After the 2022 Open, the top 20 athletes from each adaptive division were invited to compete in an additional online competition, the Adaptive Semifinal. For the Neuromuscular, Lower Extremity, and Upper Extremity divisions, this online competition determined the top 30 athletes advancing to the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games in August.
For the five remaining divisions — Vision, Intellectual, Seated With Hip Function, Seated Without Hip Function, and Short Stature — one man and one woman from each were crowned the Fittest on Earth.
Hundreds of adaptive athletes set out to find the fittest in the Sport of Fitness. These athletes were tested in six workouts across four days, from June 2-5. Check out highlights from the 2022 Adaptive Semifinal.
Note: The review process is complete and leaderboard results are now locked and official.
1. Casey Acree — 570 pts
2. Josue Maldonado — 525 pts
3. Alexis Fiorucci — 515 pts
4T Samuel Pera — 470 pts
4T Xabier Osa Mendes — 470 pts
1. Anne-Laure Coutenceau — 520 pts
2. Elizabeth Bride — 505 pts
3T Camille Vigneault — 480 pts
3T Eileen Quinn — 480 pts
5. Christina Mazzullo — 445 pts
The Fittest Man on Earth from the Upper Extremity division last year has returned, and he is not planning on giving up his crown. Casey Acree swept the competition in the Upper Extremity division, taking four first-place event finishes and the overall lead after the close of the weekend.
Two new athletes from the division will be joining Acree on the field in Madison. Alexis Fiorucci and Samuel Pera have qualified for their first CrossFit Games, finishing in third and fourth, respectively.
Taking first in the women’s Upper Extremity division was Anne-Laure Coutenceau. Coutenceau, who took third last year, has been dominating the competition all season, taking first place in the 2022 Open and another first place in the 2022 Adaptive Semifinal. Will she continue her streak in Madison?
1. Charles Pienaar — 540 pts
2. Elliot Young — 505 pts
3T Rogan Dean — 490 pts
3T Ole Kristian Antonsen — 490 pts
4. Rogan Dean — 480 pts
5T Luke Reeson — 415 pts
5T Seraphin Perier — 415 pts
1. Valerie Cohen — 575 pts
2. Amy Bream — 510 pts
3. Natalie Rovirosa — 505 pts
4T Molly Moore — 465 pts
4T Rangitaa Nepe-Pohatu — 465 pts
First-place finisher Charles Pienaar has had his sights set on the Games since joining CrossFit in 2015. After a hunting accident in 2009, when a weapon malfunctioned and shot his left foot, Pienaar began CrossFit to get his competitive spirit back, as he was once a Division 1 college wrestler and bodybuilder. This is his year. Pienaar finished the 2022 Adaptive Semifinal 35 points ahead of second place and his first ticket to the CrossFit Games in hand.
Valerie Cohen — 2021’s Fittest Woman on Earth in the Lower Extremity division — took home gold this weekend. Following close behind in second is Amy Bream, who finished out the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games in fifth and is looking strong heading into her second Games.
Valerie Cohen at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games | Photo by Charlotte Foerschler
1. Brett Horchar — 565 pts
2. Benjamin Fallon — 510 pts
3. Jeremie Perera — 480 pts
4. Bart Walsh — 465 pts
5. Kevin Maijer — 430 pts
1. Alyssa Kobela — 575 pts
2. Letchen du Plessis — 525 pts
3. Morgan Johnson — 510 pts
4. Leila Ives — 480 pts
5. Lauren Taylor — 460 pts
Only one man on the Neuromuscular leaderboard has appeared at the CrossFit Games before, and that is first-place finisher Brett Horchar, who won the division last year. The remaining top five, Benjamin Fallon, Jonatan Castro Silva, Jeremie Perera, and Bart Walsh, will be making their debuts at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.
Former field-hockey-player-turned-CrossFit-athlete Alyssa Kobela thought her competition days were over when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018. But when CrossFit introduced the adaptive divisions in 2021, her competitive fire lit once again. Kobela had a baby in 2021, missing out on the first year of the adaptive divisions, but returned in 2022 ready for the challenge. Kobela took second place in the 2022 Open and swept the competition this weekend, taking first place in the 2022 Adaptive Semifinal. She will be attending her first-ever CrossFit Games this year.
