After coming in second place at the 2012 CrossFit Games in Carson, California and competing in the first-ever CrossFit Invitational in London, Julie Foucher, one of the most popular female CrossFit athletes, has decided not to compete in the 2013 Games.
Weighing in at 130 pounds, Foucher has been one of the smaller elite female athletes competing in the Games in the past couple years, making her consistently high performances all the more impressive. After coming in fifth place in the 2011 CrossFit Games, Foucher improved her ranking to become the second “Fittest Woman on Earth” in 2012, behind two-time champion Annie Thorisdottir. Foucher also occupied the women’s runner-up spot for the 2012 CrossFit Games Open and Regional competitions as well, showing her consistent ability to perform at a high level across a variety of movements and workouts.
As is well-documented in numerous interviews and video montages, Foucher is a full-time medical student at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Frequently asked how she balances being one of the top athletes in her sport and studying for medical school, Foucher said, “The truth of the matter is that in my experience, more importantly than time management, achieving balance begins with defining reasonable goals.”
In this case, it means not competing in the 2013 CrossFit Games.
On her blog, Foucher wrote,
This second year of medical school is a critical one in my program, with increased classroom commitments and a significant demand to prepare for the first medical board exam in June. As I pursue my goal of becoming the best physician I can be, this year stands out as one that will lay the groundwork for caring for patients in the future. Recognizing the importance of this goal and the time commitment necessary to pursue it, I know that this year it must be prioritized above others, including competing in the 2013 CrossFit Games.
Rather than “giving half an effort to medical school and half an effort to the CrossFit Games this year,” Foucher wrote that she must shift to “dedicating a full effort to school and the board exam.”
Foucher realizes that the sport has made her a household name in the CrossFit community and wrote, “As much as it pains me to consider not competing in the sport I love, that has become a part of who I am and who I aspire to become, I know that in this particular year, I have another goal that has to take precedence.”
Losing one of the top and most popular female athletes certainly changes the women’s landscape for the 2013 CrossFit Games. However, Foucher promised, “I’ve still got my eye on the top of the podium in 2014, and training for that particular goal starts today.”
Undoubtedly, even if she is not competing in the 2013 Games, Foucher’s return to the sport’s most elite stage will be one of the biggest stories for the 2014 CrossFit Games.