Karin Freyová Is a DFC Legend. Can She See Similar Success at the 2023 CrossFit Games?

After dominating the DFC in 2022, is Karin Freyová primed for CrossFit Games success?

Karin Freyová’s name is forever etched in the Dubai Fitness Championship (DFC) history book. She placed fourth (2018), second (2019), and first (2022) in her last three appearances at the event — and in the years she didn’t come out on top, she was always just one win away from gold. She’s also battled against elite company at those events, only ever finishing behind some of the top names in CrossFit.

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Still, after winning the 2022 DFC, one question remains: Can she use that momentum to find similar success at the CrossFit Games?

First: A History Lesson

All of the aforementioned DFC champions Freyová finished behind over the years have also experienced success at the CrossFit Games:

  • Samantha Briggs: 1st at CrossFit Games, 2013; 4th at CrossFit Games, 2015-2016; 1st at DFC, 2018
  • Jamie Greene/Simmonds: 1st at DFC, 2014; 2nd at DFC, 2018; 2nd at CrossFit Games, 2019
  • Sara Sigmundsdottir: 3rd at CrossFit Games, 2015-2016; 3rd at DFC, 2018; 1st at DFC, 2019

When you look beyond the years Freyová competed in Dubai, the other DFC champions on the women’s side have also had similar success at the Games:

  • Laura Horvath: 1st at DFC, 2017; 2nd at CrossFit Games, 2018 and 2021; 1st at DFC, 2021; 3rd at CrossFit Games, 2022
  • Annie Thorisdottir: 2nd at CrossFit Games, 2010 and 2014; 1st at CrossFit Games, 2012-2013; 1st at DFC, 2013, 2015, 2017; third at CrossFit Games, 2021

Karin Freyová at the CrossFit Games

While Freyová’s performances in Dubai over the years have been exceptional, that hasn’t yet translated to the CrossFit Games like the competitors above. She scored an impressive second-place finish at the Lowlands Throwdown at Semifinals in 2022, but she had a bit of an underwhelming 20th-place finish at the 2022 CrossFit Games. This was seen as a step backward from the 2020 Games, where she placed 14th.

Freyová does have three Games “appearances” to her credit. But the drastic cut rules of 2019 and the online nature of 2020 only give us 2022 as a well-rounded view into what she can do at a traditional CrossFit Games.

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Looking more closely at her performances at the 2022 Games, she had a strong end to the weekend by earning her three best finishes (3rd, 8th, and 9th place) on three of the last four events (Alpaca, Sandbag Ladder, and Jackie Pro, respectively). This is a positive sign because it means that the volume of the weekend wasn’t the issue.

On the negative side, she came in 20th or worse during 10 of the 11 other scored events. That’s not great for someone of her caliber, but it isn’t necessarily unusual for an athlete in their debut at the Games. While she wasn’t a rookie, it was her first full Games experience, and many athletes who have gone on to have a lot of success at the Games struggled in their first appearance, including some big names:

Athlete Year Place Next Games Year Place
Katrin Davidsdottir 2013 24th 2015 1st
Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson 2014 26th 2015 3rd
Jonne Koski 2014 32nd 2015 9th
Sam Briggs 2010 19th 2011 4th
Jayson Hopper 2021 19th 2022 7th
Cole Sager 2014 17th 2015 7th

Some of these examples are from a while ago and/or have more drastic jumps than others. But the Hopper example stands out since it’s more recent. Hopper, like Freyová, did very well at the Semifinals in 2021 before underwhelming at the Games. But with one more year of experience, he had a much better showing the following year.

Looking Ahead

Based on Freyová’s history of success at the DFC, the accomplishments of others who have done similarly well there, and her success at the Semifinals this past season, she definitely could show up in a big way in 2023.

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It’s unlikely she’ll make a jump to podium contention, given the caliber of the woman who occupied those spots this year, but she could push for a top-10 finish if she’s able to harness some of the lessons learned from 2022 into her 2023 Games season.

Featured Image: @kara_frey on Instagram