Watching Camille Leblanc-Bazinet execute sets of muscle-ups on the rings is a near-religious experience. The fluidity and control she demonstrates with each rep is hypnotizing – each motion looks as perfect as the last. You could easily imagine that this CrossFit athlete and chemical engineering student does everything with 110 percent focus – and you’d be right. But you’d probably never guess that this 5’2″, 128-pound frame could belong to the next “Fittest Woman on Earth,” which is exactly what Camille is hoping to prove at this year’s Reebok CrossFit Games.
A gymnast from a young age, Camille watched her tumbling career screech to a halt when she injured a hip flexor. Her flipping dreams on the back burner, Camille attempted every school sport known to man, including rugby and flag football, and, at age 18, ran her first and only half-marathon. It’s this robust athletic history – a combination of contact sports and graceful strength – that made Camille the perfect candidate for CrossFit.
This year marks Camille’s fourth attempt at CrossFit Games glory. Last year, she came in sixth in the Individual Women’s division, which is nothing to snuff at, considering that over 40 athletes from across the globe participated in the category. Her repeat visits to the Games have only intensified her thirst for the top position on the podium (“I’m consistent – I go up in ranking every year,” notes the 24-year-old matter-of-factly), and this July, she is eager to face off against other heavy-duty competitors, like Samantha Briggs, who has so far been dominating the leader board. Adding more intrigue to this year’s event: reigning champ “Iceland Annie” Thorisdottir recently bowed out of this year’s competition due to a back injury, leaving the number-one spot wide open.
It was actually only four short years ago that Camille first attempted the “Sport of Fitness” – the very same year that she competed in her first Games. “I tried it, and I guess I was pretty good,” she says humbly. It’s the universal nature of CrossFit – anyone, anywhere can do it – that makes it an appealing method of exercise for thousands of athletes worldwide, and that’s exactly what made Camille a fan in the first place. “I love seeing moms jumping onto a 15-inch box for the first time – it’s like they can take on the world,” she says.
And if you aren’t yet a CrossFit believer, Camille summarizes it nicely: “CrossFit is about the fundamentals of movement,” she explains. “We are about being healthy, and the byproduct of that is looking good, which is cool.” We’ll second that.
Want more Camille? Check out our bonus slideshow Behind the Scenes with Camille Leblanc-Bazinet.
Her thoughts on the Paleo diet: “The goal of eating Paleo is to eat in balance,” she says. “My diet is closer to Paleo than most people’s who say they are Paleo.”
Favorite WOD (“workout of the day,” for the un-initiated): “My favorite WOD is one that challenge me,” she says. “It changes all the time.”
Favorite SOD (“skill of the day”): “Any type of Fran: pull-ups and thrusters,” she says.
Camille’s favorite warm-up:
In her gym bag: