AMMAN — Fifteen-year-old Jordanian Yousef Diab is the first Arab to make it onto the CrossFit Games podium, taking home the title of third Fittest Teen on Earth in 2022 in the contest’s “Boys 14-15” category.
The CrossFit Games is an annual athletic competition, and is considered to be the largest official CrossFit championship. The games involve a series of workouts to determine which competitors are “the fittest on earth”, according to the contest’s website.
After holding the title of “Fittest teen in Jordan” for three consecutive years, and “Fittest Teen in Asia” for two years, Diab took his athletic abilities all the way to Madison, Wisconsin to test his skills in the international arena.
“It feels amazing, and I am very proud of myself for reaching this point and bringing honour to my country for being the first Arab to get a medal in the CrossFit games,” Diab told The Jordan Times.
He attributed his victory to “hardwork and dedication, training every day for three or four hours, and trying to make every hardcore workout under the sun even harder”.
“It was exhausting, but very fun at the same time and I learned a lot,” he said of his training.
Regarding the challenges of CrossFit, Diab noted that it is sometimes difficult to stay focused. “It is important to focus on being a better athlete, and that comes with distancing yourself from your personal life a little and instead, choosing to always be dedicated to your goals,” Diab said.
“My coach always inspired me and has always been the one to push me to my limits and potential. The help and support of my family and friends motivated me even more,” he continued.
Diab’s coach and former fittest athlete in Jordan, Amin Atallah, expressed his pride and happiness for Diab’s achievement, emphasising that “this is only the beginning,” for Diab.
“I have been training Yousef since he was eight years old. We worked really hard and consistently to reach this level. We work with a certain training plan every year, making sure to balance his time between his training and his studies,” Atallah told The Jordan Times.
According to Atallah, the CrossFit Games contest is one of the most difficult fitness competitions in the world. “Yousef was very well prepared with a high level of fitness,” he said.
“We are aiming for Yousef to compete with the fittest athletes when he turns 18, to hopefully reach the podium again. It is a long-term plan, and this was only the first step. We are going to continue training and working hard,” he said.