On Oct. 22, 2021, 2020 CrossFit Games bronze medalist Kari Pearce announced her retirement from competitive CrossFit after seven years in the sport. Pearce’s competitive CrossFit career began in 2015 when she made her debut at the Games. In the seven years since, she became a mainstay of elite competitions, racking up multiple podium finishes at high-level contests. In 2020, she became the first American woman to reach the CrossFit Games podium since Julie Foucher‘s bronze-medal finish in 2014.
Pearce shared the news of her retirement on her Instagram page and included pictures of the moments she believes are the highlights of her CrossFit career. Check them out below:
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Every athlete reaches this point in their career and it’s time for me to now move my full focus to my business.
Pearce’s decision to drop the curtain on her competitive CrossFit career is so she can dedicate herself fully to her business — PowerAbs. PowerAbs is Pearce’s 30-day programming of 10-minute daily ab workouts.
Kari Pearce’s CrossFit Career
Pearce was crowned America’s Fittest Woman® four times (2016, 2018-20). She competed in the CrossFit Open seven times and only finished outside the worldwide top 20 once — her debut in 2015 when she ranked 108th.
If there were a CrossFit hall of fame, Pearce’s career would be likely worthy of inclusion. In her seven trips made to CrossFit’s grandest stage, she finished in the top 10 five times, including two fifth-place finishes in 2016 and 2019 and a sixth-place finish in 2018. She had to withdraw from the 2021 Games due to testing positive for COVID-19.
In her Instagram post, Pearce shared a highlight from each year of her CrossFit career:
- 2015 — Pearce’s CrossFit Games debut. Her parents were at the competition to support her.
- 2016 — Winning the “Murph” event at the 2016 CrossFit Games, where she also received the “Most Improved” award. She ranked fifth overall, an improvement of 16 ranks from her 21st-place finish in 2015.
- 2017 — Representing the USA in the 2017 CrossFit Invitational in Australia. The USA finished in third place with 10 points after five events.
- 2018 — Winning her heat for the “Fibonacci” event at the 2018 CrossFit Games. Her time of 3:40.58 was strong enough for second overall in the event behind Katrin Davíðsdóttir‘s 3:31.73.
- 2019 — Winning the “Mary” event at the 2019 CrossFit Games with 695 reps.
- 2021 — Competing at West Coast Classic CrossFit SemiFinal with teammates Danielle Brandon and Bethany Shadburne. They finished on the podium together — Shadburne in first, Pearce in second, and Brandon in third.
Although she did not mention it in her Instagram post, one of the CrossFit Games individual event highlights of her career is arguably the final event of the 2020 Games, Atalanta. Pearce was the first athlete in the field across both the Men’s and Women’s divisions to finish that event with a time of 47:56.68. Coming into Atalanta, she knew she needed to beat Haley Adams by at least two ranks to claim a spot on the podium, and she got it done.
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[Related: 2014 CrossFit Games Winner Camille Leblanc-Bazinet is “Officially a Bodybuilder”]
2021 Rogue Invitational
Pearce’s choice of the 2021 Rogue Invitational as the final event of her competitive CrossFit career is a smart one. The competition features the largest prize pool of any CrossFit-sanctioned contest aside from the CrossFit Games, with the first-place finisher set to receive $250,836 at the time of this article’s publication. That amount could increase as more tickets are sold.
The workouts for the contest have not yet been released, but given that they will be Pearce’s last hurrah in the sport of fitness, we can expect her to bring the heat.
Feature image: @karipearcecrossfit on Instagram