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CrossFit Games: All you need to know

Explainer on the CrossFit Games, where the world's top CrossFit athletes will compete this August in Madison, Wisconsin

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 9:15 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 9:15 PM

Katrin Davidsdottir is ready to regain her title as the "Fittest Woman on Earth."

Having claimed the honor in 2015 and 2016, the former gymnast from Iceland failed to reach the podium in 2017, finishing a disappointing fifth.

"I didn't do anything wrong," Davidsdottir recalls. "I just kept coming off the floor and was like, that was okay."

She had lost her "magic" as she likes to call it. But that result was a wake-up call.

Driving back to the hotel after the final event, Davidsdottir's coach Ben Bergeron pulled to the side of the road.

The two of them began systematically going over everything that had happened in the last year and what they were going to do to make sure this year they would have absolutely no regrets.

There, in that moment, Davidsdottir began her journey to become the 2018 Fittest Woman on Earth.

READ: Is the CrossFit Open the biggest sporting competition on Earth?

READ: How to talk to someone who does CrossFit, if you really must

Giving it everything she's got, Davidsdottir increased her already intensive training schedule.

"I don't have any more hours in my day to put in more work. And I love it."

Davidsdottir describes herself as a sled dog, even adopting the imagery for her brand. A sled dog, she explains to me, loves to work and gets impatient and agitated when not kept busy.

This is how those who know her work ethic see her. Someone who loves putting in the hard graft, excelling in situations where hard work and determination produce results.

Sled dogs also work in teams, as is the case for Davidsdottir and her family. After moving from Iceland to Boston to work with renowned CrossFit coach Bergeron, she finds ways to stay connected so that her family remains an integral part of her life.

Despite being 4,000 kilometers from home, she was surrounded by family when we met with her in May. The two-time Games champion was visiting her aunt after Regionals, who kindly opened her home to our crew.

Aunt Frida is a hospice nurse and a phenomenal cook. Consequently, more time was spent eating with the family than focusing on the interview. We learned how to crack, peel and eat quail eggs -- a first for both myself and our cameraman. A healthy smorgasbord of sushi, steaks, and other delicious items were offered to us as well. With this family refusal was not an option. Nor was it really a consideration.

We were also joined by her grandfather, a former Icelandic Ambassador to the US, Uncle Helgi, a physiologist in sleep medicine, and cousins Viktor and Tómas; the former had just started college, the latter still a freshman in high school.

Davidsdottir's mother can often be seen cheering from the stands, and in 2016 it was the sad passing of Amma - her grandmother and most devoted fan - that fueled the fire for her second CrossFit Games win.

Along with the increased training regime, Davidsdottir is also having more fun. And it appears to be paying off.

At the regional qualifying event for the Games in May, Davidsdottir devastated the field, winning five of six events and finishing with the ranking of first globally. More importantly, she had rediscovered her "magic."

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news and features

Of course, as with all magic tricks, what appears to be impossible is in fact not magic at all. Rather, it's buried deep in meticulous planning, focused hard work and impeccable execution.

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