Annie, Get Your Gold

July 15, 2012


Thorisdottir retains CrossFit Games crown in Carson.

Annie Thorisdottir became the first repeat champion in the history of the CrossFit Games by winning the 2012 competition by an 85-point margin.

The news was met by tears from Thorisdottir, who immediately celebrated by hugging her competitors on the competition floor to the cheers of spectators.

Earlier in the day, Games Director Dave Castro announced the final three workouts of this year’s competition would be classic CrossFit: Elizabeth, Isabel and Fran.

At 100 points each, the workouts all were capped at six minutes.

Fifteen athletes advanced after Elizabeth, and 12 after Isabel.

The kicker was all the athletes had to stay on the competition floor, under the California sun, waiting for their competitors to complete the workouts and for their scores to be recalculated to find out who would stay and who would end their Games journey.

In the first workout, Elizabeth, Deborah Cordner Carson recorded the fastest time at 3:37 in the starting heat. None of the women in the second or third heats were able to best her.

After Elizabeth, three women were cut: Ruth Anderson Horrell, Azadeh Boroumand and Angie Pye.

Afterward, it was Isabel: 30 snatches for time.

As expected, Lindsey Valenzuela, known for her Olympic-weightlifting prowess, set the standard at 1:35. Her time didn’t stand for long, however, as Annie Thorisdottir proved why she’s the reigning champ. The Icelander finished the workout in 1:29.

Following Isabel, three more women were cut: Cheryl Brost, Becky Conzelman and Cordner Carson, who was making a late run up the standings after a poor start at Camp Pendleton.

Then it was the workout that makes everyone wince: Fran.

At this point in the competition, there only were two heats. The first saw Camille Leblanc-Bazinet fly through her butterfly pull-ups unbroken, setting a time of 2:35.

The next heat of top performers wasn’t far behind her. Former CrossFit Games champion Kristan Clever and Talayna Fortunato were nearly rep for rep on the thrusters and pull-ups. Fortunato managed to string together her last nine pull-ups, while Clever did not. Dropping from the bar cost Clever a podium spot. Fortunato finished in 2:36.8, good enough for second, and Clever was third in 2:42.4.

Clever said her plan for Fran was to "try not to go too hard too fast.”

Unfortunately, she said, it didn’t turn out well.

"On the last 9 pull-ups, I went up thinking, 'It's 9, I can do this.' My left hand started slipping. My arms just didn't work and I dropped,” Clever said. “Thank goodness I didn't land on my head!"

As the women walked off the competition floor, Valenzuela summed up what many female athletes likely were thinking, "Yay, we're done!"

Overall, Julie Foucher finished second, while Fortunato finished third.

The placing was news to Foucher immediately after the final workout. She had finished fifth in 2010 and 2011.

“I was what? Oh, so I did get second? I didn’t know,” she said with a big smile. “That’s so good. I didn’t know it was that close.”

Foucher said the weekend met all her expectations.

“I just wanted to do the best I could on every workout, and I don’t think I could have done anything differently,” she said.

In terms of what’s next, Foucher said she’s back to medical school on Tuesday.

“Everyone else goes back tomorrow, but I’m going to take just one day off tomorrow,” Foucher said. “School next year is a lot bigger commitment, so I haven’t really thought about it. I’ll have to see how it works with my training.”

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