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Kristen Holte Announces Retirement

Morning Chalk Up

August 5   |   POWERED BY


Happy Thursday Morning Chalk Up readers! 

In today’s edition:

  • 📢📢📢 Kristin Holte is retiring.
  • Mat Fraser’s handwritten note to Jayson Hopper.
  • The dynamic duo: Laura Horvath and Ben Smith.
  • Nate Ackermann’s interesting habits still led him to victory.
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“The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you find out why.” - Mark Twain


"The Last Dance." Kristin Holte Announces Retirement

As the hype from the CrossFit Games settles and athletes take to social media to reflect on their experience, 4th place Fittest Woman on Earth, Kristin Holte, announced she is stepping away from competing and retiring.

Her career by the numbers: Holte, a veteran Games athlete, making her 8th appearance this year, fought all week landing just 35 points behind third place finisher, Annie Thorisdottir. Holte and Thorisdottir were actually tied for third going into the final event.

  • She averaged a 9th place overall finish at the Games over eight straight seasons.
  • Since 2017, she’s finished in the top 10 every year, averaging a 5th place overall finish, making her one of the most consistent female athletes of all time.
  • Holte won 8 individual CrossFit Games events over her career, the 8th most of any female athlete.
  • To qualify for her first CrossFit Games, she famously unseated the current fittest woman on earth Samantha Briggs to take the third and final spot at the 2014 Europe Regional.

In her own words: “I am proud. I am grateful. I am happy but also heartbroken,” Holte said in her post on Instagram. With a mix of emotions, Holte takes a moment to remember how far she’s developed in this sport.

  • “I have become a well-rounded athlete who can run fast but also lift heavy weights and I finally feel like I am coming close to reaching my potential as an athlete…Do I wish I could be number 1? Yes, of course. But in the end, the thing that matters the most to me is my effort. I always put out my absolute best effort and with that comes full victory.”
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  • Catching up with Patrick Vellner: Morning Chalk Up’s Justin LoFranco sits down with Patrick Vellner after his second place finish at the 2021 CrossFit Games. The two discuss competing at the Games as a first-time father, how he mentally approached starting the Games with a 35th placed finish, and whether he’ll be back next year.
    • Vellner: “Yeah I’ll compete next year. I’ve got another few good years in me. I can’t let these young guys take over yet.”
  • Get well soon Lauren Fisher: In a hospital bed and wearing a sling, Fisher is looking at the positives after undergoing surgery. In a post on Instagram, she revealed that she injured her right elbow in the snatch ladder at the West Coast Classic.
    • Fisher: “A little bump in the road and I’ll be working to be fully healthy for the 2022 season.”
  • CrossFit Mayhem has made the leap to NASCAR’s secondary Xfinity Series after agreeing to a two race sponsorship with Our Motorsports and driver Austin Dillon. The Mayhem Athlete paint scheme will take over the No. 23 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 7 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 14.
  Mat Fraser's Handwritten Note to Jayson Hopper 

Mat Fraser's Handwritten Note to Jayson Hopper

A little more than a week ago, CrossFit Games rookie Jayson Hopper announced that he joined the NIKE team as their newest athlete. When a box of NIKE Metcon Mat Fraser editions showed up at his house, it came with a handwritten note from the five-time champ himself.

  • Hopper finished 19th in his rookie season, making the top 20 cut.

What it said: “Welcome to the Nike Team! I’m grateful that our paths crossed and excited to see what you do in your rookie year. You have all the tools to have a very bright future in CrossFit, it’s up to you to make something of it. The people in your life are there regardless of [the] result, so make sure to go out there and make YOURSELF proud. Above all, Hard Work Pays Off!”

  • “I’ve talked to him a bunch over the last couple months. [I] was excited for him to tackle his rookie year and see what the future holds for him,” Fraser told us.

The big picture: After retiring, Fraser has transitioned to a role as more of an elder statesman to up and coming athletes. He spent time in the off season working with Justin Medeiros, and now he’s passing on advice to Hopper.

  • It’s not uncommon for legends in other sports, especially in basketball, to train with new team recruits, or just anyone who asked.
  • Kobe Bryant was well known for training with even non-Laker athletes who just called and wanted to pick his brain.
  Early Access: Sara Sigmundsdottir on Returning to Competition + Her New Clothing Label 


Early Access: Sara Sigmundsdottir on Returning to Competition + Her New Clothing Label

Morning Chalk Up’s Justin LoFranco caught up with Sara Sigmundsdottir while she was at the 2021 CrossFit Games. The six-time Games athlete discusses her new clothing line being designed and released with WIT, what it’s like being at the Games not competing, her recovery from ACL surgery and her plan for returning to competition.

