Ireland’s most popular sporting activity is going to the gym. There are a variety of reasons but one of them is increasingly to compete with those who are training not only alongside you but around the world.
The Reebok Crossfit Games will take place in Madison, Wisconsin at the same time as the Tokyo Olympics but they deserve to be watched with at least one eye from an Irish perspective.
We have had the pleasure to meet over the past few days with Ireland’s fittest woman and fittest man, both of whom will be representing Ireland among 140 other national champions next summer.
Not only representing but they will enter the games with a high world ranking that will make them competitive in the search for the World’s Fittest Woman and Man.
Both are from Northern Ireland and both came to the fast-growing sport out of regular gym work to help them in other sports.
McQuaid was a quad biker until an accident left hey boyfriend paralysed from the waist down. She carried on going to the gym and represented Northern Ireland in weightlifting at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
She competed in the World Crossfit Games in 2019 and is ranked number 20 in the world and number one in Ireland going into 2020.
She was down in Dublin to launch the new Crossfit ‘Box’ at Trinity College Sports Centre, operated in partnership with Chapter 2 fitness.
McQuaid is a personal trainer herself but the coming months will be dedicated more to her own dream of becoming the fittest woman in the world come next August, as well as helping her boyfriend David navigate his life in a chair.
PD Savage was a Gaelic Footballer at Queens University Belfast when he started going to the Gym and was attracted by the sight of competitive lifting, strength and agility that Crossfit demands.
Despite being four inches taller and 15 KG heavier than the average Crossfit star, his coach identified him as one who had the determination and the skillset to make it at the very highest level.
Both the stars of the new sport competed in October with fellow cross-fitters across the country, more than 1,500 in all, for the right to represent Ireland in Wisconsin.
Savage trains in the morning and evening, either side of putting in a day as a construction engineer with his Father’s business in County Down.
They are both likeable, humble, dedicated competitors, willing to give it their best shot on the biggest world stage wearing the green shirt.
We will be following their progress with regular updates through the early part of the New Year and helping to shine a light on what could just be the next big thing in sport.