One of these women could ascend to the throne in Toomey’s absence.
As the history books say, every time a dynasty ends, there will be a struggle to fill the tremendous power vacuum. After a dominant reign as Fittest Woman on Earth® six times, Tia-Clair Toomey will not defend her title at the CrossFit Games in August 2023. The athlete has not retired and may well return to prominence soon enough after the pregnancy, but for at least one edition of the Games, her throne will be vacant. That brings to mind a question of who gets to climb the mountain.
Like the 2023 Games, here’s a breakdown of five potential contenders for the women’s singles title. Toomey leaves big shoes to fill, but one of these athletes could prove that she’s very capable very soon.
Possible 2023 CrossFit Games Women’s Singles Contenders
Just because Toomey isn’t a fixture at the latest iteration of CrossFit’s flagship contest doesn’t mean there aren’t worthy competitors waiting in the wings. Here’s a brief profile and rundown of a few to consider.
Laura Horvath (Hungary)
- best finish: Runner-up (2018, 2021)
- Games Debut: 2018
Horvath has had a relatively constant place among the CrossFit elite since the time she began competing in Madison, WI. As she enters her seventh edition of the Games, some might consider the 2022 podium finisher the overall women’s favorite with Toomey and Mal O’Brien absent. After a third-place finish in the 2023 European semi-final and a second-place overall in the quarter-finals, Horvath looks poised to finally break through after three podium finishes (2018, 2021-2022).
Annie Thorisdottir (Iceland)
- best finish: Champion (2011-2012)
- Debut: 2009
A living CrossFit legend, it’s been a long time since Thorisdottir has been at the pinnacle of the sport. A former two-time women’s singles champion (2011-2012), injuries and a pregnancy halted much of Thorisdottir’s progress in the sport in the middle of the last decade. However, in recent years, “Iceland Annie” has begun to regain its shape. After missing the cut in 2019 and 2020, Thorisdottir placed third in 2021 and ventured into team competition in 2022, where she placed fourth as team captain for CrossFit Reykjavik. These days, the 33-year-old might be considered more of a dark horse when she returns to singles competition.
However, not many “dark horses” already have two championship titles and two runners-up to their name.
Emma Lawson (Canada)
- best finish: 6th place (2022)
- Debut: 2022
At just 18 years old, Lawson approaches CrossFit competition like a seasoned veteran. The 2022 CrossFit Rookie of the Year and the 2021 Games champion in the girls’ division (16-17), Lawson placed sixth in her debut in the women’s division. Usually, the potential champions of the Games have a little more experience before finally breaking through on the bigger stage. However, with much of the women’s division in apparent flux, that could work to Lawson’s advantage as an exceptionally young and bright potential first-time winner.
Arielle Loewen (United States)
- best finish: 11th place (2022)
- Debut: 2021
Loewen is another top contender who would certainly qualify more naturally under a dark horse or “surprise” label. Unlike other potential winners, Loewen doesn’t have a big-name trophy distinction and arguably has a less outstanding resume overall, having never broken into the top 10. That said, a third-place finish in the North American West Semifinal and a third-place finish worldwide in the Quarterfinals paint the picture of an athlete poised to soar. His third appearance at the Games in 2023 could be that momentous opportunity.
Gabriela Migala (Poland)
- best finish: 6th place (2021)
- Debut: 2019
A seasoned veteran of the Games, Migała has seemingly only gotten better since first entering the Women’s division late last decade after reaching the podium in 2016 in the Women’s division (16-17). For someone who has never stood on the podium in the women’s contest, Migała’s reputation almost precedes her. She has trained with Hafthor Björnsson, the world’s strongest man, and appears to be an athlete waiting for that last stepping stone. Notably, Migała or Horvath would be the first Eastern European singles champions in the entire history of the contest.
There’s a lot to decide for the women’s singles competitors at the CrossFit Games 2023. When all is said and done, one of these women could be the next queen of CrossFit.
Featured Image: @laurahorvaht on Instagram