Games Veteran Matilde Garnes Wins 2023 iF3 World Championship

December 6, 2023 by
Photo Credit: @lifeofmalm
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In late November just outside of Oslo, Norway, competitors battled through six tests of functional fitness to crown the 2023 iF3 World Champions. The event was live-streamed by Staylive November 24-26, 2023, and featured 153 athletes from 25 countries. Norway, being the host country, had the largest contingent of athletes, followed by Sweden. Six athletes represented the United States.

Remind me: A non-profit, independent international governing body for functional fitness as a competitive sport, the International Functional Fitness Federation, (iF3), strives to provide leadership, structure and resources as it promotes functional fitness and its growth throughout the world. 

  • It is iF3’s mission to one day see functional fitness included in the Olympic Games. 

The details: With the Masters and Junior World Champions already crowned earlier this fall in Vancouver, Canada, it was time for Individuals, Juniors 19-20, and Teams to take center stage. The athletes competing qualified in different ways, depending on their countries’ stipulations and processes, most of whom held live qualifying events. 

The iF3 provides a combination of standardization and creativity with programming. Every championship event for individuals includes six categories of tests: Endurance, Strength, Bodyweight, Skill, Mixed, and Power. This year there were seven scored events, with the skill test being a two-parter. Within those parameters is where the creativity lies, from high-skilled movements like pirouettes into backward handstand walking to unique equipment like the Y bells. All the while maintaining a well-rounded event that pushed athletes to new heights. 

IF3 President Gretchen Kittleberger shared her insight on this year’s championships. 

  • “The event was our best World Championships yet. The Norwegian Federation were wonderful hosts and really raised the bar on event quality,” she said.
  • “The athletes, as always, were phenomenal. The level of competition just gets better and better every year,” continued Kittleberger. 

Three-time CrossFit Games athlete (twice individual, once team), Matilde Garnes, won the gold for Norway, winning three of the seven scored tests in the process. She stood on top of a podium that included Mirjam Von Rohr from Switzerland (54th in the 2022 Open), and Camilla Salomonsson Hellman (four-time Games athlete). 

On competing this year, Garnes expressed her excitement on social media.

  • “Humbled by the competition & happy to be back on the floor.”

In the team division, the event included a strategy test involving the worm, where teams needed to concoct a solid plan to be successful. The results of this test mimicked the overall standings almost exactly, shining a light on the importance of communication and teamwork.  

The iF3 Championships included a 19-20 year-old junior division. The USA’s top performer, Nadia Szymialis, brought home the bronze and won the bodyweight and skill-part 1 tests. The winner of the 19-20 male division, Leonardo Vindas, traveled with his team from Costa Rica and won by a commanding 93 points.  

Below are the podium finishers for all divisions:

Individual Female:

  1. Matilde Garnes, Norway
  2. Mirjam Von Rohr, Switzerland
  3. Camilla Salomonsson Hellman, Sweden

Individual Male:

  1. Colin Bosshard, Switzerland
  2. Morten Rasch Arnesen, Norway
  3. Victor Ljungdahl, Sweden


  1. Norway
  2. Denmark
  3. Sweden

19-20 Female:

  1. Marie Rognstad, Norway
  2. Ida Strigen, Norway
  3. Nadia Szymialis, USA

19-20  Male:

  1. Leonardo Vindas, Costa Rica
  2. Christian Karrestad, Norway
  3. Simon Liedholm, Sweden

The bottom line: The International Functional Fitness Federation is doing its part to grow this worldwide community and attract more countries and individuals to the sport of functional fitness. Next year’s World Championships will be held in Budapest, Hungary and will feature all divisions, combining the juniors and masters with the individuals and teams. 

With the 2023 season in the books, Kittleberger is excited for the potential growth that 2024 will bring.

  • “I am most excited to see growth in Asia. Last year at Worlds we only had athletes from one Asian country (South Korea). This year we had three (South Korea, Mongolia, and Saudi Arabia). So I am looking forward to seeing how many Asian countries we can bring on next season.” 

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