The 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games begin Friday morning, leading to a stacked weekend of events. Four-time champion Mat Fraser is the early favorite to finish atop the podium for a historic fifth time, but doing so will not be simple. He will have to defeat four other contenders, including Canadian Jeffrey Adler and Rookie of the Year Justin Medeiros.
Speaking with PopCulture.com and other outlets on Thursday morning, the five remaining male athletes took time to discuss the weekend's outlook. Fraser drew most of the attention as the defending champion, but Noah Ohlsen, Samuel Kwant, Adler, and Medeiros all faced questions about how they will defeat him. The former are both veterans and have experienced multiple trips to the Games. Adler, on the other hand, has only completed four events at the big show while Medeiros is a rookie. Despite their relative inexperience, both men are excited about the opportunity to showcase their fitness on the sport's biggest stage.
"These guys have experienced a lot of highs and a lot of lows and been at the Games before," Medeiros said. "Just because it's my first year doesn't mean I've experienced a lot of lows and highs. I've been competing for a long time now — maybe not at the level that a lot of these guys have — but I've definitely had to overcome a lot of obstacles. I'm just hoping that my prior experiences are going to help me manage whatever Dave [Castro] has to throw at us."
Canada's lone representative, Adler expressed a similar sentiment on Thursday. He said that the 2019 Games were a series of low points for him. He only competed in four events before getting cut alongside several other athletes.
Now he will automatically achieve a career-best finish by reaching the final five. He will also finish a full schedule for the first time. "I'm just happy I can do all of the events this year. It's going to be different, for sure," he said with a smile on Thursday.
As further evidence of their contender status, Fraser highlighted Adler while answering another question. He explained that he finished second in the world in a CrossFit Open event and thought that he had done well. Once he looked at the leaderboard, Fraser realized that Adler had beaten his time by a large amount of time. This finish is one reason why the defending champ is not taking any of his competitors lightly entering the weekend.0comments
"I think this group — the five guys — everyone is pretty abnormally strong," Fraser said on Thursday. "I remember it was the Open workout, I think it was power cleans and pistols, I think I got second place in the world. Adler here was like three minutes ahead of me. Just throwing around a 315[pound] bar like it was nothing. I know everyone here, just about everyone, can front squat over 400. It's gonna be a battle, no matter what lift it is."
The 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games begin on Friday morning with the 2007 Reload event. The athletes will have to complete a 1,500-meter row and then immediately transition to five rounds of 10 bar muscle-ups and seven shoulder-to-overhead lifts with 235 pounds (male) and 145 pounds (female). They will continue and complete four more events on the first day, setting up an exciting weekend schedule.