top earners for both the men’s and women’s divisions, like past years, was the athlete who finished as the “Fittest”.
We have compiled, to the best of our knowledge, the 2022 season final payout list. This list factors in prize money awarded for the Games, the Open, Semifinals and event win bonuses from both the Games and the Open.
One big thing: This season the total individual athlete payout increased after consecutive seasons of decreased compensation. Last season, the total prize purse earned by individual athletes totalled $2,323,168 which was the first year of the new Games season format.
- This year the total individual prize purse for the Games season was $2,518,132, an increase of 8.4% from the 2021 CrossFit season.
- The increase can be attributed to CrossFit expanding payouts to all individual athletes competing at the Games.
- $3,072,856: The total prize money earned by individual athletes during the 2018-2019 season. To date, that is the high-water mark for prize money earned during a Games season.
- The list does not include athlete sponsorship deals that may include monetary compensation, bonuses and NOBULL CrossFit Games athlete replica jersey sales.
- Tia-Clair Toomey – $343,022
- Mallory O’Brien – $151,044
- Laura Horvath – $95,000
- Danielle Brandon – $65,000
- Brooke Wells – $48,000
- Haley Adams – $45,500
- Emma Lawson – $43,000
- Kara Saunders – $39,000
- Gabriela Migała – $36,000
- Alexis Raptis – $32,000
Inside the numbers of the women’s payouts:
- For the third-straight year Toomey tops all athletes, male or female, this year in total earnings during the Games season.
- Toomey’s $343,022 earned during the season ranks 4th on the all-time season payout list.
- Toomey occupies the top-6 spots on the women’s single season payout list. Her $415,080 earned during the 2020 season represents the high-water mark.
- Toomey appears in the women’s top-25 season payout list eight times, representing all eight trips to the Games.
- Toomey has earned a total of $2,355,141 during her eight seasons as a Games individual athlete.
- Breaking down Toomey’s winnings based on the 27 workouts she participated in during the 2022 season, she made $12,704.52 per workout. This includes the five Quarterfinal workouts she did. That stage of the Games season did not offer a payout.
- Toomey made $16,000 in Games event bonuses, the most of any individual athlete.
- Toomey makes the top ten list for the 8th consecutive year and 6th at the top of the list.
- Toomey’s total payout includes the $10,000 she earned for placing second in the Open and the $2,022 she received for winning 22.2. It also includes the $5,000 she earned for winning the Torian Pro Semifinal.
- O’Brien’s total earned is the most by any athlete who did not win the Games. The $151,044 ranks 13th on the women’s all-time list.
- According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income of an American 16-19 year old female is $24,048 annually.
- O’Brien makes the money list for the second-straight year, nearly quadrupling what she earned last year.
- Included in O’Brien’s payout is the $19,044 she earned from winning the Open and two Open workouts.
- Laura Horvath makes the money list for the third time in her career and second-straight season.
- Lawson joined O’Brien as the youngest athlete to appear in the top-10 money list. She was 7th with $43,000 earned during the season, matching what O’Brien earned last year.
- Toomey and O’Brien are the only women to earn money in each of the paying stages of the Games this season.
- Five athletes from last year’s list repeated this year; Toomey (1st), O’Brien (2nd), Horvath (3rd), Haley Adams (6th), and Gabriela Migala (9th).
- Arielle Lowen finished tied for 11th on the list despite not earning any money in the Open and Semifinal stages.
- Laurie Clement made more money for finishing fourth in the Open ($6,000) then four individual Games athletes.
- McQuaid, who tied Loewen on the money list with $23,000 earned from the Games season, made an additional $112,925 more from preseason competitions.
- In total, 53 women received a monetary payout from a CrossFit Games event this season up from the 46 from last year.
- 15 women received a payout that totaled $5,000 or less earned this season, down from the 25 from last year.
- Five of the women in the top ten are from outside the United States.
- For the second-straight year only two women broke six figures in money earned from the Games season, down from four women in both 2020 and 2019.
- Last year the top ten combined to earn $886,042, this year that number dropped to $861,043 a decrease of 2.8%.
- Toomey made $608,402 if you include the $265,380 she earned from the Rogue Invitational.
- If you include preseason and team competition earnings into the equation six women made over six figures from CrossFit competitions. That list includes: Toomey, Horvath, O’Brien, Migala, Emma McQuaid, and Annie Thorisdottir.
- The three major preseason competitions (Rogue Invitational, Dubai CrossFit Championship and Wodapalooza) paid out a combined $1,000,191 to individual women competition this season compared to the $1,258,066 that the CrossFit season did.
