Brooke Wells Medically Withdraws After Snatch Event Injury At The 2021 CrossFit Games

Wells was rushed off by event staff after injuring her arm during a 190 pound snatch attempt.

During Event 12 — which had athletes work up to a one-rep max on the snatch — athlete Brooke Wells injured her arm. At the time this article was written, the specific injury hasn’t been revealed. Wells was seen holding her arm and could be heard screaming for help as she stumbled off of the platform. Event staff covered Wells’ arm and walked her out of the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI.

CrossFit has officially announced via Twitter that Wells has medically withdrawn from the competition and has been released by the medical team to return to her accommodations. BarBend will update this article with more information as it is available.

Wells’ injury occurred during round six of the one-rep max event, which challenged the women with 190 pounds overhead. The event can be watched via the recorded live stream here.

Wells could be seen wearing a compressive sleeve around her now-injured arm for most of the competition. Neither Wells nor CrossFit have commented on the state of her arm prior to the snatch event.

[Related: 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games Results and Leaderboard]

The American CrossFitter was in sixth place overall with 737 points. She racked up three top-five event finishes out of 11 total events. Her best performance was during Event Two, where she sprinted 550-yards in 1:24.43. Toomey-Orr went on to win the event, with two-time CrossFit Games champion Annie Thorisdottir right behind her.

Wells’ CrossFit History

The 2021 Games is Wells’ seventh appearance at a Games. Her best finish to date was at the 2020 Games, where she came in fifth overall. Here’s how she’s performed in all of the Games she’s attended.

  • 2015 — 16th
  • 2016 — sixth
  • 2017 — 14th
  • 2018 — eighth 
  • 2019 — 15th
  • 2020 — fifth

Late in 2020, Wells announced that she left her coach Ben Bergeron to train under Shane Orr — the coach of and husband to Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr. The move was big news in the CrossFit community, and it seemed to pay off. Wells placed ninth in the worldwide 2021 CrossFit Open, ahead of more than 90,000 other athletes. In the Quarterfinals, Wells came in fifth overall in North America, behind Emma Cary, Mallory O’Brien, Dani Speegle, and Amanda Barnhart. 

Wells then qualified for the 2021 CrossFit Games by placing third at the Granite Games, behind her teammate Toomey-Orr and Haley Adams.

Tommy John Surgery

On Aug. 11, 2021, Wells shared an update on her injury. Following the Games, Wells received an MRI which revealed: 

  • Complete tear of the UCL (which caused the dislocation).
  • High-grade tear of the lateral collateral.
  • Flexor tendon was pulled off the bone.
  • No fracture or surface damage to the joint.

Wells will undergo a “complete reconstructive surgery” also known as Tommy John. According to all the doctors who reviewed Wells’s injury, she expects to make a full recovery.

Wells’s shared her anxiety regarding the injury but is “excited to finally get [her] elbow fixed.” We will continue to update this article with more details about Wells’s surgery and recovery as they become available.

Featured Image Courtesy of CrossFit