12 Athletes Before They Were Famous CrossFit Games Competitors

June 11, 2015

We know all of our favorite CrossFit Superstars as amazing athletes with incredible strength, blazing speed, and a huge work capacity; but all of them had a life before CrossFit. In honor of #tbt BOXROX takes a look at 12 of these Superstars, and what they were up to before they became household names in CrossFit.

1. Rich Froning

Before becoming the "strongest name" in the industry, Rich Froning was a baseball player. He ended his career soon after getting a sports scholarship and started working at Cookeville Fire Department.  

2. Mat Fraser

Before starting CrossFit Mat Fraser was an Olympic Weightlifter. His dream was to compete at the Olympic Games like his parents did in figure skating. In 2009 he suffered a serious back injury. Last year in his rookie season he finished 2nd in Carson. In 2015 he's already won the Open and the East Regional. He is a favorite to win the Games in July.

3. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet

Camille's main sport was gymnastics but she also played rugby. For years Camille has been a favorite to win the Games. She did it in 2014.

4. Julie Foucher

Julie's background in gymnastics and track and field help her with bodyweight movements and engine, but Olympic Weightlifting was a skill she had to learn from zero. Julie finished on the Games podium twice, 3rd in 2014 and 2nd in 2012. Her last competitive season ended early due to an torn achilles during the box jumps of Event 3 at the Central Regional.

5. Jason Khalipa

In 2005 Khalipa worked in sales at the conventional gym, not really knowing what he wanted from life. Ten years later he is one of the best CrossFit Games Athletes in the field. He will compete in Carson once again this year with a little twist, he is captain of Team NorCal CrossFit and consequently the biggest opponent to Froning's CrossFit Mayhem Freedom.

6. Sam Briggs

Before starting CrossFit and winning the Games in 2013, Sam was a football (soccer) player. Later she built that pain-resilient engine competing in triathlons and duathlons. In 2015 Sam qualified for the CrossFit Games, finishing 2nd while competing with a broken foot.

7. Lucas Parker

Lucas was, well shaved. That was in 2011. In his youth he played rugby, soccer, and did karate. This year he won the West Regional and once again qualified for the CrossFit Games.

8. Annie Thorisdottir

Annie's background is gymnastics and track and field. Her first CrossFit Games appearance was in 2009 where she learnt how to snatch and do a muscle up. This year Annie is going to her 6th CrossFit Games. Two of which she won, finished 2nd twice, and who knows what's her plan for 2015.

9. Scott Panchik

Scott got into CrossFit with his dad who was a certified coach. His background is football and wrestling. Panchik recently won the Central Regional. He is also the 5th placed athlete from the 2014 CrossFit Games. 

10. Lauren Fisher

Lauren played basketball and tennis. The #tbt picture goes to the times before getting competitive with CrossFit. In 2014 she finished 9th at the CrossFit Games. This year she missed out on Carson, but still put up a solid performance, snatching 80 kg in Event 5.

11. Noah Ohlsen

Noah played lacrosse, wrestling, did swimming and water polo. He also liked posing with his sister. He entered the 2014 Games as a rookie and surprised everyone by finishing in the top 10. In 2015 he's already won the Atlantic Regional.

12. Brooke Ence

Brooked was a dance major at the University of Utah. She also did a "few steps" in the world of figure and fitness. Recently she won the California Regional and is going to her first CrossFit Games as an individual.

About the Author:

Polona Fonda's athletic journey began at the age of 6, when she spent most of her time on glaciers training Alpine skiing. Through physical preparation for skiing she experienced a wide variety of sports, everything from lifting weights in the gym and climbing to river cayak and mountain biking. Three years ago she found CrossFit and fell in love with Olympic weightlifting.

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