Interview with Michele Fumagalli After Fracturing Her Wrist on Event 1

Michele Fumagalli after fracturing her wrist at the 2018 CrossFit Games.

Michele Fumagalli was making her first appearance at the CrossFit Games. But for the athlete from Chicago, Illinois, she would only finish one event in her rookie debut. Fumagalli ended up falling off her bike just 60 meters from the finish line of Event 1, Crit.

Fumagalli ended up fracturing and dislocating her wrist. She would withdraw before the start of Event 2.

We caught up with Fumagalli and asked her about her experience at the Games.


The Barbell Spin: When Dave Castro announced Event 1, Crit, what was your initial reaction?

Michele Fumagalli: Shock haha! everyone seemed to have a mixture of surprise and worry. All athletes were educated on crit racing, worked with and watched pro crit riders as well as having a Q&A with them. I felt much better, more confident and excited after riding the bike, getting practice laps in and working with/watching the pros.

TBBS: Was there concern from you or the other athletes about the possibility of crashes/injuries?

MF: I hoped there would be few crashes if any, I am an optimist. Other competitors said they expected at least one athlete to get injured…unfortunately that person was me.

TBBS: How comfortable were you on a road bike with clipless pedals prior to heading to Madison?

MF: I used clip ins a few times for longer rides as we all thought clip-ins meant a long distance triathlon. Tight corners and sprints were not apart of the training.

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Day 3 Heat times 1:15 & 3:10 Fight fight fight #Repost @crossfitgames with @get_repost ・・・ This weekend marks the fourth CrossFit Regional for Michele Fumagalli (@fitplatenutrition), who hasn’t been on the Regional floor since 2015. – "I was five months postpartum last Open, and I always wanted to make it back," the 30-year-old says. "This year I did really well in the Open, and my coach and I were gung-ho about going to Regionals.” – To prepare for the three-day competition, Fumagalli has been working a lot on cardio—a training habit that she attributes to motherhood and the need for short, high-intensity workouts so she can get back to her 21-month old. – "Quality over quantity because I have 60-70 minutes to work out—thankfully because of my husband and my supportive family—so it’s all about getting in quality work in that time," she says. – Fumagalli comes into Day 3 of the competition in fourth and she’ll be fighting to hold onto her qualifying position. – "I didn’t want to come [to Regionals] just to come. I wanted to compete,” she says. “I have a soccer background, and when I played soccer I went into every game thinking I was going to win. I’m trying to take that mindset into Regionals.” – And if she does find herself on the podium, Fumagalli says it would be a dream come true. – "It’s about my family and my daughter. The last mile of Triple 3, my husband actually held her up in the crowd and that kept me going." – #CentralRegional | #CrossFit | #CrossFitRegionals | 📸 @michaelbrianphoto

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TBBS: In the first 9 laps did you have any close encounters with other athletes? Can you walk through that last lap and how you ended up crashing?

MF: I had one wobble maybe halfway through and few times competitors came a little close on a turn or two. The entire race you had to be on your toes in order to make the right moves and react to any unpredictable moves made by other athletes. I yelled “on your left” a few times in the race.

Moving into lap 9 I Picked up the pace. I made the final turn sitting in 5th and began to sprint out of the turn when a competitor just in front to the right of me moved into my lane, cutting me off. This made me break and swerve. Unfortunately I swerved my front tire into a hole then fell over the handle bars, landing on my left wrist and head.

TBBS: Did you know right away that you were going to have to withdraw from the competition?

MF: I knew my wrist was “messed up” but didn’t jump to any conclusions but was worried about how I was going to do muscle ups. After X-rays, numbing and putting my wrist back into place Dr. Sean gave the tough news I knew and prayed I didn’t have to hear… that I would need to withdrawal. My wrist would continue to dislocate due to the broken scaphoid bone.

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Event 1 at the @crossfitgames was an absolute blast! But with 60yds to the finish-line I had an unfortunate crash, which left me with a broken and dislocated wrist, taking me out of the competition. I will be getting surgery in the next few days. So many emotions right now but working through them thanks to all the love and support from my family, coach, friends and entire @crossfit community. God has a plan, he gives us what we can handle and I know this will only make me a stronger and better person! Thank you to the medical staff for all your help today. I will be in Madison until Thursday evening, leaving after the opening ceremony’s in order to get back to Chicago for a Friday morning dr appt

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TBBS: How was the CrossFit medical staff in treating your injury?

MF: Dr. Sean and the entire medical staff was phenomenal. I had X-rays done within 20 minutes and diagnosis with my husband and coach present shortly after. They reset my wrist, which was essential or I would have had to go to the ER for emergency surgery. I cannot thank them enough.

TBBS: Can you describe your emotions after realizing your rookie Games appearance was ending after only one event?

MF: There are no words to describe it.

TBBS: You’ve said you will have surgery in the next few days. What will they be repairing?

MF: One screw for the broken scaphoid bone as well as pins for a few ligaments/tendons (from dislocation) that will taken out in 6-8 weeks.

TBBS: Do you have a timetable for your rehab yet?

MF: Surgery Tuesday is first step to getting my wrist back to health. The scaphoid bone has quite the range of recovery. Obviously we’re hoping for a quick recovery and will do everything in my power to help my bone grow. PT will begin once the bone is healed and then the real work will begin.

TBBS: Will we see you back in 2019?

MF: Our focus right now is getting my wrist functional but of course I want to get back on the competition floor as I now know I belong there.


Make sure to follow Michele (@fumagalli_fitplate) on Instagram to keep up with her rehab and comeback!