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Olivia Sulek: World Champion

Local Teenager Wins Global Recognition and Continues Dreaming for Future

Article by Shawna Taylor

Photography by Len Kaltman—West Chester Corporate Photography

Originally published in Mason & Deerfield Lifestyle

There are thousands of young athletes across the country who compete recreationally on their high school athletic teams, but one Mason teen is turning heads on the global stage. Olivia Sulek is not your typical teenager; she is the fittest 14/15-year-old girl in the world. Olivia earned that accolade, as the first 14-year-old to do so, in the 2018 Global CrossFit Games, beating out more than 1,500 athletes who started in the first stage of the competition.

“I went to the competition the year before and watched the girls compete. I had no faith in myself and thought there was no way I could do it, only to come back one year later and win the whole thing," Olivia says. "There were definitely ups and downs throughout the whole competition, but the end result was just amazing."

CrossFit is a fitness program that combines varying exercises into a timed or scored workout—think pull-ups, push-ups, running, swimming and weightlifting, among many other activities.

“Her dedication to being the best and her level of maturity is beyond her years,” Olivia’s mother, Dominika, says.

Olivia’s CrossFit journey began when she was just 11. At the time, she was training as a gymnast and saw CrossFit as an opportunity to enhance her gymnastics. In the end, it was CrossFit that stole her heart, so about a year and a half ago, she became serious about her training.

“I love the competitiveness of it,” she says. “I was doing gymnastics more for the social aspect, but CrossFit ignited the fire I always had.”

Olivia’s passion and determination help fuel that fire, and her dedication is evident in everything she does. She follows a strict nutrition plan, set by a consultant who determines what carbs, fats and proteins she should eat and when. Her workouts are scheduled around those times. Olivia trains nearly seven days a week, five of which are hard training days where she is in the gym for around four hours. 

“I am very fortunate. My parents let me homeschool. I just have to keep my priorities straight, and it’s a continual learning process and I make sure I have fun when I can,” Olivia says. 

When asked what makes her most proud of her daughter, Dominika responds, “She doesn’t make excuses and doesn’t like to hear them as well. To her, everything is possible if you put your mind, heart and work into it, and don’t even try to argue about that!”

So what's next for this young champion? In 2019, she will compete once again in the 14/15-age division at the world’s CrossFit Games, where she hopes to do even better than she did in 2018. 

“After I graduate, I don’t know what the plan is. I have a great coach right now, and I want to stick with him as long as I can,” Olivia says of her coach, Nic Simpson.

"Without him, her success wouldn’t be possible. They have a very special bond and relationship. It’s a perfect recipe for success,” Dominika adds.

“Becoming a professional athlete would be awesome. I don’t see a reason why I can’t become the best there’s ever been,” Olivia says.