CrossFit Games

A Brief History of Winning and the CrossFit Open

March 27, 2018 by
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Background. 

The CrossFit Games started in 2007 in Aromas, CA as more of a back yard BBQ than anything else, but the goal was still the same: find the fittest man and woman. Back then, you just needed to register to compete.

In 2009, they introduced Regionals. Then in 2010, they added Sectionals to determine who’d compete at Regionals.

As the competition continued to explode globally, CrossFit replaced Sectionals with the CrossFit Open in 2011, which allowed any athlete in the world to compete. Since then, the three-stage format has largely remained the same. The Open is now in its eighth year.

Fascinating. So who’s won it the most?

It’s actually a tie. Both Rich Froning and Mathew Fraser have won the Open three times. Samantha Briggs and Annie Thorisdottir both have two wins. While winning the CrossFit Open is never the ultimate goal for these athletes, there’s a direct correlation between winning the Open and performance at the CrossFit Games.

If we remove 2018 from the equation, overall Open champions have gone on to win the CrossFit Games six times and finished in the top 10, ten of 13 appearances. The only outliers are Noah Ohlsen’s 2017 15th place finish, Annie Thorisdottir’s 2015 38th place finish where heat stroke during Murph caused her to withdraw a few events later, and Samantha Briggs’ 2014 failure to qualify after taking fourth at Regionals. In 2016, Jamie Greene competed on a team so we have no data to compare.

All in all, only ten different athletes have won the CrossFit Open, out of a possible 16.

Overall Open Wins

1
YEAR DIVISION ATHLETE GAMES FINISH
2
2018 MEN Mathew Fraser NA
3
WOMEN
Cassidy Lance-Mcwherter
NA
4
2017 MEN Mathew Fraser 1
5
WOMEN Sara Sigmundsdottir 4
6
2016 MEN Noah Ohlsen 15
7
WOMEN Jamie Greene Team
8
2015 MEN Mathew Fraser 2
9
WOMEN Annie Thorisdottir 38
10
2014 MEN Rich Froning 1
11
WOMEN Samantha Briggs Didn’t Qualify
12
2013 MEN Rich Froning 1
13
WOMEN Samantha Briggs 1
14
2012 MEN Rich Froning 1
15
WOMEN Kristan Clever 4
16
2011 MEN Dan Bailey 6
17
WOMEN Annie Thorisdottir 1

What about individual Open events? 

Samantha Briggs has won more individual Open events than any other athlete, male or female. She has 11 wins under her belt and has won at least one event in every Open since 2013, include three in 2014. In fact, only five women have won more than one Open event: Samantha Briggs, Kristan Clever, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Kara Saunders and Annie Thorisdottir.

Among the men, the story is largely the same. Josh Bridges has seven wins followed closely by Rich Froning with six. And only seven male athletes have won more than one Open event: Josh Bridges, Rich Froning, Ben Smith, Mathew Fraser, Austin Malleolo, Neal Maddox and Nicolai Duus.

Here’s another crazy stat for you: CrossFit Games champions combine for 36 total Open event wins out of 83. That’s roughly 43 percent of the time.

Individual Open Wins: Females

1
YEAR
2
ATHLETE TOTAL 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11
3
Samantha Briggs 11 18.1 17.2, 17.4 16.3, 16.5 15.4 14.1, 14.4, 14.5 13.3, 13.4
4
Kristan Clever 5 13.1 12.1, 12.3, 12.4 11.4
5
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet 3 15.2 14.2 12.5
6
Kara Saunders 3 18.5 17.3 16.2
7
Annie Thorisdottir 3 12.2 11.1, 11.5
8
Becca Day 1 15.1a
9
Colleen Fotsch 1 15.5
10
Danielle Sidell 1 14.3
11
Emily Bridgers 1 16.1
12
Fortune Santos 1 11.6
13
Helen Harding 1 15.1
14
Julie Abildgaard 1 16.4
15
Kristin King 1 15.4
16
Lindsay Bourdon 1 13.5
17
Lindsey Cascarina 1 13.2
18
Madison Miller 1 17.5
19
Sara Armanius 1 17.1
20
Sarah Maas 1 11.3
21
Chelsea Sellers 1 18.2a
22
Tia-Clair Toomey 1 18.3
23
Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault
1 18.4
24
Ashleigh Corby 1 18.2

Individual Open Wins: Males

1
YEAR
2
ATHLETE TOTAL 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11
3
Josh Bridges 7 16.1, 16.5 15.2 14.5 13.5 11.4, 11.6
4
Rich Froning 6 16.4 14.4 12.2, 12.3 11.1, 11.3
5
Ben Smith 4 17.3 16.2 15.3 13.3
6
Mathew Fraser 4 18.5 17.4, 17.5 15.5
7
Austin Malleolo 3 18.4 15.1 14.3
8
Neal Maddox 2 13.1 12.4
9
Nicolai Duus 2 18.1, 18.2
10
Andrew Ciancio 1 15.1a
11
Dan Bailey 1 14.1
12
Chad Augustin 1 15.1
13
Danny Henry 1 12.5
14
Jacob Anderson 1 15.4
15
Irving Hernandez 1 14.2
16
Jason Khalipa 1 13.4
17
Jean-Claude Jardim 1 11.2
18
Jonne Koski 1 17.2
19
Kyle Frankenfield 1 16.3
20
Patrick Gallagher 1 13.2
21
Preston Austin 1 11.5
22
Sam Henderson 1 15.1
23
Scott Cottrill 1 17.1
24
Simon Paquette 1 15.5
25
Ioannis Papadopoulos
1 18.2a
26
Dakota Rager 1 18.3

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