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This One Exercise Tripped Up 10 of the Fittest People on the Planet at the 2022 CrossFit Games

Double-under crossovers proved frustrating for athletes who had already endured a confusing first day of competition in Wisconsin.

“Exhilarating”, “sadistic,” “tiring AF.” These are just some of the words that one could use to describe the hardest functional fitness competition on the planet — the 2022 CrossFit Games. And if you asked any of the 10 athletes in the final stage of Event Three, “frustrating” may be another. 

In the history of the Games, there have been movements that have completely stopped athletes in their tracks. In 2015, the introduction of the pegboard was one of these movements. This year, the athletes would experience a similar shock during Individual Event Three — Skill Speed Medley.

CrossFitters performing double-under crossovers at the 2022 CrossFit Games
Photo by William Johnson (@barbellstories on Instagram)

During the Skill Speed Medley on Day One of the Games, the event finalists had to contend with a debut Games movement, the double-under crossover. Athletes had to perform 25 double-unders while crossing the rope in front of them. The tension was palpable during this portion of the event; only three athletes were able to complete the movement.

Danielle Brandon, who held a commanding lead and ended up winning the event, seemed particularly vexed; she was seen arguing with her judge and hastily signing off on her scorecard before exiting the competition floor once the round ended. 

Day One Confusion

Day One started with confusion on the first event, with several athletes skipping an entire mile loop at the end of their bike workout. This mishap was accompanied by a three-hour weather delay, resulting in Individual Event Two and Team Events Two and Three being rescheduled to Thursday — originally a rest day for Individuals and Teams.

Day One also came with another shock — five-time Fittest Woman on Earth® Tia-Clair Toomey did not don the leader jersey. During Event Three, she never got the chance to take on the double-under crossovers, as she did not qualify for the event Semifinals or Finals. But as of this writing, Toomey has climbed the rankings back to third place overall with a first-place finish in the second half of Event Two, Shuttle-to-Overhead B.

Double-Unders in Event Three 

This event was a bracket-style elimination, where the movements progressed in difficulty each segment. The event started with 40 individuals racing through the quarterfinal round, resulting in a cut to the top 20 athletes for the semifinal round. The top five competitors advanced to the final round, where only two athletes — Nick Mathew and Guilherme Malheiros — would finish the event for both the women’s and men’s divisions. Although several movements appeared for the first time during this event, the true roadblock for the majority of the finalists was the double-under crossover.

Only three of the athletes in the Men’s division were able to complete the 25 double-under crossovers before the time cap — Nick Mathew, Guilherme Malheiros, and reigning Fittest Man on Earth® Justin Medeiros. Danielle Brandon won the event for the women, hitting the most completed repetitions by the three-minute cap. 


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The broadcast mentioned that the majority of the athletes did not practice this movement before the event, since the double-under crossovers only appeared in the final round. Most athletes focused on practicing movements that would help them qualify for the final to guarantee a top-five finish.

Event Three Workout

Here is the official workout prescription:

Three rounds of races through pegboards, jump ropes, pistol squats, and handstand walks:

Quarterfinal Round:

  • Pegboard Ascents — Men: three ascents | Women: two ascents
  • 75 Unbroken Single-Unders
  • 10 Unbroken Pistol Squats (Left)
  • 10 Unbroken Pistol Squats (Right)
  • Handstand Walk Course

Semifinal Round:

  • Strict Pegboard Ascents — Men: two ascents | Women: one ascent
  • 50 Unbroken Double-Unders
  • 10 Unbroken Pistol Squats (Left)
  • 10 Unbroken Pistol Squats (Right)
  • Handstand Walk Course (Pirouette Start)

Final Round:

  • One Strict Pegboard Ascents
  • 25 Double-Unders Cross Overs
  • 10 Unbroken Pistol Squats (Left)
  • 10 Unbroken Pistol Squats (Right)
  • Handstand Walk Course (Low Start)

Time cap: three minutes.

Double-Under Crossover Tips

The introduction of movements to the CrossFit Open, Semifinals, and Games have always trickled down into the Affiliate communities programming. We saw this with the wall walk and pegboards, and can expect to see this surface with the double-under crossover, as well. Here’s how to prepare to face down the double-under crossover when it shows up in a WOD near you.

The trick lies in practicing single-under crossovers alongside double-unders to train your brain and body for the timing you’ll need.

  • Step 1 — Single-Unders 
  • Step 2 — Single-Under Crossover 
  • Step 3 — Double-Unders 
  • Step 4 — Double-Under Crossover 

Check out how event-winner Mathew conquers the movement here:


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He jumps, crosses his hands for the first rope cycle, then uncrosses his hands back into a neutral position for the second rope cycle.

Like any other skill, this will require a lot of repetition and failure before consistent success is enjoyed. Practicing in front of a mirror or filming yourself are helpful ways to improve with a jump rope.

Event Three “Skill Speed Medley” Results

Here are the top 10 athletes from Event Three. BarBend also has complete coverage of the Skill Speed Medley.

Individual Women

  1. Danielle Brandon
  2. Rebecca Fuselier
  3. Emma Lawson
  4. Elisa Fuliano
  5. Mal O’Brien
  6. Jacqueline Dahlstrøm
  7. Arielle Loewen
  8. Thuridur Erla Helgadottir
  9. Haley Adams
  10. Kristi Eramo O’Connell

Individual Men

  1. Nick Mathew
  2. Guilherme Malheiros
  3. Justin Medeiros
  4. Pat Vellner
  5. Ricky Garard
  6. Will Moorad
  7. Jonne Koski
  8. Lazar Dukic
  9. Roman Khrennikov
  10. Austin Spencer

2022 CrossFit Games Recap

On Thursday, Aug. 4, the Age Group and Adaptive Divisions started their competitions, blazing through their first events with style. Friday, Aug. 5 will play host to events for every division — Individual, Teams, Adaptive, and Age Group.

Saturday, Aug. 6 will wrap up the Age Group and Adaptive competitions and have those divisions crown their Fittest. After the events on Saturday, only the top 30 athletes in each Individual Division and the top 20 Teams will continue to compete. Sunday, Aug. 7 will be the final Games day for Teams and Individuals, where their Fittest will rise to the top.

With so many points up for grabs, it’s still anyone’s Games. Follow along with the action with BarBend’s 2022 CrossFit Games Leaderboard throughout the weekend for the latest.

Featured Image: William Johnson (@barbellstories on Instagram)