WITH a bronze medal, Ricky Garard has been crowned as Australia’s greatest ever crossfit athlete.
The Southern Highlands 23-year-old stood proudly on the podium, the national flag draped around his shoulders, after finishing third at the World Crossfit Games last weekend.
It surpasses the efforts of television personality “The Commando” Steve Willis, who was fourth overall in 2009.
“I’d like thank my supporters who were behind me all the way,” he said.
“This was my toughest contest yet competing against the world’s best but I put the hard work in and was laser-focused on what I had to do so I’m so happy to come home with third place.”
Garrard, who runs a crossfit gym in Mittagong but has trained and competes in Wollongong, with his brother Ben, won two individual events in the United States and was also awarded the ‘rookie of the games’ award.
Australia dominated the CrossFit Games, which were held in Madison, Wisconsin.
In addition to Garrard’s third placing, behind American Mathew Fraser and Canadian Brent Fikowksi, Australians Tia-Clair Toomey – a weightlifter at the Rio Olympics – and Kara Webb finished first and second respectively in the women’s division.
The cross fit games combined strength, speed, fitness and endurance in 13 gruelling, multi-discipline workouts. Events included cycling, swimming, running, muscle ups, weightlifting, hand stand push ups and obstacle courses.
Garard’s performance came after Wollongong hosted the Pacific Regional Crossfit Games in May, the qualifier for the world titles.
Ben Garard, 28, also made it to the CrossFit Games in the US in 2015, finishing as the best performing Australian in 15th place overall.
Ben has helped coach Ricky over the past 12 months. Bowral High School student Tyler Hickey, 15, also competed at his first CrossFit Games in Wisconsin in the teens 14-15 age division. Tyler finished with an overall 12th placing including a second and fourth during the events.