Sara Sigmundsdottir posted on Instagram on Friday explaining why she finished far lower than expected in the 2020 CrossFit Games initial round. Thirty women competed for five spots in the final and after a strong season, the Icelander was fancied to make the cut. Instead she finished 21st.

In a three part post, she explained that she suffered a shin injury in May, rushed back to competition too quickly and developed an infection. The infection resulted in a cortisol deficiency, the hormone related to muscle growth.

“It is a huge relief to have these results and thankful to have figured out one of the reasons why I have not been fully myself in recent months,” she wrote.

In the first of three posts, Sigmundsdottir said she was not offering an excuse for her performance “but I will admit it was way below the standards that I have set for myself”.

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Keeping it Honest and Real: Part 2⁣ ⁣ I have been dealing with an issue that originated in one clumsy box jump in May, where I split my shin wide open and ended up in the emergency room with 12 stitches ‍♀‍⁣ ⁣ This was just few weeks before the @rogueinvitational, so I was in a race against time and allowed a shorter time than I should have to let the wound heal. 8 weeks later, after the wound had totally closed, an infection emerged. The swelling progressed rapidly and within hours it looked like I had a second knee on my left leg. Again I had to rush to the emergency room, this time for a minimal surgery which was followed by a cycle of strong antibiotics. ⁣ ⁣ Once I was passed fit to start training again, I just moved on and did not really think back on this. I never really made the connection between this and the discomfort I was experiencing until my nutrition coach pointed out that I might have developed a cortisol issue as a result of the infection. As he described all the symptoms of “adrenal insufficiency” I felt like he was describing my current life. ⁣ ⁣ A little too late I underwent a cortisol test and on this past Monday I finally received a firm diagnosis confirming that my cortisol levels were way too low. It is a huge relief to have these results and thankful to have figured out one of the reasons why I have not been fully myself in recent months. ⁣ ⁣ Continued in Part 3 …

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“I came up short and that is on me. You girls who finished in the top [five] earned it and I can’t wait to watch you crush it in [two] weeks,” Sigmundsdottir wrote.

In her second post, she added: “I have been dealing with an issue that originated in one clumsy box jump in May, where I split my shin wide open and ended up in the emergency room with 12 stitches. ⁣

“This was just few weeks before the [Rouge Invitational], so I was in a race against time and allowed a shorter time than I should have to let the wound heal. [Eight] weeks later, after the wound had totally closed, an infection emerged.

“The swelling progressed rapidly and within hours it looked like I had a second knee on my left leg. Again I had to rush to the emergency room, this time for a minimal surgery which was followed by a cycle of strong antibiotics. ⁣

“Once I was passed fit to start training again, I just moved on and did not really think back on this. I never really made the connection between this and the discomfort I was experiencing until my nutrition coach pointed out that I might have developed a cortisol issue as a result of the infection.

“As he described all the symptoms of ‘adrenal insufficiency’ I felt like he was describing my current life.”

Sigmundsdottir’s final post opened up about how tough it is to pick herself back up from the disappointment of recent weeks. But she stated she will continue to “embrace the challenge and take the time I need to fully recover”.

She added that she paying particular attention to her studies – a psychology degree from The Open University, and is focused on the mental aspect of professional sports. She concluded by thanking her many supporters.

“I struggle to find the words to explain how much this means to me and how much this reinforces my will to come back stronger. ⁣From the bottom of my heart – thank you.”