Photo Credit: Ava Kitzi
Enjoying Morning Chalk Up? Access additional exclusive interviews, analyzes, and stories with an Rx membership.
Australian Ricky Garard, who has returned to the CrossFit Games after a four-year hiatus for a drug testing violation is quickly becoming the story of Madison.
Garard holds the men’s individual lead after two days of competition and is writing a compelling redemption story after he last competed in the 2017 CrossFit Games, finishing third before being disqualified. Garard spoke about his experience at a press conference Thursday after the second day of competition.
- “To be honest I feel like it’s been pretty good,” said Garard in response to a question about how he thinks he has been received by the fans in Madison. “The fans have been great out there, a lot more than I thought to be honest, it’s awesome, and I’m really having a great time out there and five years worth of energy is coming out in every event. I’ve waited a long time for this and it’s finally nice to do a workout that actually means something, not just in the gym.
Garard took the field at the Dubai CrossFit Championship in December of 2021 and took the third place after serving his four-year suspension.
He was then asked about what the atmosphere is like with his fellow athletes during the finale of the season, noting its business at the start, but more jovial at the end.
- “We’re all competitors and there is going to be a lot of tensions between us. We’re all sharks, we smell blood in the water and we’re going to take our opportunities so it’s always pretty intense before the workout but after I feel like we all relax and have a bit of laughter and banter and chat.”
Garard qualified for the CrossFit Games via Australia’s Torian Pro, finishing first. He said that contest was much more difficult for him, and being here in Madison he is feeling much better when it comes to butterflies in his stomach.
- “Yeah my nerves have been the best they have ever been, Torian was tough for me. It was the moment that was make or break. I’d waited all this time to finally make my comeback and there were only three spots at Torian and there was no room for error so that really made me anxious and nervous for that whole tournament. And now being at the Games it’s just a lot of fun. I’m loving the programming and I’ve missed it so much and I’m stoked to be back.”