Bizarre Sydney Morning Herald Article on Tia-Clair Toomey Creates Internet Chaos

An Sydney Morning Herald article entitled, “World CrossFit Games runner-up Tia Toomey finds Rio 2016 a different beast” emerged from Down Under on Monday night. The article written by Roy Masters, a former Australian rugby player turned sports journalist, is not only riddled with factual inaccuracies about both CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting (and Tia-Clair’s first name), but also throws shade at Tia-Clair Toomey‘s accomplishments in both sports. 

Masters wrote, “The 23-year-old came second at the World CrossFit Games this year but clearly all that exercise, including bizarre events such as handstand walking, ocean swimming and ‘suicide sprinting’ does not prepare a woman for the snatch and the clean and jerk of Olympic weightlifting.”

He goes on to point out that she finished 14th, “…and that’s only in the 58kg class” and even suggested that Toomey study the weightifting record books, so she’d know that her personal bests were still 50kg under the Olympic record.

Toomey’s accomplishments should be considered a massive success. After all, how many other athletes have managed to find successes at the super-elite level in two sports? Would there be this much controversy if someone got last at the CrossFit Games and also qualified for the Olympics as a swimmer? Is this about excelling in two sports, or is it about continual CrossFit ignorance and the fact that everything about weightlifting in the Rio Olympics tainted thanks to the doping scandal? 

Masters even managed to take a jab at the Marshall Island’s national debt, which doesn’t make much sense in the context of a weightlifting article.

Meanwhile, Khan Porter came to Toomey’s defense. Porter posted a rant about the article on his Facebook page, calling out the Sydney Morning Herald on their “atrocious journalism, biased and obviously driven by an anti CrossFit agenda.” After his comment section devolved into an all out flame war about whether or not CrossFit is a sport, Porter later edited the post to clarify that his post had “NOTHING to do with someone bad mouthing CrossFit” and that it should just be about “AUSTRALIANS SUPPORTING AUSTRALIANS.”

Toomey has already had to deal with competitors who didn’t think she deserved the spot because she has only been in the sport for a few years, but she’s clearly dealt with all of the hullaballo in stride. Toomey is $90,000 richer thanks to her CrossFit Games success and can now call herself an Olympian. She’s clearly doing something right!

Featured Image: Tia-Clair Toomey (@tiaclair1)

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

Leave a Comment

Latest News

Featured Video


Follow Us