In Athletes, CrossFit Games

September 09, 2008

PDF Article

Kallista Pappas was 14 years old when she delivered a performance at the 2008 CrossFit Games that inspired an entire community. At an age when many kids are merely hanging out at the mall, Kallista, a home-schooled gymnast who lives in Seattle, Washington, was training gymnastics five hours per day and throwing in CrossFit workouts three times a week too.

“Looking back now, this workout (Sunday’s 30 Clean and Jerks at 100lbs) was climactic because it was the event that made the Games something that I will never forget. It changed me as a person. On repetition 22, I was getting ready to jerk it, when I lost focus. I didn’t take my inhaling breath to lock my core and, as I got it up to a point near lockout, I lost it and fell down. The weight bounced off my knees and I lay there, stunned. At this point, someone yelled something that still sticks in my mind: ‘Don’t give it up, you’ve come this far, you can’t give up!’”

The video of her Games Finals workout can be found here ... [wmv] [mov]

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11 Comments on “My 2008 CrossFit Games Experience”


wrote …

Kallista, thanks for sharing 'the rest of the story.' It was as memorable to be there cheering as you describe 'being it.' I'll never forget it. I would be embarrassed to admit how many times I have 'leaked' from around my eyes when watching your video, and now reading your story - except just about everyone that watches the vid (and I show everyone that I can rope into it) does likewise. Primal and powerful and transcendant somehow - never fails to move. Congrats to you. I hope you have a great time with gymnastics this year, and I look forward to seeing you tie into next year's Games. Paul


wrote …

Where is her video??


wrote …

Monte - Go to the PDF article and the video link is on the second page.


wrote …

Kallista was unbelievably amazing that day. I was filming for Tony B... and I'm glad I was there to see this extraordinary young woman


Kevin Suttmoeller wrote …

Being your Judge/Coach that day for those 30 reps is simply one of the most magical things I have experienced in my life.
July 6th was the day, and it carries special meaning to me. When we meet face-to-face, I will explain that your performance that day was an incredible gift to me in so many ways! Thank you. I owe you one!


wrote …


I was standing in back of you with Angel, watching and cheering. I can't even count how many times I've shown your video. Best of luck this and every year. I'm sincerely going to enjoy the thrills of watching you and Connor Martin develop as athletes and individuals. Kudos to your parents.



wrote …


I am a 68 years old male and you are my hero! The picture of you screaming through the squat on one of the last thrusters is now the screen saver on my computer. If you can do that at your age, all things are possible at mine. Thanks for who you are for me.

Sky King

PS: Before I die my ultimate goal is to do:


30 Body Weight Thrusters for Time


Adam Kayce wrote …

Thanks for sharing your story, Kallista — I have an 8 year old daughter who's now more interested in gymnastics than taking ballet, and she can't wait until we open our own CF gym and she can start training with me.

If I make it to the 2009 Games, I'll be one of the throngs of people who are looking forward to shaking your hand and seeing you perform.


wrote …

Sky King,

Enjoyed your post as I often do. Technical note: Kallista did 30 BW clean and jerks vice thrusters.

Best regards, Paul


wrote …

I am a home school mom. My daughter is 14 years old, and she CrossFits with her dad and I. When we watched your video, we were cheering you on as if it were live. You have become an inspiration to the whole family and especially to my daughter, Aryn. We hope to see you in the olympics, as well as, videos from your next CrossFit competition. Way to hang in there and not give up!!! You also write very well. Kudos to your teacher! The New Family in Louisiana


wrote …

WOW!!! I have seen the video and wow what a performance!! You have shown a warriors heart and I really had to try not to cry. People watch sports movies for inspiration but you gave a living example of what we can do if we have the courage to dig deep. THAN YOU for who you are!!

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