The 2014 CrossFit season is about to get underway shortly with this year’s Open now just weeks away.
But before we turn our attention to the year ahead, we we thought we’d relive some of the more memorable CrossFit® moments in 2013.
Both on and off the competition floor, the past 12 months was full of excitement and surprises in the functional fitness world.
Here are The Rx Review’s top 10 CrossFit® moments in 2013.
10. Jason Khalipa and Rich Froning’s Battle at the Games
One of the most exciting battles at the 2013 CrossFit Games was Jason Khalipa and Rich Froning going head to head during the week of competition. Khalipa, the 2008 Games champion, won three of the first four Events to hold the lead on Day 1 and Day 2 at the StubHub Center. However, Froning was on his tail the whole time, and slowly chipped away at the deficit before eventually showing his class, winning the final three Events to claim the 2013 title.
9. Jenny LaBaw’s CrossFit Open
After finishing 6th at the 2011 CrossFit Games and winning the 2012 NorCal Regional, Jenny LaBaw was one of the top female athletes to beat leading into the 2013 CrossFit Open. However, her dreams of a podium finish at the Games were crushed after she broke her foot in a freak bicycle accident the day before 13.1 was announced.
But despite having her foot in a ‘moon boot’, LaBaw somehow managed to complete all five workouts during the Open, and remarkably finished inside the top 1000 in her Region in most of them. While she didn’t qualify for the NorCal Regional Event, LaBaw’s effort was one of the most inspiring stories in 2013.
8. Tony Budding Leaves CrossFit
Tony Budding was one of the original members of CrossFit and helped lead the CrossFit Games from a small throwdown at The Ranch in Aromas, to the multi million dollar operation it is today. Budding was the head of Media for several years, and one of the leading hands in producing online and mainstream media content.
However, in December Budding announced that he was leaving CrossFit to start his own venture, the National Pro Fitness League. Basically, his plan is to create the world’s first professional spectator sport with team fitness events. His aim is to have it launched in August, 2014.
7. Sam Briggs Returns From Injury to Win Games
After finishing fourth at the 2011 CrossFit Games, Sam Briggs missed the 2012 Games due to a knee injury. Some people thought the sport might have gone passed her during her year on the sidelines and doubted whether she would be able to replicate her efforts of 2011, in 2013.
Briggs, however, proved her critics wrong, finishing first worldwide in the 2013 CrossFit Open, winning the Europe Regional, and then claiming victory in the 2013 CrossFit Games. Her comeback sets up a mouth-watering battle with 2011/2012 Games champion Annie Thorisdottir in 2014.
6. Dave Castro Disciplines Ryan Fischer
CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro made headlines during the 2013 CrossFit Regionals after an incident with competitor Ryan Fischer during the Southern California Event. A video (embedded below) shows Castro in a heated discussion with Fischer after the athlete allegedly said ‘I will f*cking kill you’, to a judge who no-repped him.
Castro made Fisher apologise to all judges at the Event, and made a statement to all other athletes that judges should be treated with the utmost respect at all times during competition.
5. Chris Spealler Misses Games for First Time
Heading into the 2013 CrossFit Season, Chris Spealler was the only athlete who had competed at every CrossFit Games to date. However, despite another brave effort at the South West Regional, Spealler finished just two points outside the top three meaning he failed to qualify for the Games for the first time in his career.
In the end, it came down to the final workout, with Spealler needing to beat Zach Forrest in the rope climb/squat clean Event to cement his place at the Games. Unfortunately for fans, Spealler finished 7th.
4. Mikko Salo Misses Games Through Injury Again
After winning the CrossFit Games in 2009, Mikko Salo has been marred by a number of setbacks and injuries. In 2011, he burst his eardrum during the first Event at the Games, forcing him to pull out of the Event. In 2012, Salo injured his knee and was unable to even complete in the Open. In 2013, his bad luck appeared to be over, after finishing second worldwide in the CrossFit Open, and then qualifying for the Games with a podium finish at the Europe Regional.
However, just days out from the Games, Salo was forced to pull out of the competition yet again, after suffering an abdominal tear.
3. Team World Beats Team USA at CrossFit Invitational
Team USA went into the 2013 CrossFit Invitational as hot favourites to beat Team World. Not only did their roster boast two female podium finishers at the 2013 Games, but they also had the three fittest men in the world representing them with Jason Khalipa, Rich Froning and Ben Smith all competing.
However, it wasn’t to be as Team World, represented by Sam Briggs, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Kara Gordon, Chad Mackay, Dominic Larouche and Frederik Aegidius caused one of the upsets of the year, winning the last Event of the competition to claim victory in front of a packed stadium in Berlin, Germany.
2. Annie Thorisdottir Withdraws From Open
One of the biggest shocks of the 2013 CrossFit season happened in May when reigning Games champion Annie Thorisdottir pulled out of the CrossFit Open with a back injury. Iceland Annie broke the news to fans via Facebook, revealing she had herniated a disc and was unable to even do an air squat.
While the door was open for Thorisdottir to still compete at the Games as she is a former champion, she decided to withdraw from competition all together for the remainder of the year to ensure a full recovery. Annie did make an appearance at the Games in 2013 as a spectator and told fans she would be back in 2014.
1. Rich Froning Three-Peat
Rich Froning made history once again in 2013, becoming the first competitor to win three CrossFit Games titles. Despite a tight battle with Jason Khalipa during the week of competition, Froning won the final three Events of the competition to claim his third consecutive title and go down in the history books as one of the greatest all time functional fitness athletes.
Do you agree with our top 10 CrossFit® moments in 2013? Let us know what your most memorable moment was in the comment section below: