In it's milestone 10th year the CrossFit Games lived up to the expectations, and seems to have successfully found a new home in Badger country. The new location and venue allowed for a completely new experience for both the athletes and spectators.
This year gave the athletes literally tons of new equipment and obstacles to test their fitness on their 4 day journey to finding the Fittest on Earth. Bikes made their first appearance since 2012 in a demanding cyclocross event in wet and challenging conditions. Athletes were also able to channel their inner ninja warrior during the obstacle course event; and in an ode to the rugged country lifestyle of Wisconsin hay bale burpees were introduced for the first time.
Aside from some of the new tests of fitness, fan favorites like the 1 rep max Snatch and Clean ladder came back and the athletes did not disappoint with some huge numbers.
When the dust settled and the final buzzer sounded on Sunday, we had a repeat champion on the Men's side with Mat Fraser wining in the most dominant fashion ever with a 216 point lead over second place finisher Brent Fikowski. Aussie rookie Ricky Garard rounded out the podium with a very impressive third place finish in his first Games.
On the Women's side we continued to see international dominance with Aussie Tia Clair Toomey winning her first CrossFit Games. Only 2 points behind her was fellow Aussie Kara Webb who came in second and had her first ever podium finish. And since no Games is complete without a Dottir on the podium, Annie Thorisdottir made history by taking home her 5th medal with her third place finish.
This year the top 5 women were all from outside of the US, and of the top 10 finishers only 2 were American athletes; and you'd have to go all the way back to 2014 to find the last American to finish in the top 3. There's no shortage of strong and fit female American Crossfitters, but for some reason when the Games roll around their international counterparts seem to always outperform them. It will be interesting to see if an American can rise to the challenge and break this pattern next year with a win.
Speaking of patterns being broken, this year was the first since 2010 that the GOAT Rich Froning didn't go home with a gold medal. Froning and his team CrossFit Mayhem came up short and finished second place behind Wasatch CrossFit. We all know the type of competitor that Froning is, so this could potentially spell a comeback in individual competition for him in 2018. Who wouldn't want to see Rich Froning go head to head with Mat Fraser in his prime?
The new Masters divisions also gave us the chance to see high level performances from some CrossFit OG's like Annie Sakamoto, Chris Spealler, and Neal Maddox. By creating these new age brackets we can expect to continue seeing amazing performances from our Master athletes.
On the other end of the age spectrum the youngsters in the Teen divisions threw down hard and showed us what the next generation of Crossfitters will look like; and if 17 year old GuiIherme Malheiros' 291 lb. Snatch is any indication the future is looking STRONG!
The amazing performances put on by the athletes this year hopefully inspires you in your own training, and pushes you just a little harder on the way to your fitness and health goals!