Australian legend Kara Saunders and British up-and-coming Lucy Campbell will not be competing in the 2023 CrossFit Open this year, thus not able to compete during the official season. While Campbell said her problem was physical, Saunders did not specify the reasoning for her pulling out of the tournament.
Saunders is regarded by many as the best female CrossFit athlete who never won the Games. She finished 2nd at a nail-biting last event against Tia-Clair Toomey in 2017. End of 2021, she became a Mayhem athlete.
Campbell is the second female individual athlete from the U.K. who got to the Games in history, following the footsteps of Sam Briggs.
The Australian athlete currently sits in 10th at the worldwide ranking system from CrossFit; Lucy Campbell is 30th on the list.
Kara Saunders: “I Don’t Have a Choice”
Kara Saunders announced she won’t be “competing in the 2023 season” and won’t be “able to participate in the Open.” She said she would take her time to share more details about this decision.
“I have always taken a part it year by year with competition, so for now this is just the right and only move for 2023. I’ll keep riding the wave and see where that takes me next year and thereafter.”
Here is what she wrote in its entirety on her Instagram page:
It was likely that I would be taking this year off competing after the wild few years I’ve had in the sport and in life. My entire life has revolved around my training for over a decade now! I wouldn’t change a thing, but sometimes you need to shift your focus for a minute to make sure some other important things don’t get missed!
I will not be competing in the 2023 season. I will also unfortunately not be able to participate in the Open. I haven’t missed one since my first in 2011, even through my pregnancy and having my daughter. It feels weird but at the moment I don’t have a choice. I’m always very transparent and honest but some things need a personal moment. I will be sharing more about this in my own time. Thank you for respecting that ☺️
I have always taken it year by year with competition, so for now this is just the right and only move for 2023. I’ll keep riding the wave and see where that takes me next year and thereafter.
I wish nothing less than an absolutely epic time to everyone participating, whatever that looks like for you. I’ll still be here watching, cheering, and sharing some tips along the way. I’ll be at my local semifinals with my business @activeyewear too, so come and say hi if you’re there! Thank you for the ongoing support ❤️
Lucy Campbell: “Wrist issue”
The British athlete said she has been suffering from wrist issues since Quarterfinals in 2022, somehow made it to the Games as she kept on pushing, but it “it was getting worse.”
“I could have chosen to try to make it through this season being in pain every day. But off season has been some of the most difficult months of my life, and I’ve felt so far from myself that I can’t face that misery being reality.”
Campbell wrote that she is in for the long run, hoping to be pain free and fitter than ever to fight for more than a 15-20th finish at the Games. “I want to be in the top 5. I want to be on the podium one day.”
Here is what Lucy Campbell wrote on her Instagram.
I’ve had a wrist issue since pre QF last season. But somehow I made it to the games so I kept pushing as it was getting worse. After two cortisol injections in off season, I’m still getting pain and have very few completely pain free movements as I’ve tried to build back into the season.
I could have chosen to try to make it through this season being in pain every day. But off season has been some of the most difficult months of my life, and I’ve felt so far from myself that I can’t face that misery being reality. So I’ve made the smart decision for the long term health of my career to get this sorted properly now. And since I made my decision, I’ve wanted to get out of bed again, train again, see my friends again. So I know it’s the right one.
I truly believe I’m just at the start, and I have so much more to give. But I don’t want to struggle to get back to the games for another 15-20th finish. I want to see how good I can be and I think my best is better than that. I want to be in the top 5. I want to be on the podium one day. So I’m waiting for the two marshmallows.
I’m sorry to the people who were looking forward to watching my season unfold. Believe me when I say that no one is more disappointed than I am. I was so looking forward to riding the momentum of last season.
But I’m trying to find the opportunity here. I’ve got 12 months until I have to be ready again. And for the things I need to improve, I could do with some uninterrupted time. So there is no doubt here: as hard as it will be, I will be working to become an absolute savage behind the scenes. I’m in this for the long run, and I’m not done yet.
To the people that have kept me going over the last 6 months, I appreciate you. ❤️
Thanks for your support xxx
- Kara Saunders and Lucy Campbell: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.