Europe Wins 2016 CrossFit Invitational

Led by the two-time Fittest Woman on Earth, Katrin Davidsdottir, Team Europe capped a tight competition with a victory in the final event to win the CrossFit Invitational. Along with Davidsdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir, Bjorgvin Gudmundsson and Lukas Hogberg fought to the bitter end and showed they have what it takes to compete against the best in the world.

The seven event competition features four teams from the USA, Canada, Pacific (Australia) and Europe. The top finishers from each country are invited to compete on their respective regional team. Mat Fraser backed out of the competition due to a lingering injury. Rich Froning, USA’s coach, stepped in again to compete for the team. Froning stepped in last year as well.

The Pacific team started off strong with two event wins, but struggled in the women’s handstand walk relay and with the Pig in Event 4. That allowed Europe to take the lead, but that would not last long. Europe’s men were unable to hold pace in the Men’s Team Snatch and C&J and the Men’s Handstand Walk events.

Team USA appeared to be struggling early with Ben Smith appearing to be in pain on the synchro-deadlifts. Smith was unable to bend over to push the deadlift bar forward help up the rest of the team putting them in a hole early. While the women tried to battle back with the handstand walk relay, USA was in desperate need of point halfway through the competition.

After six events, only one point separated Europe, Pacific and USA. With Event 7 awarding points in two-point increments, it was essentially a winner take all race.


 Event 1 Event 2 Event 3 Event 4 Event 5 Event 6 Event 7 Total
Canada 0
(0)
1
(1)
1
(2)
0
(2)
2
(4)
1
(5)
 4
(9)
 9
4th
Europe  4
(4)
2
(6)
2
(8)
6
(14)
1
(15)
0
(15)
6
(21)
21
1st
Pacific 6
(6)
3
(9)
0
(9)
2
(11)
0
(11)
3
(14)
0
(14)
 14
3rd
USA 2
(2)
0
(2)
3
(5)
4
(9)
3
(12)
2
(14)
 2
(16)
16
2nd

Event 7 featured three quick rope climbs followed by strict handstand push-ups. Following that, the rest of the event would require teamwork as teams faced 90 reps of coordinated movements with the Slug and Pig.

Europe reached the 30 Slug Cleans first followed by USA and Pacific. While USA appeared to be making up ground by utilizing a controlled pace, Europe started to get in sync and with a faster pace started to pull away from the pack. By the time Europe reached the Pig Jump-overs, they held a comfortable lead over USA.

While all eyes were focused on USA and Europe, Canada slowly made up ground on the synchronized movements and eventually passed Pacific and USA. Europe made the 30 Slug Thrusters look easy and they crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of hard-charging Canada. USA and Pacific finished 11 seconds later for a disappointing finish.

Europe’s win was the first time the team had won the CrossFit Invitational as it has been dominated by Team USA throughout the years. Following their win, Hogberg said, “I tried to keep up with these awesome Icelandic people. They’re crazy.” Hogberg was the only member on Europe’s team who did not hail from Iceland. Hogberg resides in Sweden.

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