The Hottest, Fittest Women of the 2014 CrossFit Games
Who's Your Fave Fittest Woman on Earth?
The CrossFit Games are here again, kicking off July 25. After the Open and regional competitions, these 13 women have made it known they are the ones to beat. Get acquainted with each of them, and then let us know who is your favorite by clicking the “Like” button under her photo!
“I have my head already set on being there [in] 2014 and hopefully then getting my title back,” Annie Thorisdottir said last year when she announced that she was pulling out of the 2013 CrossFit Games due to a lingering back injury. Well ladies, she’s back and better than ever, taking that familiar first-place position at the European regional event this year thanks to her two- to four-a-day workouts. The 24-year-old Icelandic-born competitor is looking to reign again as the Fittest Woman on Earth, the honor she won in both 2011 and 2012.
A CrossFitter, full-time teacher, and mom, 35-year-old Valerie Voboril is a force to be reckoned with. She placed third at last year’s Games, though she has told reporters that she never looks at the rankings. “If a workout goes poorly, I move on; if it goes well, I move on. This helps me attack each event,” she said to CrossFit. “I stick to the mantra: ‘Be in the present.’”
It was heartbreak for Alessandra Pichelli at last year’s Games. The Diablo CrossFit athlete was in second place going into the final two events. Coming up short on handstand pushups put her into a tiebreaker for third place, which didn’t go in her favor: The then-27-year-old ended up placing fourth. She’s ready for revenge this year, though. Pichelli came in first at the NorCal regionals and is focused and ready to leave it all on the mat. “If I learned anything, it is that the Games have gotten more and more competitive each year, but the 2008 theme of ‘every second counts’ is now more applicable than ever,” she told CrossFit.
This Canadian beauty is no newbie to the Games—this will be Camille Leblanc-Bazinet’s fifth year competing. She began the sport with her twin brother and now says that her whole family is addicted. The 25-year-old is a solid 130 pounds of muscle, much of which she may have started developing during her 14 years of competitive gymnastics. Now she’s squatting 300 pounds thanks to her decision to get a CrossFit coach. “It’s really helpful to have someone doing the thinking for you, and you just have to do the work,” she told CrossFit.
Julie Foucher was runner-up during the 2012 Games, and now she’s returning for the winning title after taking a year off from CrossFit to study for her medical boards (which she passed). The 25-year has already jumped right back into the sport, holding third place in the Central East after the 2014 Open. “The Open was good,” she told CrossFit. “It wasn’t 100 percent of what I hoped it would be, but I learned from it.” And did she ever! Foucher is currently in first place for the Central East entering this year’s Games.
Handstands got nothing on Gretchen Kittelberger! This 5-foot-2 fit chick competed nationally in gymnastics throughout high school and then was awarded a scholarship to be on the team at the University of Maryland. Going into her fourth CrossFit Games, the 27-year-old spent the past year working on her running—a weakness that hurt her last year—using NorCal endurance coach Chris Hinshaw’s programs twice a week. With emphasis on that and improving Olympic lifts, it’s no wonder she’s claimed the top spot of the Mid Atlantic regionals leaderboard.
When she’s not busy saving lives at the hospital, this traveling nurse can be found coaching at CrossFit Eado in Houston. This year will be Jenn Jones’ third time at the Games, going in as the current first-place contender from the South Central regionals and reigning sixth Fittest Woman on Earth from last year’s main event. While she, too, was a gymnast growing up (with more than 100 competitions under her belt including two NCAA qualifications), Jones says that she is in better shape now doing CrossFit than she ever has been in her life.
Rebecca Voigt is a CrossFit veteran at this point, having been to the Games every year since 2008—the most appearances made by any female. After placing second at the Southern California regionals, the 33-year-old is ready to make the journey again. On top of being an absolute beast on the playing field (she makes deadlifting 375 pounds look easy), the 5-foot-9 lady is also coaching the sport at Valley CrossFit in California.
There’s been some social media buzz surrounding the current Fittest Woman on Earth, Samantha Briggs. While she took first in three events at the European regionals, Briggs’ 26th place finish on the second event—max distance handstand walk—put her in fourth place, just shy of automatic advancement to the Games. However, we’re hoping CrossFit still invites this firefighter who just opened her own gym, Train Manchester, to the competition.
It’s rare to find a physical therapist who supports deadlifts, let who alone does them herself. But Talayna Fortunato isn’t scared to lift some heavy weight. This Tennessee-born athlete has been doing CrossFit since 2009, when she walked into a box in Naples, FL, where she now resides, and hasn’t looked back since. But that isn’t all she’s into. “My other interests are a good glass of vino, sweet potato fries, the beach, and music...not necessarily in that order,” she told Reebok CrossFit.
It was the final event at the SoCal regionals that determined if team Brick Nation would make it to the Games. With only 1:45 remaining on the clock, Chelsey Hughes had to complete her anchoring couplets of pull-ups and overhead squats. And the 28-year-old did just that, running to cross the finish at 15:51, just under the time cap. Hughes, who doesn’t have a least favorite exercise, believes hating one thing makes it that much more challenging. However, her favorite CrossFit move is one most people dread: bar muscle-ups.
While some people get turned off by injury, a kettlebell to the head was the beginning of Amanda Douglas’ love affair with CrossFit. Admittedly sometimes a bit clumsy (her only injuries she says are from things like tripping over a barbell), the 24-year-old ex-dancer not only competes in the sport but also coaches CrossFit Kids. Douglas is competing as a part of Team Brick as one of the three female “Brick’s Angels” on the team.
Maddy Curley completes the “Brick’s Angels” trio and is the eldest female member of the Brick Nation Team. You may recognize the 32-year-old from her acting career, as she starred in the movie Stick It and appeared on The Office. Strangely enough, her big-screen experience may give her an advantage in the high-intensity fitness competition. According to CrossFit, Dan Wells, a fellow CrossFitter and actor, told Curley, “CrossFit workouts are the only ‘auditions’ where your work determines your outcome, not a casting director or a producer or the television network, but whatever you truly put in, you will get out of it.” Doesn’t hurt that she was also a four-time Level 10 National Qualifier in gymnastics when she was younger.