June 23, 2015
Rookies of the '15 Games
By Megan Mitchell
Get to know the first-time individual competitors before their debut this July. 
Get to know the first-time individual competitors before their debut this July. 

 

SARA SIGMUNDSDOTTIR


Sigmundsdottir, 22, finished the 2015 Open in third worldwide. Two-time CrossFit Games champion Annie Thorisdottir and Kara Webb, the woman who led a large portion of the 2014 Games, were the only athletes ahead of her.

Sigmundsdottir, however, didn’t have the same accolades. Until that point, her best overall finish was 12th at the 2014 Europe Regional. The year before that, she DNF’d after the first regional event. 

Yet the rookie tore through the Meridian Regional, earning nothing lower than ninth place—on the handstand walk, 2:41.4. By the end of the weekend, Sigmundsdottir stood atop the podium ahead of Thorisdottir with one event win, three second places, one third and one fourth to her name. 

A dabbler, Sigmundsdottir never committed to any one sport as a kid. She preferred to dive for heavy rocks at the bottom of the neighborhood pond, often one-upping the boys. 

Regional Competition History
1st - 2015 Meridian Regional
12th - 2014 Europe Regional 
39th - 2013 Europe Regional 

Instagram (@sarasigmunds)

BROOKE WELLS

Wells had five finishes in the top five, set the event record for Randy in 2:21.6 and won the Central Regional at 19 years old. Her only low finishes were on Tommy V and the finale, both of which she finished in the high 20s.

The young athlete was introduced to CrossFit in 2013 as a supplement to track and field. Hooked on CrossFit, she turned down a track scholarship to the University of Arkansas, choosing CrossFit instead.

During her first year of college, she made her regional debut with CrossFit 540's team. The team finished two spots outside of qualification for the 2014 Games.

Regional Competition History
1st - 2015 Central Regional
5th - 2014 North Central Regional (Beefy 540)

Instagram (@brookewellss)

BROOKE ENCE

If you competed in the 2014 or 2015 Open, you’ll remember Brooke Ence. She demoed the workout movement standards. Through filming each movement individually and editing them together, Ence was able to demo without knowing the workouts.

The former dancer and figure competitor has been involved in CrossFit since 2009. In two year's time, she would help Ute CrossFit qualify for the 2011 Games. Later that year, she followed her then-boyfriend, now husband, Marston Sawyers, from Utah to California to take a job as a video producer at CrossFit HQ.

With a 185-lb. hang squat snatch, a weight exceeded by only five women worldwide, Ence looked poised to take a Games qualifying spot in 2014. She finished the weekend three spots and 29 points outside of contention in part due to low finishes on Nasty Girls V2 and the legless rope climb event.

One year later at the even more competitive combined California Regional, Ence dominated the competition with top-10 finishes on six of the seven events. Her best event was the finale—she raced through the 15 muscle-ups and 5 heavy squat cleans in just 1:29 (watch).

Regional Competition History
1st - 2015 California Regional
6th - 2014 NorCal Regional
6th - 2013 NorCal Regional (CrossFit West)
2nd - 2011 South West Regional (Team Ute CrossFit)

Instagram (@brookeence)

ALETHEA BOON

Thirteen years ago, Boon spun around on the uneven bars in the final event of the 2002 Commonwealth Games (watch).

Now at 31, she uses her high-level gymnastics skills in CrossFit. At the 2015 Pacific Regional she won the handstand walk (1:45.8), as well as the triplet with strict deficit handstand push-ups (14:47.9).

Finishing six of the seven regional events within the top eight, Boon also excelled on a couple events with barbells including Randy (second, 2:45.7) and the finale (third, 2:01.6). Her worst performance of the weekend was the max snatch where she earned 17th place with a 147-lb. lift.

Although she is a rookie in the Individual Division, this won't be her first time at the CrossFit Games. Last July, she and her teammates from CrossFit Active—Chad Mackay's affiliate—earned sixth overall finishing 12 points behind NorCal CrossFit.  

Regional Competition History
2nd - 2015 Pacific Regional
2nd - 2014 Australia Regional (CrossFit Active)

Games Competition History
6th - 2014 (CrossFit Active)

Instagram (@alethea_boon)

CARLEEN MATHEWS

Mathews, formerly Lessard, missed qualification by just one spot last year, finishing fourth at the 2014 North West Regional.

