The Comeback Kid
Katrin Finds Her Edge
ATHLETE INTERVIEW: KATRIN DAVIDSDOTTIR
If you’ve heard of CrossFit, you’ve heard of Katrin Davidsdottir. Plain and simple.
It’d be hard not to know the name Davidsdottir, given her decade-long run on the individual circuit. The Icelandic dynamo first qualified for the Games as a then-18-year-old in 2012, but was cut after two days of events. (In true Katrin fashion, though, she would go on to earn Top 10 finishes in every Regional and Semifinal in the 11 years since.) With back-to-back CrossFit Games wins in 2015 and 2016, she became the second woman in Games history to be a repeat champion.
As of Thursday, Davidsdottir will have made her way to Madison 10 times.
“It’s both so special to be going into my 10th CrossFit Games and also so wild because I still feel like I just started. Each year has brought its own set of challenges that I’ve had to overcome, especially this one, coming off a year where I didn’t make it. But it lights me up and shows me how much I really want to be there. I’m just so excited to be back…I’m feeling as prepared as I’ve ever been.”
Davidsdottir’s name may not have been on the 2022 ticket—she placed 6th at the Strength in Depth Semifinal in London, England and 3rd in the online Last-Chance Qualifier— barely out of qualifying positions, but she’s making her comeback. In May, she finished second at the North America West Semifinal. It is her best Semis finish to date.
Coming into the week, she sits in a favorable position. It’s something she attributes to the inevitable switches in her routine following last season’s near miss. Davidsdottir left CrossFit Reykjavík in September, where she initially started her CF journey, and now trains out of CrossFit Coeur d'Alene in Idaho. She works closely with five-time Fittest Man on Earth Mat Fraser, following his HWPO programming.
“My training has changed a lot this year, with new coaches [and] moving over to HWPO. I’m doing some things for the first time ever 12 years into the sport, which is kind of crazy. [There’s] been an incredible team around me. I have so much trust in them. I feel like we’re leaving no stones unturned. Whatever they give me I put full effort in, and I know they’re guiding me in the right direction.”
The athlete has long supplemented her hard work with nutrition and recovery, a facet of CrossFit she is a huge proponent for. “It’s one of the most important things that I or anybody can do,” she advises, particularly now that training has ramped up.
“We put a lot of demand on our bodies every single day and we need it to recover so it can do its job again tomorrow. For me, a huge focus has honestly been to eat enough. I think I’ve always been very health-conscious when it comes to food, so this year the priority has been to eat to support the training. My [workout] volume has gone up. My lifting volume has gone up—that’s been my goal, to get stronger. And then [there’s] the recovery aspect, too…I’ll always prioritize great sleep and that’s what will most dictate my recovery.”
All of this—the strength training, the rest days, even the sleep—it fuels Katrin. Despite her 10+ years here, the magic of the sport has never left. If anything, it only shines that more intensely.
“Something that has reignited me this year is my pure love of competition…It brings out the absolute best in me. It demands the most of me and that’s where I truly feel I can tap into my full potential. So just having fun with my training partners and really getting after it each day and just knowing that I left it out on the floor. That truly lights a fire in me.
So where does that leave her? The two-time champ turned 30 this year, but she’ll have you know she’s showing no signs of slowing down. As long as her body holds up, she says, her place is out on the competition floor. In her words, “for as long as possible.”
“I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but [CrossFit] lights me on fire. And as long as I believe that I can get better, the hunt and the pursuit of that is so fun for me. Beyond that, I honestly don’t know. I don’t know where the sport is going to take me, and that’s something we’re going to have to wait to find out.”
Be it long or short, the remainder of her career will focus around filling a simple, yet specific goal. And it starts (and ends) with her.
“[I want] to make myself proud. I’ve been through years where I have accomplished that and I’ve been through years where I haven’t…I think the underlying thing is that if I [make myself proud\ every single day in training, I’m giving myself an opportunity to compete well and make myself proud there [too].”
She encourages this year’s rookies to do the same. CrossFit may be an inherently demanding sport, but that doesn’t always equate to grinding oneself into the ground. It’s a practice in patience and grace that she initially discounted as a beginner. To her, all that matters is doing your best—with an emphasis on YOUR.
“It’s easy to get caught up in comparison or be intimidated by athletes that you might have looked up to for a long time, but giving YOUR absolute best [is what will give you] your best outcome. I think that leaves room for you to surprise yourself.”
As for herself, it’s three words that keep her going and grounded.
Find your edge.
“Only I know where my edge is. Only I know if I’m pushing all the way toward my limit. Only I know if I cross that. That’s something I have to be very aware of—where to take risks, where to attack, where my edge is. I’m constantly trying to push that. Only I will know after a workout if I’ve hit my edge.”