Quebec athlete Camille Leblanc-Bazinet is the world’s new fittest woman after winning the women’s individual competition at the CrossFit Games.
Leblanc-Bazinet came in first, defeating two-time champion Annie Thorisdottir, to claim a $275,000 prize at the Games this past weekend in Carson, Calif.
Her win makes her the first Canadian woman to win the individual competition since the Games began in 2007.
"My mom and dad were uncontrollably crying," Leblanc-Bazinet said.
These were her fifth CrossFit Games. Leblanc-Bazinet's win comes after last year's 16th place finish.
"Last year it was my worst finish ever. Last year was a little wake-up call for me. I maybe expected it was going to be easier than I thought to maybe finish in the top five," said Leblanc-Bazinet.
"Last year I realized what I needed to do to win and how much I had to have this mental fortitude in all of my training to be able to claim the first spot. Sometimes when you lose, you win. That’s what happened last year. It gave me the opportunity to really face myself and get a lot better."
The Games are a test of strength and endurance, with athletes competing in various weightlifting, gymnastics and cardio workouts.
Leblanc-Bazinet competed in 13 workouts at the Games, including a complex circuit of reps in which she placed first.
The 25-year-old athlete trains at CrossFit Brossard, which her family owns, and is also a chemical engineering student at University of Sherbrooke.
When asked how she balances her studies and her training, Leblanc-Bazinet said she doesn't.
"As one of my classmates told me: I have no life — not even watching TV ," she said laughing to CBC Radio One Homerun host Sonali Karnick.
"I always tell everyone as a joke that washing my hair is overrated."
Leblanc-Bazinet said she will celebrate her achievement next week, once final exams are over. Then her training continues.
"I’m definitely going to come back next year and maybe go into some Olympic lifting competitions."
Fellow Quebecer Michele Letendre finished fourth at this year’s CrossFit Games. The Montreal-based athlete has competed in the international competition since 2011.
CrossFit is a workout regimen involving Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics and calisthenics. Its popularity has grown exponentially since the first Games eight years ago.