Starting Tuesday, the Crossfit Games run all the way to Sunday 26th. Not sure when the women are going to be doing their thing, in fact, at the time of writing, nobody knows exactly what thing they will be doing. I've said before that it is weird that the competitors are in the dark about what feats they will have to perform, but you might also say that makes the women (and ultimately the winner) even more heroic - like female Herculasses who must wait to be told what their twelve labours will be.
I know Crossfit is not every reader's can of energy drink, but at a time when the functional muscularity of a woman in a very different sport has recently been ridiculed, I think these "Fittest on Earth" definitely deserve some FMS love.
Our Crossfit correspondent reminds us that potentially any woman can emerge victorious if the chosen events suit her. Nevertheless, today we'll meet the top 5 qualifiers, some familiar, some new to the blog. And in addition there'll be a couple of personal picks - one from FMS' Crossfit specialist, and one from the editorial team.
First, the top 5 qualifiers.
1. ANNIE THORISDOTTIR (Iceland)
25 years old and a former ballet dancer, gymnast and pole vaulter, no one can match Annie's Games pedigree. She's the only woman to have been the champ twice - in 2011 and 2012 - and she has also been runner-up twice - 2010 and last year (she was injured and didn't compete in 2013). As hot a favourite as you can have for the Games, she once defeated Justin Forsett of the Baltimore Ravens in a push-up contest.
2. KARA WEBB (Australia)
The highest-ranked Crossfitter from the Pacific (Asia plus Australia) regionals, this Brisbane powerhouse says she hates ring dips, slow drivers, people with no manners, kangaroo meat, and boys in skinny jeans, and she can deadlift 155kg (about 340lbs)!
3. RAGNHEIÐUR SARA SIGMUNDSDOTTIR (Iceland)
Aged just 21, and with no background in athletics whatsoever, Sara (don't ask me how to pronounce her first name) burst onto the Crossfit scene after less than a year in the sport. In my first Crossfit competition I landed in 2nd place even though I didn't know anything about it, she says. [So] I decided to give it a try. And Sara puts the success of herself and her sisters of Icelandic Crossfit down to "the water".
4. EMILY BRIDGERS (USA)
The USA's highest qualifier was told she would never run again after a back injury forced her to retire from the gymnastics team at the University of Georgia. Eight years later and she was finishing 6th at the Crossfit Games. I want to win, or at least finish on the podium, she says. You would be brave (or foolish) to bet against it.
5. CAMILLE LEBLANC-BAZINET (Canada)
The face and reigning champion of Crossfit, Camille, you may recall, made a big enough impression on FMS in 2014 for us to select her as one of our Women of the Year.
Aiden's Pick: BROOKE ENCE (USA)
Once upon a time, Brooke Ence was a Figure competitor. Her transformation into white hot power Crossfitter was both accidental and sudden. I had been invited to audition for a show in Vegas called Le Reve (similar to Cirque du Soleil) and I needed to learn how to properly climb a rope, she says. A friend of mine recommended a gym called Dixie Crossfit. I have been doing Crossfit since that day...
Swell's Pick: STACIE TOVAR (USA)
Stacie started Crossfit in 2008. It didn’t take long before I was hooked and I’ve honestly never looked back, she says. It was the best decision of my life. Five years later, in October of 2013, I left my corporate job behind to pursue my passion, becoming a full-time CrossFit athlete. My heart might want Samantha Briggs to bring it home for Britain again, but there's another part of my body rooting for Stacie Tovar and all her beautiful hot and hard muscles (and it ain't my head).
Let the Games begin!