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It's only natural to compare Champions, and it's especially fitting to compare Mat Fraser's absolutely dominant win in 2016 to Rich Froning's career. To that end, a lot of people have been either calling for Froning to come out of "retirement" or to stay retired, and Froning is over it.
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"We're around 2 weeks out from the CrossFit Games and I'm already tired of the Fraser/Froning comparisons. To do that I think is incredibly disrespectful to what Mat worked for this year, and in all honesty you're comparing apples to oranges.
Every year is its own unique test, and is hard to compare to the year before. What Mat did this year was nothing short of amazing and impressive to watch. For those calling for my return to individual I'm going to go ahead and tell you that won't happen. Mat and many other athletes woke up everyday for a year with their sole purpose for that day to become the fittest man on earth, I know this because it was my sole purpose for 4 years and that's what it takes to win the CrossFit Games. That is no longer my sole purpose for my day, I now have something better... To be the best father and husband I can be, which is a constant battle, that I am trying to get better at everyday.
I feel that if I returned to individual I would not be able to have my full attention of training, which is what it takes to win, nor would I want to. On a team I am able to be a father and a husband first and still be a productive member for my team. For those still not satisfied, sorry that's all I've got for you."
I've got a lot of respect for Rich Froning, and I understand what he's saying, but he needs to realize the role he plays in CrossFit. Froning created a name for himself through his commanding wins and every Champion from here on out will be compared to the bar he set.
Mat and many other athletes woke up everyday for a year with their sole purpose for that day to become the fittest man on earth, I know this because it was my sole purpose for 4 years.
Mat Fraser destroyed the competition at the 2016 Games and proved he's the real deal. The next step for him is to break Froning's streak, and I guarantee you the Fraser is thinking the same thing. Sports, and CrossFit, are about competition and comparison. People want to see dynasties, to have superheroes to look up to, and to see superheroes compete against each other.
Comparing Fraser's performance to Froning's performance isn't a way of detracting from Fraser. It's a way of saying that Froning set the bar for all Games Champions and Fraser has got his eyes squarely on that bar. I still think Froning should stay retired, but I can dream about that legendary throwdown right?
Here's what happened last time Froning went up against Fraser: