in focus: Olympic champ Anna Tunnicliffe


Two of the fittest, Mt. Lebanon CrossFit’s Kevin Beamon and Olympic gold medalist Anna Tunnicliffe

Dream. Desire. Dedication. Discipline. Those are the “four D’s” Anna Tunnicliffe swears by in achieving her goals. Her Olympic gold medal in sailing and status as one of the fittest women in the world prove it’s more than just a slogan for her. Tunnicliffe, 31, who works—and works out—at Mt. Lebanon’s CrossFit studio, 427 Washington Road, has an extensive resume of athletic and personal achievement. In 2008 she won gold in sailing in the Laser Radial category (one-person dinghy) at the Beijing Olympics and four years later placed fifth in women’s match racing in London. She has twice been named International Sailing Federation Rolex World Sailor of the Year in her time between the Games.

But last year she retired from the water to pursue CrossFit, an exercise philosophy and competitive fitness sport that incorporates high intensity interval training, weightlifting, gymnastics and other high caliber exercise techniques. After her first try at CrossFit, Tunnicliffe says she “instantly fell in love.”

Goals are the driving force behind her success. She was 12 and had just moved to the United States from Doncaster, England, when she decided she wanted to compete in the Olympics. When she retired, she made a new goal of making it to the 2013 CrossFit Games. “I always set goals whether big ones or small ones,” she says. “If I have a goal it keeps me focused and on track.”