February 8, 2014
Dream Big
By Alex Brown

“Of course I have the dream of getting to the Games ... I have to say it out loud to believe it.”

Photos courtesy of James Sefton

Norway’s Kristin Holte first popped up on the CrossFit scene during the 2013 Open. Now, she’s hoping 2014 will be the year she pushes her way to the top.

Last year, after just 10 months of CrossFit, Holte finished the Open in 10th place in Europe and seventh at the regional.

Her rapid rise surprised some people, including herself.

“I started CrossFit in May 2010, but I didn’t start training for real until September (or) October 2012, so when the Open started, I was quite new to all the movements,” she said. “It went better than I had hoped for.”

Holte, 27, who trains at CrossFit Oslo, is setting her sights high this season, hoping her Open and Regional performances will secure her a spot at the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games.

“Of course I have the dream of getting to the Games,” she said. “I think it is going to be difficult, but we’ll see. I have to say it out loud to believe it. It is not going to be easy to do, but deep inside, I really want to go to the Games.”

“I know it is a lot (to hope for) with the other girls in the region,” she added. “Now it is only three spots; it is going to be difficult.”

While she is still relatively new to CrossFit, Holte’s background as a gymnast from the age of 6—she is a former national pole vault champion and was on the Norwegian heptathlon team­—gives her an advantage when it comes to bodyweight movements. However, the Olympic lifts were alien to her at first.

“While I had been doing a little bit of squatting and deadlifts for athletics training, I had never done snatch or clean and jerk,” she said.

“I really struggled with the snatch for a long time,” she added. “Going into the Open, I had a 1-rep max of 50 kg (110 lb.) However, despite this, I managed to complete 29 reps at 45 kg (100 lb.) during 13.1.”

While Holte’s performances in 2013 were impressive, a full year of CrossFit coupled with a focus on her weaknesses, make her one to watch in Europe this season.

“I have improved a lot on my lifting,” she said. “Last year, I was afraid of a lot of the movements because I couldn’t do them properly. But this year, because I have worked on my weaknesses, I am not afraid of any of the movements anymore.”

“I am not a huge fan of really heavy weights and muscle-ups, but I am really hoping for burpees to come up this year, and maybe handstand push-ups,” she added. 

Holte’s performances in last year’s Open and Regionals hinted she would return as a contender in 2014. Recent first-place finishes at local competitions the Nordic Throwdown and the Battle of London back that up.

She is balancing her CrossFit training with a demanding schedule finishing her final year of a master’s degree in nutrition. She doesn’t believe her past results will heap extra pressure on her this year.

“The biggest pressure is the pressure I put on myself. I know what I can do and what I am capable of," Holte said. "I really want to do my best. I can’t do anything about what others are going to do.”