10 Up-and-Coming European Athletes to Watch in 2024
With Laura Horvath winning the CrossFit Games in 2023, Europe had its first female CrossFit Games champion since Katrin Davidsdottir won in 2016.
On the men’s side, however, Europe has not had a champion since 2009 when Mikko Salo from Finland because the first (and only at this point) European man to win.
Last year, six out of the 22 total rookies at the Games came from Europe, and five European athletes finished in the top 10. (Impressive, especially considering none of them were from Iceland.)
This is exciting news because it means the rest of Europe is finally catching up.
In this post, we won’t be focusing on the top of the leaderboard or athletes who have already performed well in the past, but rather we will highlight some up-and-coming European athletes who we believe will see the most improvement in 2024.
Let’s begin with the men’s division.
Moritz Fiebig (Germany)
Moritz Fiebig from Germany has competed at the CrossFit Games for the past two years now but is still relatively unknown in the community.
In his rookie year in 2022, he had an unimpressive finish in 36th overall but came back strong in 2023 with a 21st-place finish, missing the final cut by just five points.
He had three top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place finish in “Olympic Total,” and if he had survived the final cut, he likely would’ve been fighting for a spot in the top 15 overall.
Look for him to continue his momentum into 2024 and potentially get his best CrossFit Games finish of his career.
Fabian Beneito (Spain)
Fabian Beneito Selles from Spain was a rookie at the 2023 Games and also, like Fiebig, was just barely cut in the final round in Madison.
Beneito Selles missed the cut line by just 16 total points.
Besides his performance at the Games, he has also put in some impressive scores around the world, going head-to-head with many of the sport’s best.
At the 2023 Dubai Fitness Championship, he finished fourth overall, behind only Roman Khrennikov, Ricky Garard, and Lazar Djukic. In 2022, Beneito Selles won the Dubai Championship.
Now with plenty of experience competing against the best in the world, he should be ready to improve in 2024.
Victor Hoffer (France)
Although 20-year-old Victor Hoffer from France has not yet competed at the CrossFit Games, you may recognize his name thanks to his participation on the Games Demo Team in 2023.
At the 2023 European Semifinal, Hoffer missed out on qualifying for the Games by just 19 points even though he had three top-five event finishes, including an event win.
Hoffer is already known as the man to beat when it comes to gymnastics events and that is going to come in handy next year.
With an entire offseason of working on weaknesses, there’s a good chance Hoffer makes the Games this year.
Enrico Zenoni (Italy)
Enrico Zenoni from Italy finished 29th overall with two top-10 event finishes at the 2022 Games but had a slight setback last year as he failed to qualify out of the European Semifinal, finishing instead in 17th.
With a smaller field of athletes to be present at this year’s European Semifinal, there will be fewer points to be taken away from Zenoni on the leaderboard and he may have a good chance to make his second Games appearance in three years.
Since he has made it to the Games before, he knows what it takes to get there and he has likely made the necessary changes in the offseason to give himself the best shot.
Aniol Ekai (Spain)
Aniol Ekai is another athlete who has yet to make the Games, but he had a pretty interesting year in 2023.
Although he finished in 22nd overall at the European Semifinal, he had a great offseason performance at the Dubai Championship.
There, he finished fifth overall, ahead of names like Bronislaw Olenkowicz, Moritz Fiebig, Kaique Cerveny, Chandler Smith, and David Shorunke.
If he can follow in the footsteps of Beneito Selles, we may see two Spaniards in the men’s division at the Games next year.
Elisa Fuliano (Italy)
Elisa Fuliano from Italy is coming off her second straight appearance at the CrossFit Games, and she made a massive year-over-year improvement.
After finishing 35th overall in 2022 as a rookie, she came back and finished 20th overall in 2023, surviving all rounds of cuts.
To close out her 2023 season, she headed to Dubai, where she took fifth overall and gained more experience against many other Games athletes.
With two years of experience at the Games now under her belt, this is a crucial year to see if she will continue to improve and fight for a top 15 spot.
Rebecka Vitesson (Sweden)
Although we’ve already talked a lot about her over the past couple of weeks, we have to include her in this list as well.
Rebecka Vitesson from Sweden has competed at the Games twice before on a team but made her individual debut last year, where she finished 25th overall.
She’s continued this trajectory, taking fifth place overall at 2024 TYR Wodapalooza among many of the best in the world. The only athletes to finish ahead of her were all women who finished in the top 10 at the 2023 Games.
As a part of “Team Scandinadian” in the team division at WZA, she also took third overall.
It looks like she has made the most of her experience at the Games and continued her momentum into the new year. Look for Vitesson to improve on her results from last year.
Manon Angonese (Belguim)
The Belgian White Shark Manon Angonese had incredible improvements across the board in 2023.
First of all, during the Open, Angonese jumped from the 491st Fittest Woman in Europe in 2022 to the 4th fittest in 2023.
She also went from not making Semifinals in 2022 to qualifying for the Games in 2023 as a rookie, where she finished 35th overall.
A couple of months later, she competed at one of the hardest CrossFit competitions of the year, the Rogue Invitational, and took 10th place overall, beating many Games veterans.
Angonese is known for her strength, but if she can improve in other areas, she should have a great 2024.
Andrea Solberg (Norway)
Andrea Solberg of Norway competed in the online portion of the 2020 Games, where she had a respectable rookie year, finishing 27th overall, but she hasn’t been able to make it back since.
During the 2023 season, she looked to be in great form as she placed 8th overall in Europe at the end of Quarterfinals, heading into Semifinals.
At the 2023 European Semifinal, she finished strong with four event finishes inside the top 11 out of the last five events, but unfortunately, she also had three finishes in 35th or worse, which kept her out of a qualifying position.
If she can fix those weaknesses ever so slightly she should be able to make it to the Games for the second time in her career.
Andra Moistus (Estonia)
As of right now, the five-time fittest woman in Estonia, Andra Moistus, is mostly unknown in the sport, but judging from recent performances, it looks like that might soon change.
After two years of placing 189th and 188th in 2021 and 2022 at the European Quarterfinals, she jumped all the way to 31st in 2023 and earned herself a ticket to Semifinals.
At Semifinals, she finished 35th overall but gained some valuable experience, which led to a productive offseason.
At the recent 2024 Wodapalooza, Moistus took sixth place overall amongst an incredibly competitive field of women.
There, she had four top-10 finishes, including two in the top five.
If this is what we can expect from her throughout the rest of 2024, she may surprise a lot of people.