Ready to feel really, really bad about yourself? You may enjoy your morning jog, you may even be proud of the Joe Wicks workout you chose to do this week (in all seriousness, well done you!). But most likely unbeknownst to you, a global gathering of Adonises and Goddesses have been sweating, stretching, suffering and most likely sobbing as they undertake Herculean labours of fitness to prove that they are indeed the best of the best in CrossFit.
‘CrossFit’: the term that is bound to either get the spine shivering or the adrenaline pumping. The brutal mixed training method which combines weight-lifting, gymnastics, and bodyweight movement accomplished with great technique and speed, where two minutes of arduous endurance feels like a lifetime. And now, all but 10 athletes just haven’t been good enough. The 2020 CrossFit Games have been underway, with the finals taking place from 23 to 25 October. This year the tournament, which prides itself on finding the fittest man and woman on Earth, has been split into two stages: an online competition and in-person finals in Aromas, California, with the $300,000 prize awaiting the victor of each gender. Here are the athletes you need to look out for, and how their social media presence is soaring, with stats from money.co.uk.
Mat Fraser: The King
The man who simply loves the target on his back. Let’s get this out of the way, if you’re a novice to this gnarly sport, and you’re trying to find the paragon quickly, well there’s simply no one crosser or fitter than American Mat Fraser, the man who has won the Games FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS IN A ROW! And who’d have thunk it, in 2020 he’s ahead of the pack once again. At the top of the leaderboard going into the in-person finals is indeed Fraser following three first-place finishes in three events (events ominously titled ‘Damn Diane’, ‘Awful Annie’, and ‘Nasty Nancy’). And he’s certainly got the support behind him, for it is the 30-year-old who sits pretty atop the athletes with the most potential Instagram earnings.
After winning the CrossFit Games in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, Fraser has managed to gain a social media following of over 2.2 million, the most followed CrossFit athlete in the game. Unyielding in his domination when it comes to competing, he is estimated to earn £7,305 ($9,518 USD) per snap on social media from his disciples' yearning to follow in his footsteps . The epitome of strength and conditioning for several years now has over 1.5m more followers than the next most-followed male athlete, and over 350K more followers than the most followed female. But is his reign soon to be over....?
Katrín Davíðsdóttir: The Fitness and Splitness Specialist
Davíðsdóttir is the 5’5” Scandinavian pocket rocket finding herself in the finals to represent her native Iceland after her compatriot Sara Sigmundsdóttir, the highest earning Insta-flaunting female CrossFitter, fell by the wayside, missing the cut after being left languishing in 21st place. Davíðsdóttir is the 27-year-old Icelander who has been competing as an individual athlete at the World Games since 2012, winning twice (consecutively in 15/16) and placing out of the top five on just two occasions in seven attempts. She’s the hand-stand specialist who will leave your brain bursting with some agonising-looking splits that have enabled her to trounce the competition in the upside-down hold. Davíðsdóttir is fourth in the rankings so far, but she’s been there, done that, so don’t count her out just yet.
Noah Ohlsen: The (Potential) Usurper
OK, so we know there’s been nobody greater, nobody better than Mat Fraser. But Ohlsen has been on his coattails for many a year - finishing second in the last event - and it’s evident he now wants to wear the jacket: this year in the handstand hold he bested Fraser by just two seconds! This is what the competition is made of, and seeing these two elite athletes go up against each other provides no better reason to tune in, as no doubt Ohslen’s 708k Insta followers will be doing. Will it be a case of ‘the king is dead, long live the king?’
Tia-Clair Toomey: From Oz, the Great and Powerful
The reigning queen doesn’t want to give up her crown. In fact, the Australian athlete has famously trained alongside male champion Fraser in the United States during lockdown, her popularity soaring to amass over 1.4m followers on Instagram. Not only is Toomey currently ranking first in the women’s 2020 CrossFit Games, she’s also potentially earning £4,777 ($6,225 USD) per Instagram post from showing her rigorous training to get to the top. And this year Toomey became the first Games athlete - either male or female - to win three events in a row. She isn’t ready to abdicate just yet.
Justin Medeiros: The Young Upstart
Yes, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perspective) it is a triumvirate of Americans who are frontrunners to take the Games once again. What were you doing at 21, or if you haven’t reached it, what are you planning to do? For this writer was unashamedly balancing empty cans of Fosters and shooting fireworks out through his student house window while his dissertation was left lonely. But Justin Meideros, who is only just legally allowed to drink alcohol in his native States, has foregone all that hedonism to challenge himself against some of the hardest bastards alive. He finished third, behind Fraser and Ohlsen but bronze won’t satisfy the young man. Over on Instagram he has just under 30,000 followers but expect to see another zero on the end of that number in a few years time.