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Olympians in CrossFit

Hey Vic City,

We are almost a week deep in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Although that most of the Olympic events are very technical and demand sport specific skills, there are also many of the 10 components of fitness, that as CrossFitters we try to maximize.

Those 10 components of fitness are:

  1. Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.

  2. Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.

  3. Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.

  4. Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.

  5. Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.

  6. Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

  7. Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.

  8. Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.

  9. Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.

  10. Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

In the Winter Olympics, events such as cross-country skiing feature huge demands of cardiovascular endurance and stamina. In fact, some of the highest recorded VO2 max measures, (essentially the amount of oxygen your body can utilize) are from cross-country skiers. Other events, such as figure skating, stress more on the importance of accuracy, balance, agility, and coordination.

With so many fitness traits being featured in the Olympics, could that lead to some Olympians competing in CrossFit or CrossFitters becoming Olympians?

Yes. The most recent case was Tia-Claire Toomey. She's competed at the CrossFit Games in 2015 and 2016 where she finished in 2nd place. She then represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Weightlifting, and returned to the CrossFit Games in 2017 to win the title 'Fittest on Earth.'

There are other athletes, too, that have experience in the Olympics and the CrossFit Games.

Alethea Boon has made multiple appearances at the CrossFit Games, but back in the day, she used to be a high level gymnast. Aletha was on the Olympic Team for Australia back during the 2000 Sydney Games.

Tom Pappas is the most decorated American decathlete of all-time. He has most recently competed as a team athlete for Lane 5 Athletics, but back in 2000, Tom finished 5th at the Summer Games in the decathlon.

However, potentially the best Olympian that has competed at the CrossFit Games is Anna Tunnicliffe (now Tobais). Anna has been at the CrossFit Games for a number of years now, but before getting into CrossFit Anna was a Olympic Gold Medalist. Anna was champion in sailing for the 2008 Beijing Games.

Here is a short video on Anna's story of Olympics to CrossFit.

Don't think you'll ever be an Olympian or Professional Athlete? Sign-up for the CrossFit Open, and compete with friends and professionals in a fun yet challenging five weeks.




WARM UP: E90s for 4 rounds - 10 kbs, 4 samson lunge, 10 double crunch

SKILL: Front Squat 6 x 2 E90s

Build as you go, but stay above 70% for all work sets


Today we have a combination of two short AMRAPs that will combine to make one overall score.

WOD 1: 5 min AMRAP:

6 Ground-to-overheads, 95/135 lbs, 6 Toes-to-bars

FG2: 75/115

FG1: 55-65/75-95, hanging knee raise

CP: 125/185, 12 ttb

Rest 5 min

WOD 2: 5 min AMRAP:

6 ctb pullups, 12 db snatch (35/50), 18 double unders

FG2: Scale DB as needed, regular pullups

FG1: Banded pullups

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