The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games in Madison, WI, on Aug. 3-7, 2022, will be remembered for many historic moments. Reigning six-time Fittest Woman on Earth®, Tia-Clair Toomey, became the all-time winningest Individual Games competitior in history. Reigning two-time Fittest Man on Earth®, Justin Medeiros, became the third Individual male athlete to ever win back-to-back Games titles. Four-time Fittest Man on Earth®, Rich Froning, became the first athlete to achieve double-digit Games titles after winning his sixth Team division championship as the captain of CrossFit Mayhem Freedom.
However, one of the most iconic moments from the 2022 Games was undoubtedly Rebecca Fuselier’s effort in Event Five: The Capitol. Despite finishing in 39th place in the event with a time of 54:42.90, the moment of a fatigued Fuselier carrying a Rogue Husafell bag up the last few steps of the capitol building in Madison surrounded by the spectators in attendance is pinned on her Instagram page. It’s a bittersweet moment of the competitive spirit that the sport of CrossFit strives to promote.
Fuselier took to her YouTube channel after Day Three of the Games to share her thoughts on that experience and her mindset at that moment. Check it out below:
[Related: 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Age Group Division Results — Fittest Teens and Masters Athletes]
The moment began after Fuselier finished the 20 pig flips, ran the 3.5 miles, and farmer’s carried 140-pounds of Jerry bags for 200 meters. The final section of Event Five was a 200-meter walk with a 150-pound Husafell bag across the concourse leading up to Madison’s capitol building’s steps.
Utterly exhausted from all the work put in during the hot 80-plus degree heat, Fuselier opted to carry the Husafell bag in a front hold rather than on her shoulder, as all competitors who reached that section before her chose to do. It was a strategic mistake that led to the photo that will likely be used on CrossFit promotional materials for years to come. See it for yourself below:
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[Related: 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Adaptive Division Results — Who Is the Fittest on Earth®?]
Fuselier had “mixed feelings” about The Capitol event. She considered it “one of the coolest” events ever at the Games because the athletes traversed the city of Madison during the run. Speaking of that run, Fuselier remarked that it “wasn’t her day,” and she battled cramping during the just over five-kilometer distance.
Once to the capitol steps, Fuselier was alone on the course as her fellow competitors made it through the carnage of their exhaustion to cross the finish line. Without a time cap, Fuselier was fated to finish the event, no matter how long it took — a good thing that aligned with Fuselier’s worldview.
I’ll die before I quit.
In that moment, Fuselier said there were only two possible outcomes: she would finish the event or pass out. She suggested that her late surge to the top of the capitol’s steps came, in part, to the spectators that crowded around her to cheer her on.
The CrossFit community gives you superpowers.
Fuselier expressed the bittersweetness of the anger she feels for finishing last in an event with how “it will be one of those moments [she] always looks back on” fondly. In hindsight, the 22-year-old believes that moment will be “an important stepping stone in her career.”
The 2022 Games was Fuselier’s debut in the Individual division. She finished in 30th place overall.
Other Memorable Moments
There were many epic and memorable moments for athletes who didn’t claim the title of Fittest on Earth®. Mal O’Brien became the youngest athlete to ever step onto the podium at the Games for her runner-up finish at age 18. Brooke Wells conquered her comeback with a fifth-place finish after receiving reconstructive surgery on her elbow following her injury in the max snatch event at the 2021 Games. Guilherme Malheiros walked away in 10th place — three ranks worse than his seventh-place finish in 2021 — but proposed to his girlfriend, Luciana Dal Agnol, during the 2022 Games’ award ceremony and left Madison with a fiance.
It will be challenging for the 2023 CrossFit Games — returning to Madison, WI — to exceed the number of historic moments achieved in 2022, but we’ll see how it starts with the 2023 CrossFit Open kicking off on Feb. 13, 2023.
Featured image: @rebeccafuselier on Instagram