Grace Walton Loses Thumb Nail, Goes on to Dominate Swim Event in Miami

January 12, 2024 by
Photo CREDIT: Elizabeth Cox,
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When there’s a swim and there are Australian athletes in the field, they’re sure to find themselves near the top of the leaderboard.

This was certainly the case today at the 2024 TYR Wodapalooza during “Elite Indy Event 5: Wipeout,” an event featuring two swims in the bay, a bike, a run and some double-unders with a beaded rope.

This time it was Australia’s Grace Walton who proved her swimming prowess. She topped all competitors, including the fan pick to win the event, Canada’s Emily Rolfe. 

The details: Rolfe beat Walton to the water after the first 40-calorie bike, but Walton passed Rolfe on the swim and never looked back, finishing in a time of 13:48.59. 

  • Emma Cary was second, 19 seconds behind Walton, while another Australian—2023 CrossFit Games rookie Emily de Rooy— finished third, and Rolfe fourth. 
  • Another Australian athlete, Christine Hollard, finished seventh in the event.
  • On the men’s side, Ricky Garard is the only Aussie on hand for the Indy Men in Miami. He finished a respectable fifth in the event and led all competitors heading into the final event of the competition.

One big thing: Walton, sixth at last year’s Oceania Semifinals, lost her thumbnail on Thursday after injuring herself on the final event, but this didn’t stop her from topping all times on Friday’s swim test.

  • “On the rainy event with the pull-ups, I hit my thumb and my whole nail came off…It was attached at the bottom so I had to rip it off. I was doing extreme breathing trying to rip it off…It was throbbing all night,” Walton told Morning Chalk Up, adding that she’s not sure how her thumb will hold up in the final event. 
  • “I still want to do it. I came all this way from Australia,” she added. 

The big picture: Are Australian CrossFit athletes good at swimming? Ummm, well, do bears shit in the woods?

From six-time CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr, to veterans Kara Saunders, James Newbury and Khan Porter, Aussie’s have proven themselves over and over that they can swim. And after today in Miami, you can add Grace Walton to that list.

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