Carleen Mathews Withdraws from the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games

It’s been a tumultuous twenty-four hours for some competitors in Madison, Wisconsin, with three female athletes withdrawing from the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games.

Most recently, three-time CrossFit Games athlete Carleen Mathews announced that she could no longer compete due to an unspecified back injury.

View this post on Instagram

And just like that my 2017 CrossFit Games is over…. Tuesday night I flew into Madison and woke up Wednesday with what I thought was just a knot in my back…got it worked on but no relief…I realized it might be my neck, by Friday I realized my left arm was not locking out and feeling dumb… I knew something was NOT right with my body. I was trying so desperately to be positive and be myself and fight through it… but I did not feel comfortable in my body…warming up for the snatch event I was able to snatch and my warm up kip swings for the muscle up felt great… I told @xfactor_chris I was going to be able to do this event and was confident…. I went to do a muscle up and could not dip out. I was telling my body to do something and it would not respond…. the minimum work requirement for the event was getting through the round of 11 mu… i did not complete one and with that, my 2017 games is over….. This is NOT the end of MY journey. I am mad, I am sad, I am disappointed… however this too shall pass. This does not take away from the phenomenal year I have had… the end result is just a part of my journey… but the reality is…there is so much for me to be proud of, to celebrate, and to cherish. This is not the way I visualized my season ending, but this is not the end for me… this is just a stepping stone to making me a better athlete and person. The rest of the weekend I plan to cheer as loud as I can for all the other athletes, be there for them if they need me, spend some time with my husband, and hang out! If you see me around please stop me and say HI!!!! Thank you for your continued support! Huge thank you to CrossFit St. Helens for the support and to everyone who sent me, keith or chris messages! This is not my end!!! @mission6nutrition @iceagemeals @pillageathletics @rxsmartgear @dermalicious @nike @smashpack @crossfitgames @crossfitsthelens 📸cred @dunkcfpd

A post shared by Teamcarleen (@teamcarleen) on

It appears that this was not a long-standing injury and that the first sign of trouble was when she woke up last Wednesday with what felt like “a knot” in her back. By Friday, she realized her left arm was feeling numb and wasn’t locking out. Fast forward to Thursday, and as she was warming up for the muscle-up clean ladder event, she found that she could kip just fine, but her arm would not lock out.

She posted to her Instagram,

I was telling my body to do something and it would not respond…. the minimum work requirement for the event was getting through the round of 11 mu… i did not complete one and with that, my 2017 games is over….. This is NOT the end of MY journey. I am mad, I am sad, I am disappointed… however this too shall pass. (…)

This is not the way I visualized my season ending, but this is not the end for me… this is just a stepping stone to making me a better athlete and person.
The rest of the weekend I plan to cheer as loud as I can for all the other athletes, be there for them if they need me, spend some time with my husband, and hang out!

This makes Mathews the third female athlete to withdraw since the Games began. Yesterday afternoon, 2014’s Games Champion Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet announced that a dislocated shoulder had put her out of commission and last night the individual rookie Chelsey Hughes also withdrew.

Hughes announced that she fell during the Cyclocross time trial on Wednesday, and when she was attempting muscle-ups on Thursday she experienced “pain in my neck and chest” that “was too excruciating to bear, much less cycle through 45, or even 24 reps.”

We wish Mathews, Hughes, and LeBlanc-Bazinet a speedy recovery.

Featured image via @teamcarleen on Instagram.