Mat Fraser, Rich Froning or Tia-Clair Toomey?
Mat Fraser shocked the CrossFit world this week, announcing his retirement from the sport after eight seasons of competition. He walks away with five consecutive men's titles, a feat no one has accomplished. Now the debate starts, is Fraser CrossFit's GOAT (Greatest of All-Time)?
The debate has to start with Rich Froning, who won four consecutive titles before Fraser, and has also won four titles as a member of CrossFit Mayhem Freedom's team, which he leads as captain of course.
Froning deserves a lot of credit for bringing the sport to new heights when it comes to exposure. He has been a great ambassador for CrossFit, and has helped grow and cultivate future athletes for stardom, most notably teenager Haley Adams, who looks to be a dominant force on the women's side for years to come.
But when you talk about GOAT status, the debate usually comes down to who has the most number of trophies. Michael Jordan has long beat off GOAT debates from LeBron James and the late Kobe Bryant given no one has matched his six titles, along with his impressive individual awards resume.
Fraser bested Froning this season, winning his fifth, crossing the finish line with friend and training partner Tia-Clair Toomey. The Australian is another superstar we have to include in this discussion because she has four consecutive titles on the women's side.
Toomey now has an interesting chance since Fraser has retired, she could easily win her fifth title at the 2021 CrossFit Games, and if she sees fit, go for a sixth to best Fraser's total. At 27 she is much younger than Froning and Fraser and easily has three or four years left in her prime.
So, what is the verdict? It's tough to argue against Fraser, he likely gets the GOAT status. But Froning and Toomey's careers are not over, and they could do some remarkable things in the coming years. If Froning wins a few more team competitions, does that bolster his GOAT status?
Toomey is the real threat to watch. If she snags six titles, besting Fraser, it will be tough to argue she is the greatest CrossFit athlete to have ever walked this earth.Only time will tell.