The 31-year-old athlete found CrossFit in December 2010, and went onto compete a year-and-a-half later at the 2012 North West Regional. Every year since, she has returned fitter, halving her rank at the previous year's regional (18th, ninth, fourth, second).

She has said her weaknesses are pull-ups and Olympic lifts, while traditional CrossFit workouts at moderate to heavy weight favor her. Yet this year at the West Regional, every event except the max snatch appeared to play to her strengths, as she accumulated three third-place finishes (Events 3, 4 and 6), two fourths (Events 2 and 7), one seventh (Event 1) and one 17th (Event 5).

Before CrossFit she competed in softball.

Regional Competition History
2nd - 2015 West Regional
4th - 2014 North West Regional
9th - 2013 North West Regional
18th - 2012 North West Regional

Twitter (@teamcarleen)

AARON HANNA

Hanna, 26, blipped onto the radar when he placed third at Wodapalooza earlier this year, ahead of experienced Games athletes Daniel Petro, Spencer Hendel, Jordan Troyan, Cole Sager and many others.

The Floridian athlete won Tommy V (7:17.2) and came in second in the handstand walk, covering the 250-foot course in just 1:33.2. His worst finishes were on Randy (2:53.9, 17th) and the chipper (CAP+79, 13th).

Regional Competition History
2nd - 2015 Atlantic Regional
8th - 2014 South East Regional
25th - 2013 South East Regional

Instagram (@aaron_hanna)

ALEX VIGNEAULT

Vigneault, 23, missed Games qualification by one spot in 2014—in a tiebreaker with Paul Tremblay and Pascal Baillargeon. He had finished every event within the top 10 except the triplet of strict handstand push-ups, 195-lb. front squats and burpees (29th).

The Quebec native learned from the setback and put in the work necessary to make his weakness his strength. When strict deficit handstand push-ups came up at the 2015 East Regional, Vigneault tore through them in 12:42.3 to set the sixth-fastest time.

Vigneault never won an event, but through his consistency he was able to earn the silver medal. He never finished lower than 12th (Event 4, 2:09.3), and started the weekend with second, third and second, on Randy, Tommy V and the chipper, respectively.

He trains at CrossFit Quebec City with fellow Games rookie Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault.

Regional Competition History
2nd - 2015 East Regional
3rd - 2014 Canada East Regional

Instagram (@vigneaultalex)

TRAVIS WILLIAMS 

Williams, 23, entered an affiliate for the first time four years ago 70 lb. overweight. Through CrossFit, he has transformed into one of the fittest men on the planet.

He and longtime friend Jordan Cook often meet to train together at affiliates in Houston, Texas. The two have complementary skills; while Williams prefers anything with a barbell, Cook excels at body-weight movements. 

That difference was brought into sharp focus at last year's South Central Regional, which Cook won. The triplet with strict handstand push-ups, the legless rope climb and sprint event, and the 50s chipper pushed Williams far down the leaderboard (23rd overall). That was enough to motivate Williams to clean up his diet, and give 100 percent to his training.

He returned a year later exceptionally good at long workouts (third on the chipper), and able to hang with the top guys in Tommy V (seventh, 9:19.9) and the handstand walk (11th, 2:19.7), though the strict deficit handstand push-ups still hurt him (26th, 15:33.8). And that’s just talking about his weaknesses. He won the first and last events, Randy and the muscle-up/speed clean ladder, and snatched 260 lb. (third).

At the end of the weekend, Williams and Cook stood atop the podium in second and third.

Learn more about his journey in No Excuses, No Missed Days: The Travis Williams Project by MisFit Athletics.

Regional Competition History
2nd - 2015 South Regional
23rd - 2014 South Central Regional

Twitter (@travis29240)

KARI PEARCE

Pearce, 25, hasn’t done CrossFit for long. But, before she got into the Sport of Fitness, she was able to do crazy things like a “round off back handspring double tuck sommersault” as a gymnast for the University of Michigan. So.

Qualifying for the Games was a happy surprise for the first-time regional competitor.

“I just came into it wanting to have fun and a good time and shine in the handstand events,” she said heading into the final event on Sunday. “I had no clue I would be sitting where I am right now, so I’m super excited.”

As expected, she shined in the handstand events winning the 250-foot walk (1:32.1) and the triplet with strict deficit handstand push-ups (13:19.0). The gymnast’s worst finish of the weekend was on the max snatch (25th, 155 lb.).

