Who’s Missing from the 2023 CrossFit Games Roster
The 2023 Individual Games roster is comprised of a mix of veterans and rookies, with multiple athletes returning for their 10th time.
There are some headed to Madison for a comeback season after not qualifying last year. And others who have already stated that this will be their final year, their swan song. However, there is quite a large number of individuals not returning from the 2022 Games, and will instead be watching it all play out from the sidelines.
One big thing: Of the 40 men that competed at last year’s Games, 24 will be returning this year. And on the women’s side, only 20.
The women’s field will be missing half of its competitors from last year, and that includes five of the top ten finishers, which is remarkable. Those not returning are as follows:
- Tia-Clair Toomey – The six-time Games champion will not be competing this year, as she gave birth to her and Shane Orr’s daughter, Willow, earlier this spring.
- Mallory O’Brien – Due to personal reasons, O’Brien is sitting this season out, having made the decision in the lead-up to Semifinals.
- Brooke Wells – Finishing 14th at the North America East Semifinal and thus not qualifying for the Games, Wells posted on Instagram that she tore her plantar fascia during Test 1, and was subsequently battling the injury throughout the entire weekend.
- Kara Saunders – The fan favorite is sitting this year out, as she is expecting her second child.
- Haley Adams – The young veteran announced in February of this year that she’d be taking the 2023 season off, choosing to focus on her mental health.
- Kristi Eramo O’Connell – After competing at the Games for seven consecutive years, beginning in 2016, Eramo retired after the 2022 season.
- Jacqueline Dahlstrom – She placed 12th in the European Semifinal and missed qualifying this year.
- Lucy Campbell – This winter, Campbell announced that she would be sitting out the 2023 season due to a wrist injury and is anxious to return in 2024.
- Dani Speegle – Another fan favorite, she missed the qualifying cutoff by one spot. Speegle placed 11th at the North America West Semifinal.
- Seungyeon Choi – Due to a shoulder injury, Choi is sitting out for the 2023 season.
- Additionally, Thuri Helgadottir, Carolyne Prevost, Rebecca Fuselier, Sydney Michalyshen, Freya Moosbrugger, Solveig Sigurdardottir, Julia Kato and Elena Caratala Sanahuja will all be missing from the Games roster this year, as they failed to qualify at their respective Semifinals.
- Caroline Spencer – While not competing as an individual, Spencer is still heading to Madison, this year as a member of the CrossFit Krypton team.
- Michelle Merand – As a member of CrossFit FBDV Mayhem Africa, Merand qualified at the Africa Semifinal and was set to try her hand in the team competition this year. However, in an update released by CrossFit HQ, her teammate Angi Connoway tested positive for PEDs, and thus the team was disqualified from competition. Connoway denies any wrongdoing, and filed an appeal, but has since withdrawn it. Cape CrossFit Wolfpack will be taking their place in Madison.
Sixteen men are missing from the Individuals roster this year, compared to last, two of whom finished in the top ten. The male athletes from 2022 that we won’t see this year are as follows:
- Ricky Gerard – The 2022 Third Fittest Man is out for the 2023 season, as Gerard suffered a ruptured AC joint due to a mountain bike crash in early spring.
- Gui Malheiros – In a surprising and unexpected outcome, Malheiros missed out on qualifying for the Games by one spot, as he finished 3rd in the South America Semifinal.
- Saxon Panchik – As seen on an Instagram post, during Test 2 of the North America East Semifinal, Panchik suffered a foot injury that led to his withdrawal from the event.
- Willy Georges – Did not move past Quarterfinals this season, and in an Instagram post, shared that he would be retiring as an individual.
- Travis Mayer – Will not be competing, due to an injury to his hand that he withstood during Wodapalooza in January of this year.
- Tim Paulson and Andre Houdet – Are both stepping away as individuals this year to compete on teams. Paulson will be competing with CrossFit East Nashville PRVN and Houdet is a member of No Shortcuts CrossFit.
- We will not be seeing Guillaume Briant, Enrico Zenoni, Tudor Magda, Austin Spencer, Agustin Richelme, or Kealan Henry, as they failed to qualify at their respective Semifinals.
- Alexandre Caron – After injuring himself practicing for Test 2 of Semifinals, Caron entered the event with a torn pec, and was forced to withdraw due to a work minimum.
- Bayden Brown – Stepping away from competition to spend time with family, Brown posted on social media that while this may not be a permanent retirement per se, he will at the very least be taking this season off.
- Georgos Karavis – Citing physical reasons, Karavis withdrew from the Europe Semifinal. Shortly thereafter, he took home a 3rd place finish at the French Throwdown, leaving fans hopeful that he’ll be back in 2024.
The big picture: Only 44 of the 80 total 2022 Games individual athletes will be competing this year, which is a 10% decrease from last year. Of the 2021 competitors, 52 of 80 returned in 2022. While the top ten male finishers may not differ greatly from last year, the women’s field is ripe for a complete shake-up.