For the first time since 2014, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom and Rich Froning Jr. were not contenders for the team championship. This brought instant intrigue regarding who would fill Mayhem Freedom’s shoes — the power team from Cookeville, Tennessee, had won six of the last seven Affiliate Cup competitions. CrossFit Invictus was the only other team in the field who had a Games title under its belt, having won the Affiliate Cup in 2014, and sure enough, the team from San Diego, California, took home the 2023 title and the Affiliate Cup for the second time this August.
TEAM PODIUM REVIEW
CROSSFIT INVICTUS (FIRST PLACE)
CrossFit Invictus during Team Test 10 | Photo by @joy_image
- The third-place team from the 2022 CrossFit Games returned with the same roster in 2023: Devyn Kim, Brittany Weiss, Jorge Fernandez, and Joshua Al-Chamaa.
- Along with CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue, CrossFit Invictus became the second and third teams to podium twice with the exact same team roster — the first team being Ute CrossFit in 2012 and 2013, which won the championship with the exact roster both years (Note: Teams were made up of six athletes for those years).
- Became just the third multi-Games team champion. The other two being CrossFit Mayhem Freedom with six and Ute CrossFit with two.
- Exceptional performance winning 93.3% of the points possible – third best of all time only bettered by CrossFit Mayhem Freedom’s 2022 and 2021 teams.
- Ironically, the team was the first Games team champion to not win the Semifinal/Regional. (Note: Jorge Fernandez competed with an injury at Semifinals.)
- Three test wins for a team career total of nine – third overall.
- Tied with CrossFit Mayhem Freedom for most CrossFit Games top-fives (seven).
- Second-most podiums with four (CrossFit Mayhem Freedom with seven).
- Won 10 of the 11 leader’s jerseys, boosting the team’s career total to 16, third-most all time.
- CrossFit Mayhem Freedom swept the Games (led wire-to-wire) four different times. CrossFit Invictus were the leader’s after every test except one in 2023. This happened only one other time a decade ago with Ute CrossFit in 2013 where a team led after all but one test.
- The CrossFit Invictus main team is the only team that has competed in every Games team competition, which started in 2009 – 14 straight Games, all coached by CJ Martin.
CROSSFIT EAST NASHVILLE PRVN (SECOND PLACE)
CrossFit East Nashville PRVN during Team Test 9 | Photo by @lifeofmalm
- Team consisted of Andrea Nisler, Taylor Williamson, Timothy Paulson, and Tola Morakinyo.
- Despite being a “rookie team,” the team members had the most total prior CrossFit Games appearances overall with 24, and the most prior team member appearances with 17.
- Their experience showed by winning four of the 11 team tests — most of the Games. The team earned eight top-four finishes.
- It was the single-modality tests of Ride Relay (11th place) and Cross-Country 5K (20th place), which greatly hindered the team’s chance at winning the championship.
CROSSFIT OSLO NAVY BLUE (THIRD PLACE)
CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue during Team Test 4 | Photo by @lifeofmalm
- The second-place team from the 2022 CrossFit Games returned with the same roster in 2023 (like CrossFit Invictus): Lena Richter, Ingrid Hodnemyr, Eivind Dahl Ringard, and Nicolay Billaudel. Also, all but Billaudel were on the 2021 CrossFit Games team.
- Tied for third all-time (along with Ute CrossFit) with three CrossFit Games podiums.
- Best average Games finish for a team with two or more Games appearances (2.333 place).
- Currently the only team with three straight Games podiums, top-five, top-10, or top-15.
- Two test wins for a team career total of six – tied for fourth overall with 12 Labours CrossFit.
- Second team to have at least three consecutive Games with multiple test wins (two each of the last three years). Only CrossFit Mayhem Freedom has won multiple tests in three or more consecutive Games.
- Sixth time a non-United States team podiumed (CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue having been three of the six times).
OTHER NOTABLE TEAM FINISHES AND OCCURRENCES
- Five teams had back-to-back top-10 finishes (2023 place/-2022 place): CrossFit Invictus (first/third), CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue (third/second), CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy (fourth/eighth), CrossFit Mayhem Independence (seventh/fifth), and CrossFit Omnia (ninth/seventh). (Note: CrossFit OBA was (eighth/eleventh).
