Māori crossfitter helps lead team to regionals, ready for international stage

By Mare Haimona-Riki

CrossFit has become one of the most popular and fastest-growing sports over the past 10 years - and it's our Māori athletes leading the way.

One such athlete is Michael Mikaere of Tainui, who picked up second place at the regional competition in South Korea with his team of four members of Yas Black, and has now qualified for the NOBULL CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin next month.

Mikaere brings the Māori flair to a team of international members from Guatemala, the United Kingdom and South Africa.

“Someone mentioned CrossFit, so I sort went down a ‘rabbit hole’ on YouTube, got stuck into a few of the videos and started doing the workouts by myself,” the Abu-Dhabi-based Mikaere says.

“The sport was relatively new so it was at a time that, pretty much, anyone could make it or make a regional level.

“I was able to crack the scene pretty early.”

Mikaere says the mental challenge that CrossFit presents is what draws many Māori athletes to take up the sport.

“It’s a good and healthy challenge, it’s always been that way ever since I started.”