Our Favorite Photos from the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza
Miami’s showpiece event has kicked off the new year, and TYR Wodapalooza is in the books for another season. The competition was intense from individual to the teams, and we were right in the mix of it all.
Morning Chalk Up writer and photographer Ava Kitzi snapped some absolute gems over the weekend and we wanted to share our favorites with you, in no particular order, and as always, these photos tend to speak for themselves:
Roman Khrennikov (above) competed all four days in Miami and never showed a sign of exhaustion, even after double the volume and workload. He is constantly smiling, hugging his competitors, and celebrating, and this picture with the crowd in the back exemplifies that, we think. After so many years of being barred from the big competitions and the support of a live audience, watching Khrennikov take it in is an amazing sight.
Speaking of Khrennikov, this picture with Ricky Garard was also touching. While competitors and fans have had mixed feelings of Garard’s return to competition, this pair clearly have a bond. It’s great to see the support that goes beyond past drama, spans oceans, and reaches through language barriers.
Emma Cary proved herself capable–even after a season-ending back injury last year–-of competing with the “Big Dogs” on Day 1 of the Individual competition. With back-to-back event wins to open the competition, a newly minted sense of confidence and prowess was evident from the 18-year-old. Plus, this picture is so “Miami” with the palm trees and warm light that it became an instant favorite.
Even in a team competition, Mallory O’Brien’s focus was clear as day on Saturday and Sunday. This event, Holds and Climbs on Sunday, was chaos on the competition floor with so much movement and many different dynamics that it was difficult to get a shot that told a story. This one, though, shows O’Brien’s laser-focus even with more than 40 other athletes around her.
Teen phenom in the making Rylee Beebe crushed the 13-15 competition with a 48 point lead on second place, and father Ben is right there beside her through every single event. I took a similar picture of Ben at the 2021 CrossFit Games, when Rylee won her first event at 14-years-old, cheering on his daughter and hugging his family. Recreating that moment was super special. Of course, all athletes have support systems that get them through competition weekends, but the relationship between a teen athlete and their parents in high-stress situations like this is incredible to watch.
An obvious favorite in the max clean and jerk event, Dani Speegle showed off her new “I Like Girls Who Eat” shirt with a 255-pound lift. Though she didn’t win the event–that went to Cece Cronin, who beat Speegle by a single pound–she made an impression on the audience with a personal statement and a check-in on where the women’s division stands with strength.
In the same event, Gui Malheiros set a record for the heaviest clean and jerk ever recorded in a CrossFit competition at 395 pounds. While Malheiros had a lackluster start to the competition, event four proved that he’s still the same powerhouse we’ve seen show up for weight lifting events for years.
Event 1 of the team competition “Start Fast, Finish Stronger” had athletes limping across the competition floor before the five-minute mark, and Chandler Smith and Katrin Davidsdottir were no exception. The leg of the workout both athletes completed consisted of 42 pistols, all on the same leg, followed by a 420-foot shuttle run. Their expressions of shock and even laughter at their own situation exemplified not only the toughness of the workout but also their communication and bonds with team members.
After a long, stressful day of shooting, this squirrel popped up out of nowhere right next to me. It was a silly moment that I’m glad I got to capture. (Though my editors were not as impressed.)