“You always pass failure on your way to success.”- Mickey Rooney
A Look Back: What Did We Learn from the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Women’s Division
Now that some time has passed since the completion of the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games, we have had time to digest all that happened during those five crazy days in Madison, WI. The major storylines have been covered already, especially in the women’s division where Tia-Clair Toomey once again proved that she is the most dominant CrossFit athlete ever with her unprecedented sixth “Fittest on Earth” title. Meanwhile Mal O’Brien showed that she’s ready to compete for the crown as she held off a talented and fit women’s field to finish with the silver medal.
But that’s not all that happened during those five days. Here are some additional storylines and takeaways from the women’s division.
This time last year Brooke Wells was recovering from elbow surgery in Malibu, CA after suffering a dislocated elbow during the “1-Rep Max Snatch” event at the 2021 Games. At the time of her injury she was in the midst of what could have been her best Games finish. She was the fittest she had ever been after making the move to PRVN to train with Toomey. Many didn’t think she would be ready this season and even if she was, she wouldn’t be the athlete she was prior to the injury.
Wells proved those people wrong, showing she wasn’t just ready but was Games-ready. She showed that through every stage of the season but questions still lingered whether she was going to be a factor at the Games especially after a Semifinal performance where she struggled, but qualified for the Games by just two points. Once again she proved all those people wrong as she had perhaps the most impressive Games performance in her career.
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Jayson Hopper about his 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games experience:
“I felt like I was maturing as the weekend went on.”
Tia goes team?: Newly minted six-time CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey will be competing in the 2022 Down Under Championship in Australia Nov. 18-20, but here’s the catch, she will be competing in the team division. 🇦🇺
Local love: Great story in the Cincinatti Enquirier about Marcia Yager, 66, who came second in her division at the CrossFit Games.
More local love: Gray Duck CrossFit has now opened its doors in Mankato, Minnesota and co-owner Danielle Senn explained what the sport means to him and why he opened it:
“I have met some of my best friends through CrossFit and I rely on them for a lot of things. If I wouldn’t have found CrossFit, I don’t know where I would be.”
Behind the Cheering Squad: What Goes into Supporting an Elite Athlete
When it comes to balancing support and space, providing food, managing game-day emotions, and everything in between, Lisa Wells is a pro. It doesn’t hurt that much of her experience came from raising competitive twin girls–Brooke and Sydney Wells– throughout their athletic careers as children and into adulthood.
Sydney, who competed at the University of Missouri on the Track and Field team and has now transitioned into being a competitive CrossFitter, placing 16th at the Granite Games this year, was supposed to be born first. But as her mother tells it, Brooke fought her way out first, sans tooth and nail. This competitive streak, while chaotic at times for Lisa, gave both girls a streak that has made their competitive careers special.
“They did gymnastics, competed in softball, danced together, and lots of different sports and activities together their whole lives,” Wells said. “So when they did their own things, it was glorious because they didn’t butt heads.”
Regarding Brooke’s early successes at Regionals in 2015, where she qualified for her first individual CrossFit Games, Wells said, “It’s pretty amazing, it’s hard to even explain. That first year, her dad and I had been divorced for five or six years at that time, and we embraced each other with tears in our eyes.”
Since 2015, Wells has gained tons of experience on how to best support her daughter during competitions. While some might be inclined to dwell on their athlete’s every need, Wells says she’s learned to give Brooke and Sydney ample space (sometimes even from each other), and that they’ll come to her when they’re ready for support.
Wells: “I try to sit back and blend in as much as I can, it’s not about me, it’s about them.”
Wells is also grateful that, while her daughters might occasionally clash in high-stress times, they’re always there to support each other. During Sydney’s years in college athletics, Brooke would attend her meets, and Sydney would be in the front row of her sister’s CrossFit competitions. This bond and love her daughters have for each other is incredibly special for Wells.
OPINION: CrossFit Games Athletes doing Criss Cross AppleSauce?
Well, not exactly. But Individual athletes competing at the 2022 CrossFit Games in Madison, WI did get tasked with completing 25 double-unders with a crossover in the Skill Speed Medley event.
What is a double-under with a crossover you may ask? Simply put, it’s a standard double under where the rope passes under the feet twice on each jump with the caveat that on one of the rotations the athlete crosses their arms in front of their body flipping the rope over like a pancake before passing beneath the feet. Then the hands return back to the normal “open” position before the start of the next rep.
It was quite surprising to see so much controversy over this movement showing up in the Games. I read comments from fans saying it’s a circus trick or a kid’s playground skill. Or they were complaining that they didn’t want to see their heroes standing there like a deer in headlights without a clue.
Chyna Cho: “You don’t necessarily have to die for points,” Comparing competing as a Masters vs. Individual
Chyna Cho has done it all. She’s competed at the Games numerous times as an individual, stood on top of the podium with CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, been on the Games demo team and this year — stood on the podium as a masters athlete. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil caught up with Cho to recap her season, discuss how the master’s division could potentially improve and even teased a “hypothetical Super Team.”
As we all know, lower back pain is no fun… so avoid the pain by prepping your body before workouts with these stretches provided by OG athlete Chris Spealler. These simple stretches will make sure that deadlift day doesn’t light up that lower back.
The Strength Improvement Stats You Didn't Know You Needed
We are always on a constant grind to improve our workout performance, but setting realistic goals can be hard. Wodify pulled the stats for the top 5 workout components athletes log, including the improvement rates and days it takes to achieve a desired goal. A realistic plan of action will help take you to the next level.
Jerk blocks have many benefits. When hitting a jerk or overhead movement, there are many benefits to lowering the barbell back to the front rack instead of defaulting to dropping to the blocks every time. Catalyst Athletics does a deep dive into when to drop vs. when to lower your jerks.
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