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  Laura Horvath Partners With Former Games Champ in Triumphant Return to Podium 


Laura Horvath Partners With Former Games Champ in Triumphant Return to Podium

When the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games came to an end, Hungary’s fittest woman Laura Horvath stood on the podium in second place. The season marked her return to the top three after bursting onto the scene in 2018. She certainly put on a show this year all while working with a new coach, but not so new to CrossFit — 2015 CrossFit Games champion, Ben Smith.

One big thing: Following two seasons marred by injuries and other issues, Horvath made her triumphant return to the podium. She took second place in Madison after winning Event 5 and finishing top three in six other workouts. Horvath built up a lead of more than 100 points over the third-place contenders throughout the course of the weekend, before Annie Thorisdottir cut it to only 80 with an event win of her own.

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  How Nate Ackermann's Novel Approach Works, and Why It Matters 

How Nate Ackermann's Novel Approach Works, and Why It Matters

CrossFit Games athletes are known for their meticulous, nearly obsessive focus and dedication to their sport. They train hard, have a close relationship with world-class coaches, work with nutritionists, prioritize sleep and even and bring food scales to family dinners. But one Games champion has a rather unique approach, that probably 99 percent of athletes would not find success with.

17-year-old Nate Ackermann wasn’t just an outlier on the competition floor, but also in his formula that brought him to the top of the podium.

  • No coach: Throughout the year, he follows Mayhem Athlete programming and at the Games, he looked to his mom for guidance.
  • “My mom followed me around all Games weekend, she tried to help me strategize,” he said.
  • Nutrition: Or lack thereof. Ackermann admits his nutrition “isn’t the best,” and slams a pint of ice cream every day to try and help him put on weight.
  • On game-day, he recalls waking up at 2 AM to pound mini-muffins and Snickers in hopes of staying fueled.
  • But it worked. Ackermann won the 16-17 Boys division handily.
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Freewalking Handstand Pushups

If you watched the Games, you knew this guide was coming. Introduced during event 14, this is a mixture of freestanding HSPU and ultra-controlled handstand walks. This guide includes ways to break this skill into parts so you can keep practicing until you link it all together.




A Free Peloton from The Fit Boxx

Want awesome gear sent to your door each month? The Fit Boxx finds the freshest kit in CrossFit to send you a curated box at a fraction of its cost. August's box has an abdominal mat, exclusive Barbell Voodoo apparel, Ascent protein, and tons of other swag. Sign up now and get entered to win a free Peloton bike.



Your Barbell Cycling Times

Speeding through light barbell movements is an entirely different skill from performing a 1RM, but so many of us set up and perform them the same. Check out this simple drill to change how you approach a light bar to see huge improvements in your cycling speed and WOD times.



A Pair of Reebok Nano X for Half Price

You read that right. Get your hands on a pair (or two) of Reebok Nano X for only $64.99 using code "NANOX64".



Your Tech Neck

Looking down at your phone or laptop to watch the Games give you neck pain? Grab a small towel and try these exercises that strengthen the neck flexors, elongate tight muscles in the back, and feel some instant relief.


  • Happy birthday to Invictus head coach, CJ Martin.
  • Dex Hopkins split jerks 365 pounds/165kg.
  • Kari Lin Reed from Buffalo Nickel Crossfit in Broken Arrow, OK back squats 200 pounds/90kg for a PR.
  • Molonza Hayes from Fort Bragg, NC back squats 415 pounds/188kg for four.
  • Steve Hoover from Terminus Strength and Conditioning in Atlanta, GA hits a barbell complex at 252 pounds/114kg.
  • Allison from 802 CrossFit in Essex Junction, VT cleans 210 pounds/95kg for a PR.
  • 🔥🔥🔥 New American record: American weightlifter Wesley Brian Kitts snatches 390 pounds/177kg at the Olympics.
12/3 - 12/4: Torino Challenge (Moncalieri (TO), Italy)
12/3: Reindeer Rumble (Ocala, FL)
12/9 - 12/11: Fall Series Throwdown (Desio, Italy)
12/17: The Midwest Championship (Warrensburg, MO)
1/15 - 1/31: Athens Throwdown Qualifiers (Athens, Greece)
1/21 - 1/22: Modena Challenge: Beginner and Master (Modena, Italy)

See all upcoming events

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