Team Walleye Takes On the 2024 CrossFit Games Season
Following on the heels of team Mayhem Thunder’s announcement last week, another superteam is throwing its proverbial hat into the 2024 Games season ring.
Made up of Games veterans Elliot and Jamie Simmonds, Mia Hesketh and would-be Games rookie Kristóf Horváth, (brother of Fittest on Earth Laura Horváth), the four enter the arena with diverse experience under their belts.
Some background: In a social media post released last week, the four shared their plans of teaming up, once again, as they have competed before, in 2022 at the Madrid Championship, taking second place under the Krypton banner.
Before 2022, the two Simmonds competed on a team in 2016, with CrossFit Yas, taking third place at the CrossFit Games. Also no stranger to team competition, Mia Hesketh has made three trips to the Games, her best finish being last year, as her team, also CrossFit Walleye, took sixth. Horváth, while an experienced athlete and coach, has yet to punch his Games ticket, and barely missed qualifying through Semifinals in 2022, as he took ninth place at Strength in Depth.
The details: Shortly after the 2023 CrossFit Games, as she was recovering from elbow surgery, Jamie was approached by several athletes, asking if she would be interested in competing on a team. While she knew she wanted to, she also knew it had to be with the right group, and ideally with Elliot by her side.
- “In the back of my head, I knew I wanted to go team, but it had to be with the right people,” Jamie tells Morning Chalk Up.
The Simmonds shared that before making this decision, they knew they had two seasons left in them, one team and one individual. In December, they chose 2024 as their team year and then reached out to previous teammates Hesketh and Horváth. Within a week, it was decided, and the details could unfold.
The four will compete at the European Semifinal (French Throwdown) and will train together for six weeks in Sweden, the Open and Quarterfinals falling within this time frame. They will bookend this time with weeks spent together in the UAE, with travel together to the French Throwdown in the spring.
The four, while currently not in the same location, are training as a unit. They are working with different coaches, in different gyms, but they have synced up to the same schedule: they squat the same days, complete similar metcons, and as Elliot explained, it’s cohesive even when they’re apart.
Once the team is physically together, they look forward to dedicating two days a week to commit solely to team training, (worm and synchro movements, understanding timing, learning each others’ strengths and weaknesses).
While the Simmonds have team experience together, resulting in a podium finish, they express that 2024 feels vastly different than 2016.
- “The sport has come to be so different. It feels like a different thing, but it makes you want to train harder. And this team… every single one of us would do anything for each other,” Elliot says.
The big picture: While both of the Simmonds have experienced competing on a team as well as individuals, they’ve also experienced highs and lows throughout their years of competition.
- Suffering injuries and subsequent challenges have helped them grow into mature, seasoned competitors who know themselves thoroughly and care deeply for their teammates.
They compare the two divisions and agree that while both are exhilarating, competing as an individual brings about a certain amount of stress and anxiety that can counteract the excitement and enjoyment. Elliot shares that competing on a team, alongside those friends who have seen you through ups and downs, and shared in your joy and frustration is something so unique. Having someone to hug and hype alongside you the entire way, “it’s so rewarding.”
Elliot: “Everyone’s in it together. You’re either going to win together or lose together.”