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Elisabeth Akinwale

Elisabeth is a top CrossFit Athlete with four CrossFit Games appearances and two consecutive North Central Regional crowns. She is also the mother of a young son, the role she consider to be her most important and joyful.


More About Elisabeth

Elisabeth Akinwale is a coach and athlete best known for her appearances in the Annual CrossFit Games. She brings the experience of 15 years of competitive gymnastics, CrossFit Level 1 certification, CrossFit Kids certification, coaching over 40 seminars over the past three years, and her personal coaching business based in Chicago. She also presented a hands-on session at the most recent GGS-sponsored event this past summer in Kansas City for over 150 women.

“I’m truly honored to be part of the collective of women that Girls Gone Strong has drawn together. I’ve been involved in fitness for nearly twenty years, and there is a lack of easily accessible information that is intended to empower women to better themselves, rather than capitalize on women’s insecurities.”

At the age of 4, Elisabeth started gymnastics, following in her older sister’s footsteps. She began competing by the time she was in second grade and trained year-round in a club program. She continued in competitive gymnastics until her freshman year of college. Her collegiate gymnastics career was cut short after a series of knee injuries. After the last injury during that time, she went through rehabilitation at her university, including strength training with weights. These experiences played a significant role in shaping Elisabeth’s ideas about training, respecting the body through fitness, and allowing oneself compassion even while training intensely.

As a working, new mother, Elisabeth kept up with her fitness through group fitness classes, running, and weight training, completing a few fitness competitions, road races and triathlons along the way. After going through a divorce, Elisabeth was ready for a new challenge (or distraction!) and decided to give CrossFit a try. She found CrossFit in 2010 and six months later qualified for her first CrossFit Games in March of 2011 where she placed 13th overall. Through CrossFit she was introduced to Olympic-style weightlifting, and in the summer of 2011 she competed in her first weightlifting meet.

Elisabeth is a top CrossFit Athlete with five CrossFit Games appearances and two consecutive North Central Regional crowns. She has won CrossFit Games events such as the 2011, “Killer Kage,” 2012 “Double Banger,” 2013 “Cinco 1,” 2014 “Clean Speed Ladder, and 2015 “Soccer Chipper”.” Additionally, she has accomplished three USA Weightlifting National qualifications and three American Open Weightlifting Championship appearances. She is also a proud member of SEALFIT Kokoro 30.

Formerly a licensed social worker, Elisabeth holds a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago, and enjoys utilizing this skill set to train clients as a whole person, focused on development of both the mind and body. In addition to training and competing as a professional athlete, she created and runs the On Balance coaching seminars for athletes, which she feels is one of the most rewarding, challenging, and exciting aspects of her career. However, she considers her most important and joyful role to be that of mother to her young son, who she says helps keep things in perspective. “I feel like I’m setting the example I need to set for him: Follow your dreams, go after your goals.”

When Elisabeth isn’t training or coaching, she loves reading, writing, spending time at home, or exploring the city with her family.

Learn more about Elisabeth on her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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