- Justin Medeiros – $328,500
- Roman Khrennikov – $136,000
- Ricky Garard – $94,000
- Samuel Kwant – $60,000
- Jeffrey Adler – $51,000
- Saxon Panchik – $46,000
- Patrick Vellner – $44,000
- Guilherme Malheiros – $38,000
- Jayson Hopper – $37,000
- Lazar Đukić – $37,000
Inside the numbers of the men’s payouts:
- For the second-straight season Medeiros tops the list with a career-best $328,500 earned, which ranks third on the men’s all-time lists.
- Medeiros made more this season than the second (Khrennikov), third (Garard) and fourth (Adler) biggest money earners combined.
- If Medeiros’ winnings are broken down based on the 27 workouts he participated in during the season, he made $12,166.67 each time he lined up for a workout in a Games competition.
- Medeiros made $593,880 this season if you include his $265,380 he earned at the Rogue Invitational.
- Khrennikov makes the list for the second time in his career and the first time as a live, in-person Games athlete.
- His $136,000 made during the Games season ranks 15th on the all-time single-season money charts and is the third highest total by an athlete who did not win the Games.
- Khrennikov made $11,000 on event bonuses alone, which led all men athletes.
- Khrennikov was 8th in 2020 with $55,500 earned, this year he made a combined $200,000 if you include his winnings from the Dubai CrossFit Championship ($64,000).
- Garard was second in Games bonus earnings with $10,000.
- Garard and Hopper make their first appearance in the top-10, both were competing in their second CrossFit Games.
- For the second-straight year Malheiros was the youngest man in the top-10.
- Malheiros was third in Games event bonus money earned with $9,000. Over the last two seasons he has earned $17,000 in bonus money.
- For the 7th-straight year Vellner makes the top ten list, despite not finishing in the top five. The third instance this has happened for him.
- Medeiros, Saxon Panchik, Uldis Upenieks and Colten Mertens are the only men’s athletes to earn money through every stage of the 2022 Games season (Open, Semifinals and Games). All four also earned Games event bonuses.
- BKG just missed making the top-10, finishing 11th, snapping his streak of seven-straight top-ten finishes on the money list. He is the only athlete to finish in the top ten at the Games that did not make the top-10 money list.
- BKG joined Brent Fikowski (14th), Jonne Koski (16th) and Scott Panchik as athletes who fell out of the top-10 from last year’s list.
- Koski and Nick Mathew (12th) finished in the top-20 of the money list despite not earning any money in the earlier stages of the Games.
- Adler had the biggest jump in last year’s top-10, moving from ninth to fifth this year.
- Last year Alexandre Caron infamously lost money attending the Games when he placed 24th overall and did not receive a payout. He paid a combined $670 alone to CrossFit in registration fees to participate in the Open, Quarterfinal, Semifinals, Last Chance Qualifier and the Games. This year he earned a combined $7,750 which ranked 26th in the money list.
- Matt Poulin finished 25th on the money despite not making the Games or earning money in the Semifinals. The second place finisher in the Open made more money from his Open winnings ($10,000) than 16 other Games athletes.
- For the second-straight season just two men’s athletes broke six figures in money earned from the Games season.
- In total, 55 men received a monetary payout from a CrossFit Games event this season, up from 47 from last year.
- If you include preseason and team competition earnings into the equation five men made over six figures from CrossFit competitions. That list includes: Medeiros, Khrennikov, Garard, Vellner and Adler. Medeiros, Vellner and Khrennikov made over $200,000.
- Last year the top ten combined to earn $874,021, this year that number dropped to $871,500.
- For the first time in three seasons the individual men top-10 out-earned the top-10 women. The men made $10,457 more this year.
- The three major preseason competitions (Rogue Invitational, Dubai CrossFit Championship and Wodapalooza) paid out a combined $987,729 to individual men competition this season compared to the $1,260,066 that the CrossFit season did.
The bottom line: The addition of payouts to all individuals competing at the Games was a huge step in the right direction for the professionalization of the sport; however it’s not enough as athlete’s outside the top-10 will continue to struggle to make ends meet with the current pay structure. Preseason and offseason competitions have proven to be helpful and the introduction of such events like the CanWest Games and the Madrid CrossFit Championships to name a few will offer more opportunities for athletes.
The current model for payouts has seen some growth but is far from the answer that athletes, sponsors and brands need to continue the growth of the sport. Coming off what looks like a successful Games season for CrossFit hopefully they can address some of the athlete pay shortfalls and offer more incentives during the season.
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