Update Show: Skype With Anna Tunnicliffe

Hello, everyone, Tommy Marquez here back inside the Update Studio. The 2016 Summer Olympic Games just recently wrapped in Rio and I’m fortunate today to be joined by a special guest, Olympic gold medalist and tenth-fittest woman on the planet in 2016, Anna Tunnicliffe. Anna, thank you so much for joining me today. Thanks for having me. So as an Olympic champion and laser radial, what’s it like for you to watch the Summer Olympic Games having retired from the sport of sailing and now transitioning into CrossFit full time? It was nice to kind of sit back and be on the other side of it understanding what all of these athletes are going through, and seeing their happiness when they accomplish their goals and their dreams of winning that gold medal. It’s something you can relate to and it gives you those chills again over and over just to see them happy and know that you were there once, too. So what are your thoughts on Tia Toomey qualifying for the Olympics in Australia in weightlifting, and as a two-time Olympian yourself, did you have any chance to kind of impart some veteran knowledge on how to handle the Olympics and the Olympic atmosphere? I was so excited when I saw she qualified, I sent her a note as fast as I could when I learned of it. I think that’s amazing and an incredible accomplishment, going to the Olympics, and her qualifying, especially being such an outstanding CrossFit athlete too, I think it’s great for the sport. When I talked to her quickly at the Games between events, I just, you know, the biggest thing about the Olympics is having fun. It’s possibly a once-in-a-lifetime event to get to so you’ve got to really enjoy the moment and ultimately, I think the one biggest piece of advice I tried to pass on was when you are actually competing, it’s just the same as any other event, so for me, sailing, it was just another sailing regatta, for her weightlifting, it’s just another meet. So I tried to just say to enjoy the moment but it really is just another meet when you’re actually competing. And what would you say was your favorite moment competing in sailing at the Olympics? Was there anything that stands out to you? Obviously winning the gold medal was a huge, huge memory for me, but really being in the Olympic Village with Team USA, that was really quite special because you have all these famous athletes around you. I come from sailing where yeah there’s a lot of people that do it but relative to track and swimming, it’s a fairly small sport so just being there, and nobody having egos, just “We’re Team USA,” everyone was there together and that was really cool. So the Olympics kind of started some discussion on social media about how well some of the top CrossFitters might transition outward into other sports. You’ve spent some time at the top of both realms, is it unrealistic to think that maybe some of the top male and female CrossFitters out there could transition to say some Olympic style sports and find some more success? I think it’s absolutely possible. Obviously it’s very sport dependent. Some of us are built certain ways that we’re not going to be sprint stars, or we’re not going to be Olympic weightlifters, but if you find the right sport for you, I think it’s totally possible. Obviously to get to the top of the CrossFit Games, you have to know how to train, you have to have that dedication that’s required to get there, you have to know how to set goals and chase them and understand how to deal with it if you don’t quite get them, so, I definitely think it’s possible, I definitely think it depends on the sport that you’re picking as well. So you made the transition very successfully from sailing to CrossFit, what about your preparation and training as a sailor helped you find some success in CrossFit early on? I think I knew how much time was required to get to the top. When we were sailing, we were training 3 weeks a month on the road, or on the water training, so that was a lot of time to get to the Olympics and then get to the top of the Olympics. So knowing what the sacrifices were that we’re actually required to accomplish your goals, I think that was a huge help. So when you made the final jump to CrossFit, made it to the CrossFit Games, what aspect of the sport of CrossFit and competing at the Games did you find most difficult and most challenging? I think what I found most challenging was the fact that not every event would be in my favor. When I trained sailing, I would train for the light winds, I would train for the medium winds, and I would train for the heavy winds, and yeah, I might not be as strong in one, but me not being as strong in one would be like finishing eighth or ninth in a race versus second or third. At the Games, you put a heavy lift in, I’m like OK well we know where that’s going to go, but you put a running event in and that might be a little bit more in my favor, so, understanding that it was OK that you’re not necessarily going to be at the top of every event. Shifting gears a little bit and focusing on your individual performance at the Games, your rookie year you finished ninth in 2013, then you had back-to-back 22nd-place finishes in 2014 and 2015, this year you make it back into the top 10, a stellar performance, what was the biggest difference about you as an athlete that allowed you to get back up into the top 10? I think this year I just stayed injury free. 2013, I came in as a rookie, just had fun, didn’t know what to expect, and everything went really well. 2014, I tore my plantar fascia off my heel during the Triple 3, so I struggled to walk for the rest of the event, last year, after Murph I struggled a lot, and then coming in this year, we had a little bit more of an idea of where Dave was planning to go with the Games so we were able to switch the training up a little bit, be a little bit more prepared, and just also took the pressure off, there were no expectations, we had goals, we had game plans, we stuck to them, and we were just going to see where it went from there. It’s certainly nice to see you back inside the top 10, I hear you have some developments and some new things going on in your life, can you report on that? In a couple days I’m getting married to Brad, my coach, fiancé, best friend, and I’m really excited for that, and then my family and I have opened up a new box in Pennsylvania so we’re really excited for that as well. Congratulations, that’s fantastic, some wonderful developments there, and what else can we expect from Anna Tunnicliffe in 2017? We’re just going to put the head down, start training again and just at this point, get ready for 2017 and see where it takes us. Well, Anna, thank you so much for joining me, I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. Thank you very much. The Team Series registration is live now, you can go to the Games site, click on the Team Series tab on the righthand side, find a couple of friends and compete. The first workouts are announced September 6, should be a lot of fun.

2 Replies to “Update Show: Skype With Anna Tunnicliffe”

  1. I don't understand why all crossfiters talk just about weightlifting why not triathlon or track and field. is crossfit based on just weightlifting

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