Three weeks of the CrossFit Games Open have passed, and all scores have been submitted to the European Leaderboard. Given the composition of the 2 first workouts, both AMRAPS with just one movement, there have been some close battles all over Europe. We’ve taken a closer look at 3 strong up-coming Scandinavian athletes 3 weeks into the CrossFit Games Open 2012.
When comparing the results and the number of participants to the CrossFit Open in 2011, it is clear CrossFit is becoming huge in Europe. More and more athletes are discovering CrossFit – especially from the worlds of gymnastics, athletics and weightlifting. Some frightening “newbies” are popping up, which only proves what we already know: no one is better than their last workout.
Meet 3 fierce athletes from Sweden, Denmark and Iceland.
KATRIN TANJA DAVIDSDOTTIR
This 18-year-old competitor from CrossFit BC Island in Iceland has been CrossFitting for less than a year, yet she has already established herself as a strong athlete in Europe, ranked 2nd after Workout 12.3 in Europe and 7th worldwide.
CrossFit in Iceland is very popular, especially after Annie Thorisdottir won the CrossFit Games in 2011. At that time, CrossFit was all over the media in Iceland, and Davíðsdóttir, who had just quit gymnastics, was encouraged by friends and family to start CrossFit, which she loved from the first day.
Davíðsdóttir loves competing, during class and at competitions. After “Butcher’s Classics 2012” (a CrossFit competition Butcher’s Garage in Denmark), Davíðsdóttir won coming out of nowhere to surprise many.
Although she is new to CrossFit, she says she’s been enjoying the Open. The feel of the global competition pushes her to work harder for those extra reps. She hopes to stay in top 3 in Europe going into Regionals. “That would be a great confidence boost,” she says.
Her favorite workout is “Seven” (20:58) and her favorite lift is snatch (67.5 kg).
The European winner of 12.3, this 24-year-old athlete is teaching and training out of CrossFit Malmö in Sweden. Currently, he’s placed 5th in Europe and 29th worldwide, after 3 weeks of competition.
A friend introduced Bengtsson to CrossFit in August of 2010. As he likes to push his limits and go beyond comfort zones, he knew right away he had found his sport.
Bengtsson participated in the Affiliate Cup in 2011, and his team from CrossFit Malmö was close to making it to the CrossFit Games. The day after the Europe Regional ended, he started training for 2012.
This past year, Bengtsson has participated in several competitions throughout Europe. He says his form and strength continue to improve. His best personal experience so far is winning the Butcher’s Classics competition. “I was amazed to beat some great athletes and friends in a fierce ‘Nasty Girls’ final workout,” he says.
Though his training is high volume, he says he wouldn’t have it any other way because he’s doing something he loves. “CrossFit is just too fun to keep it at one WOD per day.”
He sometimes receives criticism for his training methods. Two days after the 2011 Regional, he did all six workouts in one session. He injured his shoulder and had to rehabilitate for almost 6 months. After Mikko Salo – Bengtsson’s hero – completed 1,000 burpees, he decided to give it a try and did so in less than 74 minutes. Doing this also caused him injury and he couldn’t train for a week following.
Now, Bengtsson’s is focused on the Open. So far, he loves the programming. “It’s perfect, good programming thus far,” he says. “If you complain, you haven’t done your homework. Be prepared for the unknown and the unknowable in CrossFit, that's what I have heard.”
He is aiming for top 60 in order to make it to the Regionals in Copenhagen.
His favorite workout is “Helen.” He can deadlift 235 kg, but loves to work on lifts he considers his weaknesses – right now, the clean and jerk.
SARA ELLEGAARD ANDREASEN
Sara Ellegaard Andreasen, 19, is training and coaching at CrossFit OBBC in Odense. Andreasen is currently placed 8th in Europe and 141st worldwide.
After reading about CrossFit in a fitness magazine 2 years ago, she tried it immediately and has been CrossFitting since.
She loves competing in both CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting. In February, she earned herself a championship in weightlifting in her weight class.
Three weeks into the Open, Andreasen is having a lot of fun. She loves burpees and got the same score as Annie Thorisdottir in Workout 12.1 (128 reps). After Workouts 12.1 and 12.2, she was hoping so see more than one movement and was thrilled with Workout 12.3, although she had to do it just before competing at the Danish junior championships in weightlifting.
She is aiming for a top 10 finish in the Open for Europe this year. Her focus for Regionals will be the team competition, though. After 3 weeks of competition, CrossFit OBBC is in 22nd place in the region.
Andreasen’s favorite workout is “Kalsu” – 100 thrusters, on the minute, every minute, 5 burpees – and her favorite lift is overhead squat at 80 kg.
One thing is certain, Scandinavian athletes will fight for a spot at Regionals, and the motivation has only been fortified by the fact that the competition will take place at their “home base.” Nothing is set in stone yet with 2 workouts to go.