Annie Thorisdottir – her journey, background and motives in life

Rehband and Annie Thorisdottir have worked together for many years. Always willing to share her story, Annie sat down with us for a conversation about her journey, background and motives in life.

Tell us a little about your background – where did you grow up and how did you become involved with CrossFit?

I grew up in this tiny town Vik, Iceland, where only 300 people live. My grandparents lived just 300 meters away, I walked myself to kindergarten, and we were right by the ocean and the mountains. I felt so free there, I was able to do everything and play in the nature.

Growing up, I did gymnastics– which meant that I was training six days a week, four hours a day. When I started high school, I decided to focus on my studies and stop practicing gymnastics. I soon realized it was impossible to go from that amount of training to absolutely nothing, so I tried to find something else instead of gymnastics. I did ballet and was accepted into the dance academy of Iceland, then I tried pole vaulting, but still I needed something more. Alongside these activities, I tried out a boot camp class–which was one hour of sweating, bodyweight training, going hard, and pushing myself. I immediately loved it.

I started signing up for these random competitions in Iceland, and one of those competitions happened to be CrossFit. This was in 2009 and a friend of mine actually had to convince me to sign up. I agreed and went to the event, and won. By winning that competition I earned a spot at the 2009 CrossFit Games – I decided that I had to go for it.

What was your impression of the CrossFit world that first time?

It was incredible. I competed on a farm in Aromas, there was so many people there and it was just the most incredible competition atmosphere I have ever been in. There were so many movements that I had never done before and so many different challenges.

So how did you go from almost stumbling into your first CrossFit competition to winning the games – in just 2 years?

After that initial competition I decided I had to give this sport a try – I was absolutely hooked. So I trained my ass off for one year, competed at the games 2010 and I ended up taking second place at the CrossFit Games 2010. That made me realize that I stood a chance to win the title “The Fittest Woman on Earth”.

I found a coach, I got a team around me and trained in a more structured way than before. I had my whole family with me at the games 2011. Well, my parents have been at every single CrossFit competition with me, I can’t believe how lucky I am for that. At the games 2011 they were all there, my brothers were there, their spouses, my cousins. It was a big group of people. And I won the CrossFit Games 2011.

“Winning the CrossFit Games was kind of like a recognition that I had made the right decision. I now had the goal to be the first women in the world to win the CrossFit games twice. And I ended up accomplishing that goal.”

Annie Thorisdottir

How did it feel to win the CrossFit Games?

All the hours, the sweat, the blood, the tears, everything that I put in to this and everything that I had put on my family as well – it was all worth it. It was one hundred percent better because my whole team was there. It was not just me winning, it was us winning. And I will never forget that feeling.

How did the win in 2011 effect you and the people around you?

When I won the CrossFit games in 2011 it was all over the media. Not many people in Iceland knew about the sport before, but it seems like the whole nation now found out what CrossFit really was. It has been growing ever since and I feel like there is so much pride inside me seeing how many people have changed their lives through CrossFit. I know it is not because of me, but I also know that I influenced some of them.

It is so different in Iceland when you do something, it is almost like the whole country is with you. I was the daughter that won the CrossFit games, and now we have so many daughters that realizes that if I can do this – why can’t they? I am just a normal girl from Iceland and I managed to win the CrossFit games, and this shows that if you are willing to break your barriers, if you are willing to work hard and test your limits – why can’t you?

And then you did it all again – in 2012 you won the CrossFit Games again.

Yes, winning the CrossFit Games in 2011 was kind of like a recognition that I had made the right decision. I now had the goal to be the first women in the world to win the CrossFit games twice. And I ended up accomplishing that goal.

Thank you Annie!