The CrossFit Open is finally here! The 2021 edition looks a lot different, with a number of changes and additions. For most, the biggest is right now there are only three scheduled workouts, however, some think CrossFit's mastermind Dave Castro may, or may not, have something up his sleeve? A surprise workout?
When it comes to the elite men and women, it's a pretty open and shut case as to who will most likely be favoured to win. On the men's side, returning champion and ginger-haired Canadian Patrick Vellner, a fan favourite, looks to defend his title.
It's tough to say defending the Open might be easier for him given CrossFit's competition bandwidth expands every year, but one big, huge name is gone from the contest, five-time Games champion Mat Fraser. One thinks Vellner might have an easier time, however, there is less incentive to actually win the Open this year, outside of prize money.
Vellner said his goal is more making sure he makes the online Quarterfinals, rather than trying to win the Open, and admitted he didn't actually go for it until the fifth and final workout when it looked like he might be able to snag the title from Fraser in 2020. Regardless, it's tough to count him out as the favourite once again.
On the women's side, once again it appears the usual suspects will be atop the leaderboard. Sara Sigmundsdottir, who is now with Training Think Tank, won it last season, and will be looking for a bounceback year again.
Kirsten Holte and Kari Pearce can never be counted out, and you can bet Haley Adams will be looking to improve on her 32nd placing after finishing in the top five at the actual Games.
But, when you're talking about favourites when it comes to the women, you have to start and end with four-time Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey. The Australian is even training bobsleigh to try and make the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and will be looking to place well and come out of the gate fast given she has to return to Australia to compete in the in-person portion of the semifinals (she is based out of the US).