5 contenders for the ladies’s CrossFit Video games title not together with reigning champion Tia-Clair Toomey

One of these women could take the throne in Toomey’s absence.

As the history books say, whenever a dynasty ends there will be a struggle to fill the enormous power vacuum. After a dominant reign as the six-time Fittest Woman on Earth®, Tia-Clair Toomey will not defend her title at the August 2023 CrossFit Games. The athlete hasn’t retired yet and could soon come to the fore again following pregnancy, but her throne will be vacant for at least one edition of the Games. That reminds me of who can climb the mountain.

With the 2023 Games in mind, here is a breakdown of the five potential contenders for the women’s singles title. Toomey has significant shoes to fill, but one of those athletes could soon prove quite capable.

Potential individual contenders for the 2023 CrossFit Games

Just because Toomey won’t be a permanent fixture at the latest edition of CrossFit’s flagship competition doesn’t mean there aren’t worthy contenders waiting in the wings. Here’s a brief profile and rundown of some to consider.

Laura Horvath (Hungary)

  • Best finish: Second (2018, 2021)
  • Game debut: 2018

Horvath has held a relatively consistent place in the CrossFit elite since she began competing in Madison, WI. Now entering her seventh edition of the Games, some might consider the 2022 podium finisher the overall women’s favorite with both Toomey and Mal O’Brien absent. After a third place in the 2023 European semi-finals and a second place overall in the quarter-finals, Horvath seems poised to finally make a breakthrough after three podium finishes (2018, 2021-2022).

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Annie Thorisdottir (Iceland)

  • Best finish: Champion (2011-2012)
  • Debut: 2009

Thorisdottir, a living CrossFit legend, has long since been at the forefront of the sport. Injuries and a pregnancy for the former two-time women’s singles champion (2011-2012) halted much of Thorisdottir’s athletic progress in the middle of the last decade. In recent years, however, “Iceland Annie” has started to get back into shape. After missing the cut in 2019 and 2020, Thorisdottir finished third in 2021 and ventured into the team competition in 2022, where she placed fourth as the captain of Team CrossFit Reykjavik. These days, the 33-year-old could be described as an underdog as she returns to singles competition.

However, not many “dark horses” already have two championship titles and two runner-up titles to their credit.

Emma Lawson (Canada)

  • Best finish: Sixth place (2022)
  • Debut: 2022

At just 18, Lawson approaches CrossFit competitions like a seasoned veteran. Lawson, the 2022 CrossFit Rookie of the Year and 2021 Games winner in the girls’ division (16-17), stormed to sixth place in her debut in the women’s division. Usually, potential games champions have a little more experience before they can finally break through on the biggest stage. However, with much of the women’s division obviously in the throes of change, it could bode well for Lawson as an exceptionally young and bright potential first winner.

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Arielle Loewen (United States)

  • Best finish: 11th place (2022)
  • Debut: 2021

Loewen is another top contender who would certainly qualify better under the Dark Horse or Surprise label. Unlike other potential winners, Loewen doesn’t have a big-name trophy award and arguably has a less high-profile resume overall, having never made the top 10. However, third place in the North America West semifinals and third place worldwide in the quarterfinals paint a picture of an athlete ready to skyrocket. Her third appearance at the 2023 Games could mark that momentous occasion.

Gabriela Migala (Poland)

  • Best finish: Sixth place (2021)
  • Debut: 2019

A seasoned veteran of the game, Migała has seemingly only improved since breaking into the women’s division for the first time late in the last decade after topping the podium in the girls’ division (16-17) in 2016. For someone who has never achieved a podium finish in women’s competition, Migała’s reputation almost precedes it. She has trained with Hafthor Bjornsson, the strongest man in the world, and appears to be an athlete waiting for the last springboard. Notably, either Migała or Horvath would become the first Eastern European singles champions in the entire history of the competition.

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There is still a lot to decide for the individual women competitors at the 2023 CrossFit Games. After all, one of these women could be the next CrossFit queen.

Featured image: @laurahorvaht on Instagram

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