Regional Competition History
3rd - 2015 East Regional

Instagram (@knpearce1)

TIA-CLAIR TOOMEY

Toomey, 21, started CrossFit in February of 2013 to improve her time on the 400-meter hurdles.

The track athlete got off to a fast start in the sport, qualifying for the 2014 Australia Regional within a year. There in Wollongong, the new CrossFitter contended with more mature athletes, hang squat snatching 155 lb. (eighth) and holding her own on the triplet of strict handstand push-ups, front squats and burpees (eighth). In all, she finished in the top 15 in four of the seven events, plummeting to the bottom of the field in the max-distance handstand walk (20 feet), legless rope climb event and the 50s chipper.

With one more year of training, Toomey addressed those weaknesses. The 250-foot handstand walk was still her worst event, but by finishing one second within the 3-minute time cap she earned 12th. She reached the box jumps in the chipper (sixth, CAP+67), and had no problem with the 27 rope climbs in Tommy V.

The max snatch (second, 176 lb.), strict deficit handstand push-up intensive triplet (third, 15:05.9), and finale (second, 1:51.4) were her best events.

Regional Competition History
3rd - 2015 Pacific Regional
18th - 2014 Australia Regional

Facebook (Tia-Clair Toomey)

JESSICA CORE

Core, 30, isn’t new to Games competition. Her affiliate, CrossFit Fort Vancouver, has been to the Games every year since 2009. Of those years, Core has competed every year except 2011, when she was pregnant.

Her son, Vedder, had his first birthday party in Carson, California, days before his mom and her team earned fourth at the Games.

In the Open, Core has consistently proven to be one of the fittest women in the North West Region, finishing within the top 20 every year since 2012.

The 5-foot-2 athlete won the triplet of rowing, chest-to-bar and strict deficit handstand push-ups in 14:58.8. She finished in the top six on every event except the heroes, Randy (13th, 3:11.4) and Tommy V (15th, 11:55.3).

Regional Competition History
3rd - 2015 West Regional

Games Competition History
24th - 2014 (Fort Vancouver, every year)
4th - 2013
31st - 2012
1st - 2010
26th - 2009

ELIJAH MUHAMMAD

Muhammad, 27, missed qualification by one spot in 2014; strict handstand push-ups were the 6-foot 200-lb. athlete’s undoing.  

Known for his strength and athleticism, the former basketball player at Tennessee Tech University stood out on the max snatch (second, 275 lb.) and clean speed ladder portion of the final 2015 regional event (first, 1:18.3).

The handstand walk (14th, 2:13.3) and strict deficit handstand push-ups (32nd, CAP+3) were still Muhammad’s weakest events, but five top-five finishes propelled him into third overall, just 2 points behind second-ranked Hanna.

Regional Competition History
3rd - 2015 Atlantic Regional
4th -  2014 South East Regional

Twitter (@EZMuhammad)

STEVEN FAWCETT

Fawcett, 27, has been working his way up the regional leaderboard for years.

The Lancashire, U.K., resident has proven adept at addressing weaknesses revealed in competition. Last year, the max-distance handstand walk and legless rope climbs killed his chance of qualifying for the Games, leaving him in seventh overall.

Twelve months later, Fawcett took fifth on Tommy V—which involves 27 rope climbs—and handstand jogged the 250-foot course to a third-place finish in 1:45.4. Needless to say, his old weaknesses have become his strengths.

Gymnastics-centric events were his best, and anything short with a barbell didn’t do him any favors.

Regional Competition History
3rd - 2015 Meridian Regional
7th - 2014 Europe Regional
11th - 2013 Europe Regional
35th - 2012 Europe Regional

Twitter (@steveyf22)

ALEX ANDERSON

Anderson, 25, was the only male rookie to qualify out of the Central Regional.

His older brother, ZA, and his dad, Steve, have competed at the Games in past years. Though Alex is ready to move on from the “CrossFit family” narrative.

A three-sport athlete in high school, he wrestled and played baseball and football. Drawn to the challenge of football, he became a strong safety for the University of Maryville football team (2008 - 2012).

Looking for something to do after college football, he joined his family in CrossFit competition. After two years in team competition he made the switch to individual, earning eighth at the 2014 Central East Regional.

This May, Anderson held onto a Games qualifying spot all weekend (third on Friday, fourth on Saturday and third on Sunday). His best events were Randy (sixth, 2:35.1), Tommy V (third, 8:01.0) and the final (sixth, 1:22.2).

