On Feb. 19, 2023, certainly one of CrossFit‘s modern-era greats, Kristi O’Connell, introduced on her YouTube Channel that she was closing the curtain on her stellar nine-year profession within the sport. O’Connell steps away after seven straight CrossFit Games appearances — six as an Individual competitor.
This 12 months, there might be an additional spot on the Video games for the following younger lady chasing their goals.
In her YouTube video titled “I’m Out,” an emotional O’Connell mentioned, “our time is best spent proper now rising and giving again to our communities and permitting myself the liberty to tackle some totally different athletic adventures and challenges.” Try her full assertion within the video beneath:
Kristi O’Connell’s CrossFit Legacy
O’Connell is taken into account one of many high United States CrossFit athletes to ever step onto the competitors flooring. The Westerville, OH, native retires as a perennial top-10 finisher on the Video games. Her common inserting throughout her six Particular person appearances on the Video games is tenth.
The previous collegiate swimmer from the College of Louisville discovered CrossFit in 2013 whereas competing in triathlons. She certified for her first Regional lower than a 12 months later, inserting sixteenth within the Central East after ending 92nd in her first worldwide Open.
A tenth-place end on the 2015 Central Regionals — 30 factors out of a Video games qualifying spot — resulted in her quitting her job as a full-time accountant to focus on pursuing her dream of creating the Video games. Working part-time at Starbucks within the morning, coaching within the afternoon, and training CrossFit lessons within the night paid off. She positioned twenty first within the 2016 Open after which secured the coveted Video games spot at that 12 months’s star-studded Central Regional, inserting fifth.
O’Connell’s rookie 12 months on the 2016 Video games noticed her place eighth thanks to 6 top-10 finishes. Her end was the most effective amongst all the feminine rookies.
Discovering Her Stride
In 2017, O’Connell positioned 14th within the Open and recorded the primary of her back-to-back Central Regional runner-up finishes. Her 2017 Video games have been highlighted by her and eventual Video games champion Tia-Clair Toomey racing to the end within the opening occasion, “The Run-Swim-Run.” Toomey beat O’Connell by simply two seconds. O’Connell completed thirteenth total on the Video games that 12 months.
The 2018 season noticed O’Connell end within the high 10 on the Video games once more, rating ninth. Her efficiency was highlighted by her first and solely occasion win on the Video games. She and Toomey battled within the “30 Muscle-Up” occasion, and O’Connell acquired the higher hand on the six-time Fittest Girl on Earth® by one second, ending in 2:32.52.
O’Connell took a break from Particular person competitors through the 2019 season and joined Sam Dancer’s Invictus X group on the Video games. The group of Dancer, Holden Rethwill, Margaux Alvarez, and O’Connell positioned second at the Granite Games Sanctional to qualify for the 2019 Video games. That group completed seventh on the Video games, the best profession end for O’Connell on the Video games.
Through the 2019 season, the then Kristi Eramo married her longtime boyfriend and former Video games athlete Patrick O’Connell. She returned to Particular person competitors through the 2020 season, which was marred by occasion cancellations because of the COVID-19 international pandemic and modifications inside CrossFit. She certified for the Video games due to her 14th place end within the Open however solely participated within the on-line portion of the Video games, inserting ninth.
The 2021 season was among the many most difficult for O’Connell, who skilled highs and lows all through. She positioned a career-best fourth total and second in the USA within the worldwide Open. She then positioned tenth within the North America Quarterfinals to qualify for the Granite Video games Semifinals. Nevertheless, she struggled on the competitors and ranked a disappointing seventh, failing to safe a Video games invitation.
Her inserting did qualify her for the Final-Likelihood Qualifier, the place she competed for the final two Video games invites. She bounced again and positioned second total, punching her sixth ticket to the Video games.
Peaking on the Video games
On the 2021 Video games, O’Connell tied her career-best end, rating eighth total due to seven top-10 finishes, together with two extra runner-up finishes to Toomey. In her last Video games season in 2022, she positioned twelfth within the Open, a career-best fifth within the Quarterfinals. She ranked fourth on the Syndicate Crown Semifinal to safe her seventh-straight Video games invitation and sixth profession Particular person look.
O’Connell completed thirteenth within the 2022 Video games, matching her worst end profession. Nevertheless, she nonetheless cemented herself as one of many high athletes within the sport, particularly in endurance checks.
Throughout her Particular person Video games profession, O’Connell competed in 79 occasions. Her common CrossFit occasion end was 15.1, with 33 top-10 finishes, together with 5 runner-ups. These runner-up finishes have been all towards Toomey — probably the most of any athlete towards the six-time Fittest Girl on Earth® on the Video games.
O’Connell and her husband personal and run an affiliate in Ohio, CrossFit Polaris. At all times trying to check her health, she ran a marathon in October 2022. She completed in a time of three:04, besting her earlier time scored earlier than coaching and competing in CrossFit by six minutes.
O’Connell will stay part of the CrossFit neighborhood whereas pursuing different health objectives. She intends to replace these concerned about her trajectory through movies on her YouTube channel.
Featured picture: @kristieramo on Instagram