The top 20 men to watch at the 2017 CrossFit Games
After excelling in the five-week CrossFit Open in the spring and placing in the top five in the regional competitions in May and June, 40 men and 40 women are ready to compete in Madison, WI, for the title of Fittest on Earth.
Apart from Dave Castro’s cryptic hints, this year’s events are unknown. What’s certain is the athletes will run, swim, squat, snatch, row, and climb well past the point of exhaustion.
In preparation for the CrossFit Games (August 3-6), we’ve prepared a guide of the 20 strongest male competitors, starting with last year’s champion, going in order of how each finished at Regionals. Check it out.
1. Mat Fraser
Mat Fraser is the reigning Fittest Man on Earth—and not by a small margin. At last year’s Games, he’d already won the competition before the final event even started. A few months ago, he took first in his region. Even though it was by a smaller margin that in 2016, he’s still the heavy favorite walking into Madison.
2. Patrick Vellner
A former national-level gymnast, and lacrosse and rugby player, Patrick Vellner took third in the Games last year. It was his first appearance, earning him Rookie of the Year. The Canadian is in the same region as Fraser (though their dynamic is less cutthroat than you'd imagine), so he knows full well what to expect.
4. Tim Paulson
Based out of Ithaca, NY, Tim Paulson is in the North East region with Fraser and Vellner, so he’s used to competing against the best. This is his rookie appearance at the Games, but with one of the strongest performances at Regionals, he’s poised to do well. He can also do 50 triple-unders in 43 seconds.
6. Noah Ohlsen
Noah Ohlsen is, perhaps, CrossFit’s most star-crossed competitor. Though he’s consistently won the Open and his Regional, he’s never finished higher than 8th at the Games. With a new training regimen in place, he could realign his destiny.
7. Sam Kwant
Though he doesn't have a beard and shoulder tats, Sam Kwant is an intense dude. At the age of 21, he’s already competed at Regionals four times, and can clean and jerk 345lbs.
9. Brent Fikowski
Last year at the Games, Brent Fikowski struggled with consistency. Of the 15 events, he finished in the top 3 in seven of them (including four first-place finishes) and in the bottom 10 for three of them, mostly powerlifting events. If he’s upped his PRs this year, he’s easily a top contender.
11. Rob Forte
This is not Rob Forte’s first rodeo. In fact, it’s his seventh appearance at the Games. He finished 12th in 2014 and 35th in 2012, and he’s consistently placed in the top two in his regional (Australia/the Pacific), so it’s tough to predict where he’ll end up.
12. Zak Carchedi
Last year at the Games, Zak Carchedi mastered the surprise event that bamboozled the other competitors: the pegboard. His first-place time was almost 20 seconds faster than Fraser’s second-place time—though Carchedi finished the Games in 23rd overall.
13. Josh Bridges
Josh Bridges is one of the strongest personalities in the sport, known for his victory scream at the end of brutal workouts. A former Navy SEAL, Bridges has been doing CrossFit since 2005. This is his fourth time at the Games.
15. Alex Anderson
Alex Anderson took 11th at the Games last year, winning the squat clean pyramid and taking sixth in the deadlift ladder (he finished at 555lbs). His weakest event was the handstand walk, so if he’s improved his upside-down game, he could easily crack the top 10.
16. R. Paul Castillo
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July 25, 2017 at 07:21AM
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