Regional Competition History
3rd - 2015 Central Regional
8th - 2014 Central East Regional
5th - 2013 South East Regional (Jacked and Tan)
21st - 2012 South East Regional (CrossFit CHF)

Instagram (@alexanderson29)

CAROL-ANN REASON-THIBAULT

Reason-Thibault, 27, earned sixth in the world in the 2015 Open; her name sat on the leaderboard just one rank below fellow French Canadian, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet.

While she has enough engine to excel in the Open, she’s also quite strong. On her Instagram, you can see the 5-foot-5, 145-lb. athlete bench press 205 lb. and snatch 170 lb.

That 170-lb. snatch is a 25-lb. improvement over what she lifted at last year’s regional. That’s just one piece of her remarkable transformation from a middle-of-the-pack regional athlete in 2014.

Reason-Thibault earned her Games spot thanks to four top-five finishes (Randy, Chipper, Event 6, Event 7).

Outside of CrossFit, she likes to box and take photos of her Boston terrier, Angel. She trains at CrossFit Quebec City with Alex Vigneault.

Regional Competition History
4th - 2015 East Regional
15th - 2014 Canada East Regional

Instagram (@reason_caro)

JULIAN ALCARAZ

Alcaraz, 25, moved from Wisconsin to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. He succeeded, getting roles in several movies including "Chasing a Dream" (2009), "Haywire" (2011) and "Red Dawn" (2012).

The actor says that he has turned his attention fully to CrossFit. He trains at Becca Voigt’s gym, CrossFit Training Yard.  

At the regional, he excelled on the handstand walk (third, 1:57.2) and final event (second, 1:20.0). His lowest event finishes were on Randy (12th, 2:49.0) and the max-weight snatch (21st, 235 lb.)

Regional Competition History
4th - 2015 California Regional

Instagram (@009julian)

KEVIN MANUEL

Manuel, 28, has been called the first New Zealander to compete in the men’s division at the CrossFit Games. While raised in New Zealand, and a kiwi at heart, he was born in South Africa.

The vineyard development business owner nearly lost his foot in September of 2012 when a 14-ton excavator ran over it. Fortunately, his foot sank into the soft, cultivated soil and he only sustained ligament and soft tissue damage, as well as an injured ankle. After six weeks, he was back to training. (Read more.)

That spring, he would take fifth place, while the top three qualified for the Games. He repeated that finish the following year.

While fifth place would have been suitable for the third consecutive year, the former rugby player managed to move up a spot to finish in fourth.  

Regional Competition History
4th - 2015 Pacific Regional
5th - 2014 Australia Regional
5th - 2013 Australia Regional
11th - 2012 Australia Regional

ADRIAN CONWAY

Conway, 29, helped Hack’s Pack of CrossFit UTE win the Affiliate Cup in 2012 and 2013 before making a run at individual competition in 2014, which would be cut short by a strained left pectoral muscle.

At the South Regional, Conway finished in the top 10 on five of the seven events. The two exceptions were the handstand walk (20th, 2:35.8) and the final event (14th, 1:36.3).

Outside of competition, Conway is the head coach at Wasatch CrossFit and a trainer on the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff.

Regional Competition History
4th - 2015 South Regional
1st - 2013 South West Regional (Hack’s Pack UTE)
1st - 2012 South West Regional (Hack’s Pack UTE)

Instagram (@adrianconway)

SAMMY WOOD

Wood, 27, is an all-around athlete. A former Level 10 artistic gymnast, flat-water sprint kayaker, and surf life saver, Wood now competes in CrossFit, surfing and Olympic weightlifting.

Fittingly, she has trained at an affiliate named CrossFit Athletic since 2011. Last July, she got her first taste of Games-level competition as a part of CrossFit Athletic’s team, which took 11th overall.

In Wollongong, Wood earned top-five finishes on Tommy V, the handstand walk, snatch and finale. Randy was her worst event (15th, 3:19.7), followed by 10th on both the chipper and the strict deficit handstand push-up triplet.

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 Pacific Regional
1st - 2014 Australia Regional (CrossFit Athletic)
5th - 2013 Australia Regional (CrossFit Athletic)
21st - 2012 Australia Regional

Games Competition History
11th - 2014 (CrossFit Athletic)

Facebook (Sammy Wood)

MADDY MYERS

A senior in high school, Myers is the youngest athlete to compete in the individual division at the Games since Colleen Maher qualified at 17 in 2012.

