Team Invictus Unconquerable 2024

Meet Team Invictus Unconquerable 2024 
Written by Kelly Sekulovski

Introducing the second team coming out of CrossFit Invictus: Team Invictus Unconquerable.

The common theme among all of these 4 athletes: they have all faced adversity in this sport that has made them stronger, and they all have something to prove in 2024. This is a dangerous combination. 


Team Invictus Unconquerable 2024 training at Invictus San Diego

Jessi Smith 

Jessi Smith laughing at the 2023 CrossFit Games with bright orange hair.

Jessi, 28, is originally from Pennsylvania but decided to head to sunny San Diego to train at Invictus a little over a year ago along with her husband (you might know him… Chandler Smith). The Smiths have been a huge addition to Invictus, and their energy is contagious. Jessi is a competitive athlete, but she is also a Doctor of Physical Therapy and was practicing full time on top of training before moving to San Diego.  

Last year, Jessi achieved her dream of making it to the CrossFit Games for the first time on Team Invictus Unconquerable (Jessi and Emily are the 2 returning members of the team). “I’ve been doing CrossFit for 10 years and my one goal was always to make it to the games,” said Jessi. 

Unfortunately, the weekend was cut short for the team due to an injury. “We had fun last year and, even though the weekend was shorter than I was expecting, it was a great learning experience,” said Jessi when asked about the experience. “I think the best thing I learned was to enjoy every experience and don’t take anything for granted. This sport is hard and the biggest weekend of your season (and career) can be over before you know it. It’s important to appreciate all the moments but also to not get upset when things don’t go perfectly your way.” 

This year, Jessi is excited to come into the season fitter than she’s ever been, and with a team she wholeheartedly believes in because of their communication (even though there might be some English/Spanish translation happening). “Phil and Roldan are two high level individual athletes and they know how to push themselves out on the floor. Emily is constantly working to be the best version of herself which helps me get better all the time as well. We have lots of learning and growing to do together this year but I know we’re gonna have fun along the way!” 

Roldan Goldbaum 

Roldan Goldbaum flexing for a pic

Roldan, 24, is the 2x Fittest Man in Mexico and is ready to try to hold onto that title in 2024. Roldan found CrossFit at the early age of 15, and his original coach/programmer was actually Invictus’s own Tino Marini, so his roots in the Invictus community run deep. 

Last year Roldan made it to the West Coast semifinals, but unfortunately had to pull out of the competition on day 2 due to a partial tear in his left bicep. Like most on this team, Roldan is familiar with how devastating an injury can be to the season. 

We asked Roldan what it would mean to him to make it to the CrossFit Games for the first time. His response: “For me to be able to be in CrossFit Games for the first time would be something incredible, since my goal is to win them so that means I’m closer.” Roldan is hungry to make his mark this season. 

Roldan is coming into this season hungry and ready to work, with a strong belief in the rest of his teammates. “I love being with invictus because the work is very hard and at the same time there is always laughter,” said Roldan. “My teammates trust me and I trust each one of them.” 

Emily Rethwill 

Emily Rethwill at the 2023 CrossFit Games

Being part of Invictus is a family affair for Emily. Her husband, Holden Rethwill, is the Head of Athlete Development at Invictus, and programs and coaches Emily and the rest of the elite athletes at the Invictus San Diego location, and their 3 year old daughter, Peyton, is growing up with the gym as her second home.

Becoming a Mom hasn’t slowed this former All-American Track and Field athlete down in the slightest. If anything it has given her more motivation than ever to show her daughter how strong she can be someday.

Emily is a returning member of the Invictus Unconquerable team, and is determined to try to get back to the CrossFit Games for her second trip.

Phillip Muscurella 

Phillip at the 2023 West coast semifinals

Phillip, 31, was also a West Coast semifinals athlete last year who is hopeful to make it to his first CrossFit Games this year with Team Invictus Unconquerable. He is a recent addition to the Invictus family, and has been training CrossFit since 2019. Before he found the sport, Phillip was a professional soccer player. This means he excels at both outdoor workouts, and workouts inside of the gym. 

Phillip has dreamed of punching his ticket to the CrossFit Games since being introduce to the sport. “Making the games has been my goal since starting so making it would be a milestone for me and an exciting lifelong memory.” 

In a post reflecting on his semifinals performance last year, he was unhappy that his performance wasn’t indicative of his fitness or preparation. Phillip has been reflecting on that fact the entire off season, and using it as fuel to his fire to train hard for his team. “Our team has been steadily working on our chemistry and we consist of solid no name athletes that can throw a wrinkle at any of the super teams,” said Phillip. “I believe in us and truly believe we will surprise a lot of people.” 


Good luck to team Invictus Unconquerable as they prep for the season ahead! 

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