After coming in first place in the Men’s 35-39 division at the 2023 CrossFit Games in Madison, WI, Sam Dancer will return to competing in Individual Men for next year’s CrossFit season. The athlete announced he would retire from the Men’s 35-39 Age Group (which is considered the start of Masters competition in CrossFit) and feature again in Individual Men during his post-victory interview on Thursday, August 3, 2023.
CrossFit General Manager of Sport Dave Castro would confirm the same news in an Instagram post, congratulating Dancer for making a successful “comeback” after a biceps tear ended his 2022 season. Castro applauded Dancer for taking on another comeback effort to return to Individual competition in 2024.
Here is precisely what Castro had to say about Dancer’s battle through injury adversity and plans to return to competing as an Individual.
“It [Dancer’s Men’s 35-39 win] was a lot closer than his 70-point margin of victory suggests,” Castro wrote. “Between reconstructive surgery to repair his bicep and the arrival of his daughter, he took lot of time off. Maybe too much, Sam thought. When the 2023 season began, he was scared he wouldn’t be the same anymore. He was right. He’s not. He’s better. Which is why you won’t see Sam Dancer in the 35-39 division next year. If all goes according to plan, he’ll be making another big comeback at the 2024 CrossFit Games to Individual competition.”
A seasoned CrossFit competitor, Dancer has not competed as an individual since the 2016 CrossFit Games, where he came in 32nd place. In the Team Division, Dancer was a member of CrossFit Invictus X, which finished as the runner-up at the 2018 edition of the Games and would miss the cut the following year. After a three-year absence, Dancer attempted to return in 2022 before his biceps injury forced him to withdraw.
Now, the athlete’s journey has come full circle with the Men’s 35-39 win and an ambitious Individual return plan.
Every now and then, CrossFit serves up a wonderful story of redemption like Dancer. Given his future Individual plans, this story is far from over.
Featured image: @samdancing on Instagram