With the 2021 CrossFit Games now in the rearview mirror, we can take a moment to exhale and look back on a stellar final in front of fans in Madison, Wisconsin.
These games had a couple familiar storylines everyone expected to happen, and one big question mark right in the middle of everything. Tia-Clair Toomey was expected to dominate in the women's category, and she did, winning her fifth consecutive CrossFit Games title. Rich Froning was expected to continue the CrossFit Mayhem Freedom dynasty in the team division, which he did.
But in the men's division, it was anyone's guess who was going to win. Five-time defending champion Mat Fraser abruptly retired in February of this year, leaving a gaping hole for one athlete to run through and snag their first ever title.
Many had the likes of Canadians Patrick Vellner and Brent Fikowski, who have at one time or another found themselves on the podium with Fraser, to finally take the next step and win it all. The two veterans did fair quite well, Vellner coming second and Fikowski third, however it was the man one spot above them that may have shocked a few onlookers.
Justin Medeiros, competing in only his second season, roared into the lead and never let it go throughout the games. He showed a dedication and commitment to earning every single point much like Fraser, and thus was rewarded with his first title after coming third at the 2020 CrossFit Games at the ranch in Aromas, California in a bubble atmosphere due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Medeiros, who is only 22, is easily one of the youngest competitors in the sport, but is already a world champion. He's shown you don't necessarily need veteran poise to win it all, just a tenacity that is above and beyond maniacal, which he probably got from training with Fraser before heading to the games.
So, the question now is, does Medeiros start his own string of championship titles, and create another one man dynasty show like Fraser, or will we see the title jump around from head to head for a few years as parity increases in the sport?