Matt Fraser, the fittest man alive in both 2016 and 2017, is the odds-on favourite to take his third straight title in Madison, Wisconsin, this weekend.
Although he finished second in regional-qualifying back in March because of a slow start which saw him finished 81st in the first event of the 6-event contest, his consistency and endurance make him hard to beat in the 5-day contest, which will feature a dozen events or more. Each CrossFit games includes a different schedule of events, which are not revealed to the athletes in advance, so mental strength as well as weight and endurance training are the key to success.
When he was interviewed at the conclusion of last year’s games after winning, Fraser was asked when he would start training for the 2018 games. He said “tomorrow.” Some of the events for this year’s games were revealed early this week, including the 4th event, the final event of the opening day, which is a 42-kilometre row, the marathon distance on a rowing machine. When this article is published on Thursday, August 1, the first day (including the row) will be in the books and it will be a rest day for the athletes. Preliminary results will be available at games.crossfit.com. The events are also streamed live on Facebook and CBS online.
40 male and 40 female athletes qualify for the Crossfit Games, and there is a team event and Masters events for older athletes. Drug testing is a part of the Crossfit Games. Last year, three athletes, including the third-place finisher in the men’s event as well as two Masters athletes, were disqualified for doping.
Matt Fraser is the 1.25 to 1 favourite to win again this year. There are 2 athletes going off at 11-1, demonstrating how dominant he has been in 2016 and 2017. He finished second in both 2014 and 2015. He is one of two men to win the games more than once. The other, Rich Froning, won four years in a row, between 2011 and 2014. The 2017 fittest woman in the world, Australian Tia-Claire Tomey, is competing this week as well, as is the 2015 and 2016 champion, Icelander Katrin-Tanya Davidsdottir.
Fraser competes as an American, but was born in Sharbot Lake and returns to visit family each year, usually to chill out after the games are over for the year.