P.E.I. teen CrossFit star finishes 2nd in world, but COVID-19 puts celebration on hold

P.E.I. teen Anikha Greer finished second in the world during an online CrossFit competition at her gym last Monday, but the hugs and high-fives will have to wait.

That same day, CrossFit 872, like many businesses across P.E.I. and the world, closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and people began to self-isolate. 

That means no sharing the excitement, at least in person, with the CrossFit community that has supported her so much, including the last two years when she fell short of her goals during the online competition. 

But this year, her top-10 finish in the girls 16-17 age division means she qualifies for the World CrossFit Games in August in Wisconsin. She is the only Canadian to qualify in her age group.

"I'm used to going into the gym and seeing my people, in past always like getting hugs or comforting me, right, because I didn't do as well as I wanted to, but this year it was tough," said Greer, who has been practising social distancing.

"They're my family. I want to go see him and celebrate with them, but I wasn't able to. It was different and unfortunate but it is what it is."

Greer, 16, and CrossFit 782 owner Mike Ives were able to compete in the online qualifier based on their top-200 finish in a five-week world online competition last fall.

The best 10 finishers from the March 13-16 qualifier are eligible for the World CrossFit Games. Ives just missed out, finishing 13th in the men's 50-55 age division.

Anikha Greer sets a personal best in the clean and jerk during the CrossFit competition last weekend. (Lee-Anne Greer)

There were six events — or workouts — during the March 13-16 online qualifier, all performed before a judge and recorded by video. Greer finished in the top five in all events, and recorded a personal best in clean and jerk when she lifted 235 pounds. 

Greer said last Monday around 9 p.m., she was feeling confident as she watched the results come in at the gym with her parents and coach Brett Roberts.

"I knew I put in every single ounce of work I could," she said.

 "I had no idea where that would put me because I don't know what the other girls are doing, that's out of my control, right, but it was almost like a gut feeling when I finished each workout. It was like, 'You did that extremely well,' and it felt good."

I knew I put in every single ounce of work I could. — Anikha Greer

For now, the World CrossFit Games are still scheduled to go ahead in August, though Greer knows that might change if COVID-19 remains.

She continues to do her CrossFit workouts. CrossFit 782 has loaned her equipment to set up a mini-gym in the detached garage at her parents' home in Argyle Shore.

Anikha Greer

"One of the skills I've learned and had to refine through CrossFit is adaptability. So I haven't freaked out about it. It was just kind of like, OK, it is what it is, you move on, we adapt and we train just as hard at home."

She'll have plenty of time to let it all sink in.

"It was really cool and I'm still over the moon happy but I haven't gotten to the point of like, 'Holy crap, what did I just do?'"

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