While injured, the competitive rock climber decided to try out the CrossFit affiliate near her climbing gym in New Mexico. Fast forward a couple years, and now the 18-year-old is one of the fittest women in the world.

She drew attention when she finished 32nd worldwide in the 2015 Open. At the South Regional, the incredibly strong athlete’s best event was the finale, where she sped through the 15 muscle-ups and ascending ladder of cleans in 1:29.9 for third, a fraction of a second behind Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (1:29.6) and 8 seconds behind event record holder, Amanda Goodman (1:21.0)

With the exception of the finale, none of her regional finishes were flashy. With consistent performances, she earned the final qualifying spot to the Games.

This fall she will move to San Diego to attend college. She intends to train at CrossFit Invictus. 

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 South Regional

Instagram (@maddy.myers1)

ALEX PARKER

For two consecutive seasons, Parker, 25, missed Games qualification by one spot—last year individually, and the year prior as part of her team, CFC Crew. In 2014 and 2013, only the top two from Canada West advanced to Carson.

Parker was one of 10 women worldwide to finish the Chipper within the 26-minute time cap. The Canadian reached her finish mat with 35 seconds to spare, in 25:25.1.

She held onto top-13 finishes for six of the seven events. Sunday’s triplet with strict deficit handstand push-ups was her worst event by far; she was unable to finish the event within the time cap (26th, CAP+66).

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 West Regional
3rd - 2014 Canada West Regional
3rd - 2013 Canada West Regional (CFC Crew)

Facebook (Alex Parker)

WHITNEY GELIN

Gelin, 30, may be a rookie at the Games, but she has been training for this moment for years. A two-time Florida state champion in weightlifting and All-State softball player in high school, Gelin went on to play softball at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied exercise and sports science, and psychology.

The years of work paid off. Months after she started CrossFit, she qualified for the 2013 Mid Atlantic Regional, but chose to compete on College Hill CrossFit's team instead.

Unsurprisingly, Gelin stood out on the max snatch (third, 175 lb.) as well as Tommy V (third, 10:51.3). Like Muhammad, her worst finishes were on the two events that involved handstands, the 250-foot handstand walk (19th, CAP+5) and the triplet with strict deficit handstand push-ups (20th, CAP+50).

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 Atlantic Regional
6th - 2014 Mid Atlantic Regional (College Hill CrossFit)
8th - 2013 Mid Atlantic Regional (College Hill CrossFit)

Instagram (@whitgelin)

NATHAN BRAMBLETT

Bramblett, 24, started training at CrossFit Oyster Point just a few months before the 2014 Open. Even with limited experience, the natural athlete qualified for the 2014 Mid Atlantic Regional, where he went on to finish two spots outside of Games qualification.

Bramblett grew up playing lacrosse and hockey before a tear to his groin sidelined him.

With his long blonde hair pulled back into a bun, Bramblett excelled on the Chipper (fourth, CAP+50), 250-foot handstand walk (fifth, 1:42.8), and triplet with strict deficit handstand push-ups (fourth, 11:51.1).

His worst finishes were on Tommy V (14th, 9:29.3), the max snatch (11th, 261 lb.), and muscle-up/speed clean ladder (16th, 1:27.9).

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 Atlantic Regional
5th - 2014 Mid Atlantic Regional

Instagram (@nathan_bramblett)

CHAD MELTON

Melton, 25, has competed in regionals every year since 2012.

Originally from Valley CrossFit—the affiliate that once claimed Kris Clever, Becca Voigt, Katie Hogan and Lindsey Valenzuela as its members—Melton trained with some of the best athletes in the sport.

His success this year came down to the triplet of rowing, chest-to-bar pull-ups and strict 4-inch deficit handstand push-ups that opened the final day of competition. Melton earned second in the event in 11:15.4, edging out Dan Bailey and Josh Bridges by 4 and 9 seconds.

Thanks to his other strong finishes—Randy (Melton fifth, Bridges 25th) and the max-effort snatch (Melton fourth, Bridges 18th)—Melton was able to maintain his lead even when Bridges beat him in the final event (Melton 11th, Bridges eighth). At the end of the weekend, Melton was in fifth with 496 points, 15 points ahead of the three-time Games competitor.

