June 25, 2012
Getting Back in the Race: Thuridur Erla Helgadottir
By Jane Holgate

"I haven't felt any pain since I began CrossFitting."



Placing third in both the Open and at Regionals this year, Thuridur Erla Helgadottir is going to the CrossFit Games for the first time.

During the Open, she out-performed fellow countrywoman, and defending champion Annie Thorisdottir, in both 12.1 and 12.4.

Helgadottir, 20, has been CrossFitting for the last two years and is coached by experienced coaches at CrossFit Sport. 

With an athletic background including a combination of gymnastics and soccer, Helgadottir has taken to CrossFit naturally. After being the Icelandic 800-meter champion for many years, she quit soccer due to knee problems, which required surgery. However, CrossFit has her back on the competitive playing field.

“I haven’t felt any pain since I began CrossFitting,” she says.

Her knees are regularly tested as she trains eight times a week, sometimes joined by her mother and sister, who have been CrossFitting for a few months.

“CrossFit has had a profound effect on my mother’s lifestyle,” she says, “and I am extremely proud of her, and find her incredibly inspirational.”

Reflecting her gymnastics abilities, Helgadottir says her favorite workout is Nate – 20-minute AMRAP of 2 muscle-ups, 4 handstand push-ups and 8 kettlebell swings. She says her weakness is lifting heavy weights, however, her 145-pound snatch managed to keep her in third place in Europe.

The talent of the Icelandic women was commented on many times during the Open. True to form, they took the top three places at the Europe Regional. Helgadottir is looking forward to competing alongside two of her own – Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir.

After just a year of CrossFitting, Helgadottir was part of the top European team from CrossFit Sport at the Games last year. She knows what to expect in terms of atmosphere, size, scale and pressure. CrossFit Sport qualified for the team event again this year, so she will have friends and supporters around her.

“I’m traveling with the team from CrossFit Sport, Unnar, Árni Freyr, Árni Björn, Ingunn, Hildur, my sister Lilja Lind and Hilmar Þór Harðarson who is competing in the Masters division 55-59,” she says.

Helgadottir hopes to finish in the top 30 in Carson, Calif., but hasn’t made any particular changes to her training schedule.

“I am excited and ready to go.”