As soon as Mat Fraser began dominating this year’s CrossFit Games, the immediate attention shifted to “could Rich Froning beat Fraser this year?”. Fraser had the most dominant performance, largest margin of victory and led almost wire-to-wire during the five-day event.
Comparing Fraser to Froning was going to happen. It happens in other sports all the time. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have been compared to Michael Jordan. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have been compared to Joe Montana or John Elway or Dan Marino. Tiger Woods has been compared to Jack Nicholas.
Even this year’s Golden State Warriors and their record 73-win season was compared to the 95-96 Chicago Bulls that had won 72 games during the regular season. Sports media debated which team would win a head-to-head game or series even though how the sport is played is drastically different then compared to now. It’s truly an apples to oranges comparison, but it didn’t stop the debate.
But Rich Froning wants no part in the discussion. Froning took to Instagram and shared his thoughts on the matter. He said he was impressed by Fraser’s performance and that it was “nothing short of amazing”. He followed that up by reiterating that he will not return to individual competition because his attention has shifted to being the best father and husband.
*Soapbox alert* 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 @mathewfras 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. *Step down from soapbox*