Brett Horchar at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games | Photo by Duke Loren
Fittest Man on Earth: David Millings — 580 pts
Fittest Woman on Earth: Erica Powell — 565 pts
The title of Fittest Man on Earth in the Vision division was awarded to 39-year-old David Millings. He has been sight-impaired since birth and was recently re-diagnosed with Stargardt disease. Millings hasn’t let his sight impairment get in the way of his training, as he is entering his 12th year of CrossFit. An Open participant since 2011, he says the addition of the adaptive divisions to the 2021 season have allowed him to participate in a sport without limitations.
“CrossFit's introduction of the adaptive vision category has given me renewed focus and is the first chance to compete in sport without my sight being a factor,” Millings said.
Erica Powell, 2022’s Fittest Woman on Earth in the Vision division, has been inspiring women around the world to continue competing despite challenges they may face. Powell never dropped below third in any of the six workouts, taking first in Workout 2 with a time of 5:13.
“Inspiration can only go so far. When you see people with disabilities doing incredible things, don’t let them be just an inspiration to you in that moment. Let them inspire you to change your perception of what people with disabilities can do, do DO, and will be able to do if we break down the negative stereotypes around ‘disability,’” Powell said in an Instagram post.
Fittest Man on Earth: Timothy Murray — 560 pts
Fittest Woman on Earth: Setareh Emadzadeh — 600 pts
First-place finisher Timothy Murray has rounded out his 2022 season with a full sweep of the Open and the Adaptive Semifinal. In his first year of competitive CrossFit, Murray will proudly claim the title of 2022’s Fittest Man on Earth in the Short Stature division.
On the women’s side, Canada’s Setareh Emadzadeh will take home the title of Fittest Woman on Earth in the Short Stature division.
Seated With Hip Function
Fittest Man on Earth: Tom Miazga — 595 pts
Fittest Woman on Earth: Amalia Ortuño — 600 pts
Four-time WheelWOD champion and 2008 Beijing Paralympian Tom Miazga has become the two-time Fittest Man on Earth in the Seated With Hip Function division after his stellar performance this weekend. Miazga took first place in the first four workouts and two second-place finishes in Workouts 5 and 6 to round out the Adaptive Semifinal.
Amalia Ortuño has also taken the title of Fittest Woman on Earth in the Seated With Hip Function division for the second time. She has never dropped below first in any stage of competition since the inception of the adaptive divisions in 2021. Ortuño won five of the six workouts, only dropping to second place in Workout 5.
Tom Miazga at Wodapalooza | Photo by flsportsguy photography
Seated Without Hip Function
Fittest Man on Earth: Kevin Ogar — 570 pts
Fittest Woman on Earth: Andrea Wilson — 600 pts
Last year’s third-Fittest man on Earth in the Seated With Hip Function division, Kevin Ogar, soared to the top of the leaderboard after four days in the 2022 Adaptive Semifinal. Ogar finished out the 2022 Open in second, right behind Simon Farre. But, after taking first in the first three workouts of the Semifinal, Ogar established himself at the top of the leaderboard and has become the new Fittest Man on Earth in the Seated With Hip Function division. This is the first time a married couple have both won division championships, as Ogar’s wife, Shannon Ogar, won Fittest Woman on Earth in the Neuromuscular division in 2021.
T11/T12 parapalegic Andrea Wilson held tight to her crown throughout the 2022 season, becoming the two-time Fittest Woman on Earth in the Seated With Hip Function division. Wilson swept five of the six workouts over the weekend, taking second in Workout 3.
Fittest Man on Earth: Landon Payne — 570 pts
Fittest Woman on Earth: Hailey Melakian — 575 pts
Standing on top of the podium is Landon Payne, who competed in his first Open this year. In 2015, Payne was 12 lb away from weighing 400 lb when he decided to take control of his health. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, it was hard for him to work out consistently, so he began to diet too much, losing most of his muscle. Payne joined Geaux CrossFit in January 2021 to help jump-start his fitness journey and gain back the muscle he had lost. In just a year and a half, Payne is now the 2022 Fittest Man on Earth in the Intellectual division.
Joining Payne atop the podium on the women’s side is 26-year-old Hailey Melakian out of CrossFit Throne. After taking fourth in the 2022 Open, she continued to train hard and shined this weekend. Melakian took second in five of the six workouts, with a first-place finish in Workout 2.
Congratulations to all of the athletes crowned Fittest on Earth and the 30 athletes continuing on to the CrossFit Games in Madison. Every athlete competing in the adaptive division continues to inspire and encourage athletes of all abilities to pursue athletics.
Check out the 2022 Adaptive Semifinal leaderboard standings here.