by Andres Sutherland
Must be a tough place to be in, if you are one of the male athletes that want to dethrone good ´ole Rich from the top of the podium.
Well, Rich Froning has been very much open, about the fact that he wants to go team after the upcoming CrossFit Games. This doesn’t sound that a big deal to you, or to me. Mere “mortals” among the big dogs, that battle it out starting when the pre-season kicks in before the open. Then igniting the afterburners going through regionals, an event that does bring out the competitive edge within each and every one of them. (Because, lets be honest … The open is a warmup for these cats) Throwing it down, PR´ing their way throughout the WOD´s while they secure a spot for the games and then, well … stuff finally gets real.
The 2014 CrossFit Games.
Now, everything seems to be pretty normal and in the zone for these elite athletes. Right!?
This is when Rich Froning, arguably the best CrossFitter that has walked the earth comes into the equation. You see, is very likely that Mr. Froning will win his 4th consecutive CrossFit Games, taking away from his competitors the satisfaction of beating him in open competition.
I know that this might sound like an unfair, hurried statement. But lets go back in time a bit ok?
We are talking about the fittest athletes on earth here. Ranging from the power monsters like Khalipa and Parker, going all the way through Barto and Panchik. Falling into the endurance beasts like Spealler and Bridges. And lets not forget the new guys on the block like Ben Smith and Garret Fisher. All of them taking a shot at Mr. Fronings fitness reign.
All of them have failed. So far …
2014 is the last chance they have. And Rich Froning is not slowing down in any way here gentlemen. As a matter of fact he is improving every single loophole or weakness on his game that he was able to identify from previous competitions. He is running more, hell he has even taken into swimming. All that with the most dedication and focus of any athlete within the CrossFit universe. Another bold statement? Even Jason Khalipa, the guy that has been the closest to beat Rich, (After Holmberg´s amazing feat) admits that Froning is the hardest working athlete he has ever seen. And he also has something else in his favor, he is as strong mentally if not stronger, than when he has a barbell in his hands.
What happens if after Mr. Froning retires, and he starts competing team, someone else claims the crown!? Will it taste the same way knowing that it was not Rich Froning the one dethroned!? Will people ask “Do you think that guy could have won the games, if Rich was competing as an individual!?”
To me those are not fair questions to ask. The men that will qualify to the CrossFit Games are impressive individuals, that have earned that right beyond any doubt. I think we are placing way too much weight on “The Froning Factor”, and by doing that we are taking away from them, well deserved credit and admiration. Sure, Rich Froning is the beacon that everyone takes as guide, and the athlete most of the people out there want to emulate. But we also need to acknowledge that behind every athlete competing on The CrossFit Games there is a story of perseverance, success, and relentless work ethics that we have to recognize and feel proud of. Because even though is not you, nor me hitting that 450# squat, they still represent the epitome of hard work and commitment that we should all thrive for.
Lets all leave “The Froning Factor” to the pros … Shall we?