Local Fashion Icon to Compete for ‘Fittest on Earth’

If you’re familiar with local fashion designer Anne Namba, you might be surprised by another one of her many accomplishments—this time as an athlete.

Namba has been in the fashion industry for over 30 years. In that time, she’s successfully carved out a niche in the fashion world with her distinct brand. She’s designed clothes for legends like Aretha Franklin and Elizabeth Taylor, and many others.

She describes herself as goal-oriented, so when she started another journey as a CrossFit athlete, she knew she would dream big.

anne namba crossfit

Anne Namba

Coach Kimo Kockleman of CrossFit Hawaii and Anne Namba.

Now, Namba is training for the CrossFit Games happening later this month.

For CrossFit athletes, it’s the Olympics of their world. Athletes from around the globe compete for four months in a series of workouts culminating in the Games, where the winners earn the title, “Fittest on Earth.”

Namba is one of only two Hawaiʻi-based athletes competing in Wisconsin this year. She’ll be facing off against the top 19 women in the world in her age category.

“I’m going to be so nervous, but I’m kind of going in with the attitude of just enjoy the moment, enjoy everything, have a lot of fun,” she said. “This is going to be through the roof, being in the ‘Coliseum’ with 19 other top women athletes in my age group. This is gonna be insane.”

The Conversation sat down with Namba to find out how she went from fashion icon to competitive athlete. Click the “Listen” button to hear that interview.

The CrossFit Games kick off on July 27 in Madison, Wisconsin. Hawaiʻi athlete Mary Schwing from CrossFit 808 will also be participating. Two Hawaiʻi-born brothers living in Texas, Elijah and Kāʻeo Subiono will be competing in the teen division.

This segment aired on The Conversation on July 15, 2021.

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