From June 2-5, the second group of masters athletes completed six workouts to determine who would round out the roster at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Age groups 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, and 65+ showed the world how strong an athlete can be regardless of age.
Take a sneak peek at some of the masters athletes who will be appearing at the Games in August.
Three-time CrossFit Games masters athlete Clint Paddock had a bit of a rocky start to the 2022 Age-Group Semifinal, finishing Workout 1 in 11th place. But he dusted himself off and proceeded to take second in Workout 2, and earned two third-place finishes in Workouts 5 and 6 to finish the weekend in first overall.
Six of the athletes in Games-qualifying spots on the men’s leaderboard have never been to the CrossFit Games and will be making their debuts in Madison this year.
On the women’s side, 50-year-old Tea Gebbie took home the gold and her first-ever invitation to the CrossFit Games. Gebbie ranked fifth worldwide in the 2022 Open and third in the 2022 Age-Group Quarterfinal before dominating the competition last weekend. She earned three first-place finishes in Workouts 1, 2, and 5.
Clint Paddock at the 2018 CrossFit Games | Photo by Alicia Anthony
The top 10 athletes in the Men’s 55-59 Division represent six countries. The field is split in the middle in terms of CrossFit Games experience. Five athletes are heading to the Games for the first time, with the remaining five returning to the big stage after previous appearances.
Sitting atop the leaderboard is Brazil’s Leonardo Wernersbach Lima. Lima appeared at the 2018 and 2019 CrossFit Games in the Men’s 50-54 Division and is bumping up to the 55-59 division this year.
2021 Games masters athlete Joanne McCullough from the United Kingdom finished in first place on the women’s leaderboard after winning three of the six workouts. Sitting in the last Games-qualifying position and just 4 points away from 11th place is Lasara Magnani from Brazil. With a 24th-place finish in Workout 6, the fate of her Games ticket was at risk until the points settled. She will be returning to the CrossFit Games for a second time in the 55-59 division.
Leonardo Wernersbach Lima at the 2018 CrossFit Games | Photo by Adam Bow
Topping the leaderboard after four days of competition is two-time Games athlete Tom Fameree. Bumping up to the 60-64 division at the start of the season, Fameree has swept both the 2022 Open and 2022 Age-Group Semifinal and will be heading to the Games hoping for a three-for-three victory.
All but two 2022 Games qualifiers have appeared at the CrossFit Games as a masters athlete in the past. This is 60-year-old Ian Buster’s first time advancing from the Open, taking 11th at the Age-Group Quarterfinal and sixth at the Age-Group Semifinal. Charlie Hunt has advanced from the Open for the first time as well, taking 15th in Quarterfinals and eighth in Semifinals. Both athletes will step on the CrossFit Games competition floor in Madison for the first time come August.
On the women’s side, Lynne Knapman has qualified for her 13th CrossFit Games after a fifth-place finish at the 2022 Age-Group Semifinal. She is the only athlete to ever compete at every CrossFit Games as a masters athlete.
Three women in the 60-64 division will make their first appearances at the CrossFit Games. First-place finisher Shelly Chapple has competed in the Open since 2015, advancing for the first time to the Age-Group Online Qualifier last year. She didn’t quite make the cut for the 2021 CrossFit Games but has returned for her ticket. Georgina Jarden narrowly missed a ticket to the 2021 Games after coming in 13th at the 2021 Age-Group Online Qualifier. She finished out the 2022 Age-Group Semifinal in seventh. The last athlete to make her debut at the CrossFit Games is Anne-Marie Blinco, who advanced past the Open for the first time this year.
Lynne Knapman at the 2021 Age-Group Online Qualifer | Photo by @wykieetsebeth
Three-time CrossFit Games masters athlete and first-place finisher Tom Muhlbeier has been competing in the masters division since 2013, but according to the bio on his athlete profile, he has been doing CrossFit-style workouts since 1965.
“One day, two of my older brothers decided they were going to have a competition between myself and my next older brother who is 18 months older than me. We were to run to the bridge, about 400 m away from the house, run back, then do push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups on the clothesline supports,” Muhlbeier said. “At ‘3, 2, 1 … go,’ I was off like I was shot out of a cannon. I made it to the bridge way ahead of Greg and started back. About halfway up the hill I hit the wall and collapsed in the road writhing in agony. As Greg jogged by me he said something like, ‘See you at the pull-up bar if you make it that far.’ I learned about pacing that day.”
Muhlbeier’s best finish was in Workout 2, when he took second with a clean and jerk of 192 lb.
On the women’s side, Sweden’s Pia Gund took charge of the competition, taking two first-place finishes in Workouts 1 and 4. She will be appearing at her fifth CrossFit Games this year.
Seventy-two-year-old Joke Dikhoff is the oldest woman to qualify for the CrossFit Games. She finished the 2022 Age-Group Semifinal in sixth place and will be appearing at her first CrossFit Games since 2015.
Pia Gund during the 2022 Age-Group Quarterfinal | Photo by Achieved Media
Congratulations to the 80 athletes headed to the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games in Madison! Check out the leaderboard here for all standings from the Age-Group Semifinal.
Cover photo by Meg Ellery