CrossFit Move Fast Lift Heavy during Team Test 10 | Photo by Johany Jutras
- Four European teams were in the top-10: CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue (third), No Short Cuts CrossFit (fifth), CrossFit Walleye Athlete (sixth), and CrossFit Prestanda (10th). This was the second time that four European teams made the top-10, 2021 being the first. Additionally, eight of the 10 European teams finished in the top half of the 2023 CrossFit Games field.
- CrossFit Mayhem Independence finished in seventh place, now with three top-10 Games finishes in three appearances (5.333 average place). Winning the first test was the team’s third for its career, which also earned it the only leader’s jersey not won by CrossFit Invictus in this year’s Games.
- CrossFit Omnia returned three of its four members from the 2022 CrossFit Games team and came in ninth place. The team’s six Games appearances has it tied for sixth-most all-time.
CrossFit Omnia during Team Test 8 | Photo by Johany Jutras
- CrossFit Milford had an impressive 13th place finish after taking the last qualifying spot at the North America East Semifinal. Thirteenth place was the third-best for the team out of its seven Games appearances (tied for fourth-most all-time), which included a second-place finish in 2015. The team has been coached by Jason Leydon for all of its Games appearances dating back to 2009.
- CrossFit Portti has competed in three consecutive Games with the exact same team roster. The team came in 17th this year, 19thin 2022, and 12th in 2021.
- Most Improved Teams:
- CrossFit Trondheim was 12th in 2023 and 29th in 2022 (17-place improvement). The team returned one member, Var Thurmann-Moe, from its 2022 CrossFit Games team. The team also won the CrossCountry 5K test.
- CrossFit Kilo 2 was 15th in 2023 and 25th in 2022 (10-place improvement. The team returned three of its four 2022 CrossFit Games members.
SPECIFIC TEAM MEMBERS
CrossFit East Nashville PRVN teammates Andrea Nisler and Taylor Williamson have been the best two CrossFit Games team women pairings of all time (on the same team five times). Both have moved up to the top of the team-member categories with or near their former two-time championship teammate – Rich Froning Jr.
CrossFit East Nashville PRVN
Games Team Member Categories:
- Four podiums: Nisler and Williamson (paired with each other all four times, tied for second with James Hobart and Matt Hewett).
- Seven top-10s: Nisler and Williamson (tied for first with Froning Jr.).
- Appearances: Nisler (eight, tied for second with Nuno Costa)/Williamson (seven, tied for fourth with Froning Jr. and Jessica Core). Williamson has never had a double-digit placing in her seven appearances. Nisler has only had one double-digit placing in her eight appearances.
CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue teammates Lena Richter, Ingrid Hodnemyr, and Eivind Dahl Ringard now all have three Games podiums, tied for sixth all-time with six others.
Tola Morakinyo (CrossFit East Nashville PRVN), Kelsey Kiel (CrossFit OBA), and Alexander Elebro (CrossFit Prestanda) all made their fifth Games appearance, tied for ninth all-time.
Team Podium | Photo by flsportsguy photography
Even though CrossFit Invictus took the lead after the second test and never gave it up, it was still an exciting team competition at this year’s Games. The team did not fully pull away from the rest of the field until the last two tests on Sunday in which they started with only a 44-point lead.
The second position rotated back and forth four different times over the 11 tests between CrossFit East Nashville PRVN and CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue.
As for the 2024 CrossFit Games, there will probably be a number of new elite teams vying for the podium. The 2023 podium teams, along with a number of the top-10 teams, have indicated they will disperse next season to either compete as individuals or age-group athletes, to look for another team, or to retire. Given the new rules for the 2023 season, which loosened the location requirements, “super teams” emerged creating a lot of excitement throughout the season. Additionally, some of the home-grown organic teams held their own against the super teams. Expect the same going into next season.
Up next in the 2023 Games reviews will be the age-groups and adaptive divisions.
Cover photo by @lifeofmalm
MORE FROM THE SERIES
- Significant Achievements from the 2023 Games — Individuals
- 2023 Games Significant Achievements: Age Group and Adaptive
- Significant Achievements from the 2023 Games — All Divisions