September 2, 2022
Notable Stats From the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games
By Chad Schroeder
A broad recap of some of the significant statistics from the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.
A broad recap of some of the significant statistics from the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games participating roster had 429 athletes representing 39 countries. There was a potential for 442 athlete spots. The countries with the most athletes participating were:

United States: 219                                     New Zealand: 12

Canada: 32                                                 France: 10

Norway: 20                                                 Brazil: 9

Australia: 18                                               Finland: 9

United Kingdom: 13                                   Spain: 9

The Last-Chance Qualifier (LCQ) has once again shown its utility in adding quality competitors to the Games individual field.

2021 LCQ Place (CFG21 Place)               2022 LCQ Place (CFG22 Place)

1st – Roman Khrennikov (DNS)                 1st – Tim Paulson (23rd)   

2nd – Alexandre Caron (24th)                     2nd – Jonne Koski (15th)

1st – Emma Tall (19th)                                1st – Arielle Loewen (11th)

2nd – Kristi O’Connell (8th)                         2nd – Elena Carratala Sanahuja (38th)

Note that the original LCQ in 2009 also turned up some top performers at the 2009 Games:

2009 LCQ Place (CFG09 Place)

1st – Peter Egyed (6th)

2nd – Tommy Hackenbruck (2nd)

3rd – Spencer Hendel (12th)

4th – Jill DiGiampaolo (26th)

2022 CF Games Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony | Photo by Joy Silva

Leader’s Jerseys

The CrossFit Games got off to an interesting start after a couple of days. At the end of Thursday, only three of the 27 defending CrossFit Games division champions were in the lead: Valerie Cohen (Women Lower Extremity), Casey Acree (Men Upper Extremity), and Brett Horchar (Men Neuromuscular). Although the leaderboard did not stay that way, it illustrates how a lot of new names stirred things up across all divisions at the Games.

For the women, there were four different leaders with three lead changes. There had not been that many changes since 2018, which had four lead changes among three different leaders.

Among the men, there were just two different leaders and one lead change. Ricky Garard had an impressive start to the Games, donning the leader’s jersey nine times. This actually puts Garard with the fifth-most leader’s jersey wins.

On the team side, there were a total of three lead changes between two leaders. We had not seen this many lead changes between the teams since 2017.

Ricky Garard wears the leader's jersey

Ricky Garard | Photo by Charlotte Foerschler

Countries and Continents

Australia had a great Games with individuals: Tia-Clair Toomey (first place), Garard (third place), Kara Saunders (seventh place), Ellie Turner (18th place); in the team competition, CrossFit EXF (15th place) and CrossFit Urban Energy (17th); with masters, Caine Hayes (Men 40-44, second place), Ian Buster (Men 60-64, fourth place), Lynne Knapman (Women 60-64, fifth place); and with adaptive, Bart Walsh (Men Neuromuscular, fourth place).

Australia is now the fourth country to have a male and female podium athlete (the others being the United States, Canada, and Iceland).

Australia now has the third-most individual medals with 10 total.

Asia had a great combined individual performance total from three of its individuals: Roman Khrennikov (second place), Seungyeon Choi (26th place), and Seher Kaya (29th place).

The Russian Federation and Australia got a man on the individual podium for the first time.

In a coincidental twist, the United States individuals now have won a total of 18 gold medals, 18 silver medals, and 18 bronze medals.

2022 is the first year since 2008 that the Games individual women’s field did not have Annie Thorisdottir and/or Katrin Davidsdottir.

2022 is also the first year since 2013 that Iceland did not win an individual medal and just the fifth Games that this has happened (including the first two CrossFit Games, which had no Icelandic athletes competing). 

The competition for the fittest mom came down to the last event. Going into the Jackie Pro, Arielle Loewen was in seventh place overall and Kara Saunders sat in ninth place (6 points behind Loewen). Saunders crushed the event, coming in second with Loewen taking 21st. Saunders ended up in seventh overall, ahead of Loewen in eleventh. 

Australian athletes at the 2022 CrossFit Games

Australian athletes at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games  | Photo by Joy Silva

Individual Women Get Younger

2022 was the first Games where the average age of the Individual Women (26.4) was younger than the Individual Men (27.0). The trend continued on the podium with the average age for women at 24.0 and the men at 26.0. 

Individual Rookies

For the fifth time, there were no rookies on the individual podium, the third time out of the last four years. This is partially due to recent really young rookies like Medeiros and O’Brien now taking up podium positions. With younger “veterans” having success early on, they could be filling up more of the top spots keeping even the most talented rookies from the podium. Even though the top athletes are getting younger, there are more of them taking up the podium spots making it harder for rookies to initially break through.

Rookie Event Winners: Nick Mathew and Lucy Campbell both had two event wins. They were just the 11th and 12th Games individual rookies with multiple event wins at the Games. Interestingly, this is the first time ever we’ve seen multiple individual rookies with multiple event wins. Alexis Raptis also had an event win.

In his ninth consecutive Games, Noah Ohlsen won the Spirit of the Games Award for his good sportsmanship and ever-positive attitude toward his fellow athletes, staff, volunteers, and fans at the Games and throughout his career. Additionally, Ohlsen moved into a tie with Thorisdottir for the all-time lead in individual CrossFit Games events competed in with 128.

Noah Ohlsen

Noah Ohlsen | Photo by Charlotte Foerschler

Notable Games Individual Streaks:

  • Nine consecutive: Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson, Ohlsen, Cole Sager
  • Eight consecutive: Toomey, Brooke Wells
  • Seven consecutive: Vellner, Brent Fikowski 
  • Five consecutive: Horvath, Amanda Barnhart, Saxon Panchik

Cuts

2022 was the fourth Games featuring just one cut for individuals. There have been just six Games where there were no individual cuts.

It was the eighth time with just one cut for teams. There have been just two Games where there were no team cuts. With 20 teams competing in the final event, it was tied for third for the greatest number of teams competing in the final event. 

Rain delays on Wednesday made 2022 the second Games in which individuals and teams had five days of consecutive competition. For the individuals, Thursday’s “rest day” was used to hold the two-part Shuttle to Overhead events that were cut from Wednesday’s initial schedule. Teams got in the Strong event along with Fast, the team run event, on Thursday, which were cut from Wednesday due to rain as well.

Wrap-up

The 2022 Games did not disappoint. A lot of the storylines played out as expected but took a different path than anticipated by most. New stars emerged who will be fun to follow in the seasons to come. Records were broken and extended across all divisions. We will get ready to do it all over again for one last time in Madison, Wisconsin, next season starting with the 2023 Open — which begins on February 16.

 

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Cover photo by Ginnie Coleman

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