CrossFit Games

15-Year-Old Jeremie Jourdan: From Elite Gymnastics to CrossFit Games Champion

August 28, 2023 by
Image Credit: Ava Kitzi
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Jeremie Jourdan was a rising gymnastics star by the age of 12. He likely would have been on track to be professionally successful in the space, but COVID stopped him in his tracks.

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the now 15-year-old, who was already struggling with burnout issues. He turned to CrossFit in the fall of 2020 and says he knew he wanted to compete from the second he found out it was an option. 

His coach, Isaiah Figueroa from CrossFit Turlock, was thinking something similar. 

Figueroa knew from the first day Jourdan walked into the gym that he was special–of course, the gymnastics-focused AMRAP that day didn’t hurt his case–but over the first few weeks, the teen’s work ethic started to stick out more than his natural talent. 

He recalls one specific instance where, in typical 13-year-old boy fashion, Jourdan ran hot out of the gates for a timed one mile run. Figueroa kept up with him and when Jourdan started to run out of gas, he encouraged him to push through it. Where most people would either slow down or stay at the same pace, Jourdan sped up and ended with a sub-seven minute mile. The perseverance is what showed Figueroa that he had true potential. 

  • “It was that day where I called my friend who was coaching with me at the time and I said that if he sticks with it, I think we have a Games athlete,” Figueroa said. “It’s one thing to have the skill and endurance and be strong, but I think what anyone who competes in CrossFit comes to is that it’s really the mental toughness.”

That mental toughness came in handy this year at the Games when, after day one, he had racked up second, fifth, and tenth place finishes. As the number one seed coming into the Games from Age Group Semifinals, this was not the place he expected to be. He says that a few bad reps cost him Helena, but he set his eyes on the events yet to come. 

  • Jourdan: “I was definitely the most proud of (myself) after the first day, I had a pretty bad judge and I got last place in the event, a bunch of no reps. I was just proud of myself that I stayed mentally strong and didn’t give up, just came back the next day and did my best.”
Image Credit: Ava Kitzi

For the remaining two days of competition, Jourdan had zero finishes outside the top three, including a test win in the final which helped edge him into first over second place Lincoln Lafaver. 

Jourdan says that standing on top of the podium at the end of his first CrossFit Games was a feeling like no other. He knew all of his hard work and long hours in the gym over the summer and for years prior had paid off. In fact, he says that if he had to give his younger self a piece of advice, it would be to not give up and keep working even when setbacks come up. 

Figueroa was similarly awestruck by the experience. He said that, first of all, Jourdan’s win was validating for him as a coach, a clear indicator that he’s doing something right. Plus, watching Jourdan and the other fittest athletes on Earth helped him find a new appreciation for the sport. 

  • Figeuroa: “It’s such a hard sport, and something I still have trouble trying to understand – how does it work? It’s not supposed to work. You’re not supposed to be that strong, you’re not supposed to be that fast.”

Next year, Jourdan will age up into the 16-17 category, a notoriously big jump for boys to make seamlessly. He and Figueroa intend to focus primarily on building his strength and letting his gymnastics and aerobic skills take the back burner for the off season to help give him a leg up in the seasons to come.

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