What Happened to Mal Obrien? Why is Mal Obrien not Competing?

What Happened to Mal Obrien?

O’Brien’s withdrawal from the Semifinals competition prevents her from participating in any further events this season, meaning she won’t be able to qualify for the CrossFit Games. Despite being only 16 years old, O’Brien decided to take a break in 2020 to prioritize her health due to a Lyme disease diagnosis.

It is unclear whether her current setback is connected to her previous break, but O’Brien has a history of making successful comebacks. After giving birth to her daughter last week, Tia Clair-Toomey will not be participating in this season’s CrossFit Games. This leaves uncertainty regarding who will emerge as the ultimate winner on the podium.

With O’Brien previously seen as a likely successor, following her impressive second-place finish last year in Madison and her rapid ascent to stardom at the age of 19, her absence from the competition adds to the question mark surrounding the upcoming Games. The outcome of the summer event is now unpredictable, with the potential for a new champion to claim the top spot.


Why is Mal Obrien Not Competing?

The competition for the title of Fittest Woman on Earth® has once again become wide open. On May 16, Mal O’Brien made an Instagram announcement stating that she will not be participating in the 2023 Semifinals. As a result, O’Brien’s 2023 CrossFit season comes to an end without a chance to qualify for the 2023 CrossFit Games.

In her Instagram post, O’Brien emphasized the importance of addressing personal challenges and prioritizing well-being with the support of loved ones. She also reminded her followers that life encompasses more than just winning trophies and achieving goals; it’s about finding balance, self-care, and cherishing meaningful moments.

O’Brien’s withdrawal adds to the list of notable young women who have opted out of the 2023 CrossFit season, including 22-year-old Haley Adams, who cited mental health concerns and struggles with disordered eating habits when she announced her withdrawal on February 16. Notably, O’Brien’s announcement came only two days before the Semifinals, which are scheduled to take place from May 18 to June 4.

Who is Mal Obrien?

Mallory O’Brien is a notable CrossFit athlete who gained recognition in 2022 when she achieved an impressive second-place finish at the age of 18 in the CrossFit Games, making her the youngest person ever to reach the podium. Prior to that, she also made history as the youngest winner of the CrossFit Open and was honored as CrossFit’s Rookie of the Year in 2021.

Born to Joe and Nicole O’Brien, Mallory displayed her athletic abilities from a young age. She began her journey as a competitive gymnast at the age of 3, eventually reaching level 6. At the age of 10, her mother introduced her to CrossFit when they visited a gym in Des Moines, Iowa.

Mallory started competing at 12 by participating in online qualifiers for events like Wodapalooza. Initially, she trained under former Games athlete Elijah Muhammad for several years before switching to James Townsend in late 2019. In 2020, Mallory faced a setback when she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. In January 2022, Mallory joined HWPO, a training program led by former CrossFit champion Mat Fraser, to further develop her skills and fitness.


Mal Obrien Age

At the age of 19, Mal O’Brien began her CrossFit journey as a competitor in the teen division of the CrossFit Games in 2018, when she was just 14 years old. During her debut season, she impressed by securing a 4th place finish in the 14-15 age group. The following year, O’Brien continued to showcase her talent and qualified for the 2019 CrossFit Games, where she achieved a commendable 5th place finish in her age group.

However, in 2020, O’Brien made the difficult decision to abstain from competition in order to focus on recovering from various health issues. She had been diagnosed with Lyme disease earlier in the year.

In 2021, O’Brien made her debut in the elite women’s division at the CrossFit Games. She made an impactful entrance by winning Individual Event 4, becoming the youngest competitor ever to claim a victory at the Games. Overall, she finished in 7th place and received the prestigious Rookie of the Year award, becoming the first athlete to win this distinction while still eligible to compete in the teen divisions.

The year 2022 brought further success for O’Brien as she became the youngest person ever to win the CrossFit Open. At the 2022 CrossFit Games, she showcased her remarkable abilities and secured a remarkable second-place finish, with only six-time champion Tia-Clair Toomey surpassing her. This accomplishment solidified her status as the youngest individual to ever reach the CrossFit Games podium.

Mal Obrien Crossfit

Mallory Franklin, a CrossFit athlete, had a successful 2021. She won the Rookie of the Year award after placing 7th at the CrossFit Games. This was her first year competing in the top division, but she had previous experience competing as a teen.

Franklin won Event 4 in the Coliseum, beating Tia-Clair Toomey by 30 seconds. She qualified for the Games with a second-place finish in the Semifinal, where she won 3 events and placed 2nd in 2 others. Just before the start of this competition, NOBULL announced that they were sponsoring Franklin.

She also achieved a spectacular 5th place worldwide in the 2021 Open. However, after this successful year, Franklin decided to take a sabbatical year to let her mind and body recover. She said that she had been spending more time in the gym than at home, which had led to a low level of performance and overtraining.

What Disease Does Mal Obrien Have?

Mallory O’Brien, a CrossFit athlete, will not be competing in the 2023 CrossFit Games. She withdrew from the Semifinals competition, which means she is no longer eligible to compete in the Games. O’Brien is no stranger to taking time off from competition. In 2020, she took a season off to focus on her health after being diagnosed with Lyme disease. She was just 16 years old at the time.

O’Brien has had a successful career in CrossFit. She won the Rookie of the Year award in 2021 after placing 7th at the CrossFit Games. She also qualified for the Games in 2020, but was unable to compete due to her Lyme disease diagnosis.

It is unclear why O’Brien withdrew from the Semifinals competition. She has not released a statement on her decision. However, she has been open about her struggles with Lyme disease in the past. It is possible that she is still recovering from her illness and is not yet ready to compete at a high level.

O’Brien is a talented athlete and a role model for many CrossFitters. Her decision to withdraw from the Semifinals competition is a reminder that health is always the most important thing. 

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