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 California Regional
8th - 2014 SoCal Regional
13th - 2013 SoCal Regional
19th - 2012 SoCal Regional

Instagram (@_chadmelton_)

PHIL HESKETH

Hesketh, a Brit, will represent the Africa Region at the 2015 Games. To make matters more confusing, 12 months ago he came one spot away from representing the Asia Region at the 2014 Games.

How is that possible?

Fortunately, it’s simple. It comes down to a job opportunity in Dubai, and shifting region borders. Last year, CrossFit Games organizers considered the Middle East as part of Asia; now, it’s part of Africa.

Prior to CrossFit, Hesketh was a semi-professional Rugby Union player for Blackburn in Lancashire, England. He started CrossFit in 2012 to supplement rugby, but eventually the training became his sport.

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 Meridian Regional
2nd - 2014 Asia Regional
14th - 2013 Europe Regional

Instagram (@philhesketh)

BEN GARARD

For Garard, 26, it all came down to the final regional event. The athlete from New South Wales completed the 15 muscle-ups and 205-, 225-, 245-, 255- and 265-lb. cleans in a little over a minute (1:17.9) to win the event and the final Games berth.

Since then, the owner of Bent On CrossFit has been preparing for Carson by doing past Games events. On his Instagram, you can see him and his younger brother, Ricky, racing through the ZigZag Sprint. He even chopped his own log for the Burden Run.

The day he discharged from the Australian Army, in 2012, he set the goal of qualifying for the CrossFit Games. While a promising start to the 2013 Open ended due to failure to meet the movement standards on 13.2, the rookie has refined his skills in the intervening years.

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 Pacific Regional
11th - 2014 Australia Regional

Instagram (@bennygarard)

CHAD COLE

Few make it to the Games, and even fewer qualify alongside their family members. Entering the same exclusive group as Rory Zambard and her mother Lisa Long, and ZA and Alex Anderson and their father Steve, are Chad and Dennis Cole. Chad, 25, will compete in the men’s individual division while his dad, Dennis, 54, competes in the masters division.

Dennis caught onto CrossFit first, and shared it with his son when he came back home for winter break during his freshman year of college.

“I can't remember exactly what it was but I remember getting my ass kicked by an old man. Ever since then all we did was CrossFit,” Chad said.

He added: “After him beating me for about a year, I finally started to surpass him and he didn't like it very much. In 2010, I came home late from school one day and my dad had done Grace with 115 lb. He wouldn't tell me his time, but he wanted me to do the workout and see who won. We are very competitive, obviously.”

“I ended up beating him and all night he talked about how bad my range of motion was and how I never fully locked out. We actually have a video of it, one of the few we have from our garage. It's fun to look back at how hard it was for me, and at a lighter weight. All while my sister watched and my mom narrated. We had no idea what we were getting into.”  

Years later, at his fourth regional appearance, Chad earned the final Games qualifying spot. Finishing five of the seven events in the top 10 (Events 2, 4, 5, 6, 7), his best events were the max snatch (266 lb., second) and the triplet with strict deficit handstand push-ups (12:04.7, first). Remarkably those finishes were enough to recover from plummeting to 35th on Randy (3:21.2) and 24th on the chipper (CAP+106).  

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 South Regional
4th - 2014 South West Regional
24th - 2012 South West Regional
23rd - 2011 South West Regional

Instagram (@chad_cole)

JOE SCALI

Scali, 29, played NCAA Division 1 hockey with Cornell University and professionally in Texas, before he discovered CrossFit.

“I realized I was only good at the sport of hockey due to working out,” he writes in his bio. “Now, I can workout as a sport, so thanks CrossFit for giving me a second chance to be an athlete.”

That’s followed by plenty of shit talking about his friends, Mitch Barnard (ninth) and Brent Fikowski (seventh). Of the three, Scali was the only one to qualify.

The Canadian athlete finished two spots outside of qualification last year (behind Fikowski). The start and the end of last year’s regional set him back, with a rough start on the back-to-back snatch (225 lb., 12th) and handstand walk (100 feet, eighth), and the final event of 64 pull-ups and 8 205-lb. overhead squats (3:55, 16th).

This year, he improved his snatch by 25 lb. and covered the 250-foot handstand course in 1:57. With four fourth-place event finishes, and nothing lower than 13th, he was able to seal the final spot to the Games, 1 point ahead of sixth-ranked Cody Anderson.

Regional Competition History
5th - 2015 West Regional
4th - 2014 Canada West Regional
20th - 2012 Canada West Regional 

Instagram (@scalifit)