There was a bevy of historic moments at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games. From Tia-Clair Toomey becoming the all-time winningest Individual athlete at the Games after securing her sixth consecutive title, to Mal O’Brien becoming the youngest athlete to ever stand on the Individual division podium with a silver medal at age 18, to Justin Medeiros defending his Fittest Man on Earth® title to become the third male athlete to win back-to-back Games titles. The other two male athletes in that club are five-time Fittest Man on Earth®, Mat Fraser, and four-time Fittest Man on Earth®, Rich Froning.
Speaking of Froning, he furthered his legacy in Madison, WI with his sixth Games title in the Teams division as the captain of team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom. It marked the 10th Games title of Froning’s career — the most of any athlete in history. Froning has stood on every Games podium since 2010, except for the 2020 CrossFit Games when Team competition was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Here are Froning’s Games results:
Rich Froning’s CrossFit Games Results
- 2010 | Individual — Second place
- 2011 | Individual — First place
- 2012 | Individual — First place
- 2013 | Individual — First place
- 2014 | Individual — First place
- 2015 | Team — First place
- 2016 | Team — First place
- 2017 | Team — Second place
- 2018 | Team — First place
- 2019 | Team — First place
- 2021 | Team — First place
- 2022 | Team — First place
Froning is the lone athlete to be a part of every one of CrossFit Mayhem Freedom’s six championships. Additionally, he’s ranked first worldwide in the CrossFit Open three times (2012-14) and has never ranked lower than 11th. Team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom won the 2021 Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Semifinal and the 2022 Syndicate Crown Semifinal. He’s also an eight-time Regional champion (2010, 2012-14 as an Individual, 2015-2018 in the Team division).
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Froning’s first Individual Games title in 2011 consisted of 10 workouts, of which Froning won three. He finished second in three others and did not finish outside the top six aside from the opening event, “The Beach,” where he ranked 26th, and the final event, when his spot atop the podium was already locked.
At the 2012 Games, he won three more events — Chipper, Elizabeth, and Isabel — to stand atop the podium with 114 points more than runner-up Matt Chan. Of the 15 events that year, he finished outside the top 10 in only three.
In 2013, it seemed Froning’s only weakness was water-based events. Despite finishing 30th overall in The Pool event, he finished outside the top eight in only one other event. He won three more events this year: Sprint Chipper, The Cinco 1, and the Cinco 2 — to stand atop the podium with 72 points more than runner-up Jason Khalipa.
Froning won five of the 13 events at the 2015 CrossFit Games to take his third stand atop the podium for the fourth straight year. He scored 925 points — 50 more than Mat Fraser, who would follow in Froning’s footsteps and create a Games dynasty of his own.
Froning’s record of four Individual Games titles stood as the most ever until 2021, when Fraser and Toomey each claimed their fifth consecutive titles. Fraser suggested that he would have retired one season sooner than he did if it wasn’t for the goal of wanting to exceed Froning’s record.
Despite leaving Individual competition behind him, Froning remains a prominent figure at the CrossFit Games. He moved into the Team division in 2015 as the captain of CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, which consisted of Matt Hewett, James Hobart, Lauren Neal, Kristin Reffert, and Elly Kabboord. They won six of the 19 events to win the Games by five points over CrossFit Milford.
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Froning’s dominance continued in 2016 alongside the same team members, except Lindy Barber replacing Lauren Neal. Seven of the 16 events saw Mayhem Freedom win 100 points, culminating in Froning’s sixth straight trip to the top of the podium. They had 1,224 points of the possible 1,600 — 119 more points than runners-up 12 Labours CrossFit.
The 2017 CrossFit Games saw Froning stand somewhere other than the top of the podium since 2010. Mayhem Freedom finished in second place to Wasatch CrossFit. That reignited Froning’s fire as he returned in 2018 with Matt Hewett, Lindy Barber, and Tascia Persevecz to finish in the top 10 in 10 out of 11 events and reclaim the title of Fittest on Earth® by 112 points over CrossFit Invictus X.
2019 marked the most dominant win for CrossFit Mayhem Freedom up to that point. Alongside Dre Strohm, Chyna Cho, and Tascia Persevecz, Froning and his team captured 819 points out of a possible 900. CrossFit Krypton ranked second overall, a whopping 198 points behind the champions. For context, that means if there were two more events tacked on to those Games, Mayhem Freedom could have sat them out and still won the championship.
The 2020 CrossFit Games did not have a Team competition due to COVID-19. While that may have stunted the training of some athletes, it only allowed Mayhem Freedom to grow stronger. Froning returned in 2021 with Chase Hill, Andrea Nisler, and Taylor Williamson to the most dominant performance in the history of the Team division. They scored 1,237 out of a possible 1,300 points and won gold by the most significant margin to date — 279 points.
Samuel Cournoyer joined CrossFit Mayhem Freedom in place of Hill for 2022, but the results were effectively the same. Seven consecutive event wins out of 11 events skyrocketed them to the top of the leaderboard to score Froning his 10th Games title by a margin of 65 points over CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue.
If Froning decides to return to the CrossFit Games in 2023, his consistency over the past decade suggests that the top of the podium will continue to have his footprints indented into it. If he decides to call it a career, it will be remembered as the most dominant by any athlete across divisions in CrossFit Games history.
Featured image: @richfroning on Instagram