Dani Speegle and Matt Chan Conquer Mount Olympus and The Titan Games
Two elite CrossFitters representing both the past and future of the sport stood tall with The Titan Games trophy over their heads in the season finale of NBC’s hit athletic competition show on Monday night. Games legend Matt Chan and legend-in-the-making Dani Speegle won their respective divisions in dominating fashion, leaving no doubt that the two Central Region champions were the best athletes in this season’s field that featured Olympians, professional athletes and athletic world champions, but in the end it was two athletes with CrossFit as their background that went home $100,000 richer and with the title of Titan.
The men’s qualifiers:
- “Hammer Down”: A popular event from the Regional finals would determine who would be the first person to compete for the title on Mount Olympus. Chan was the only athlete in the field to compete in this event and used his knowledge and his firefighter skills to make quick work of knocking down the poles with his sledgehammer. It was then a race against West Regional Titan Noah Palicia up the pole to pull the “Victory Chain.” Chan got there first and punched his ticket to Mount Olympus.
The women’s qualifiers:
- “Hammer Down”: The women’s finals qualifier featured three CrossFitters, none of whom had tasted defeat and thus never having the chance to compete in this event. That didn’t appear to be the case for Speegle as she was the first of the three to knock down all three of her poles. West Region Titan Margaux Alvarez wasn’t about to concede the event to Speegle however as she was able to catch her as both athletes ascended up their poles. Speegle beat her fellow CrossFit Games competitor by seconds on the pull and secured her spot on Mount Olympus.
- “Herculean Pull”: In an event that neither Alvarez and East Regional Titan Courtney Rochelle had competed in, it was do or die. Whoever would win this event would move unto Mount Olympus to face Speegle for the title. Alvarez was the quicker athlete as she removed her two poles as Rochelle struggled. The seven-time Games veteran was three feet from victory before Rochelle put a stop to her momentum and mounted a comeback. Rochelle was able to use her strength to make a small charge but Alvarez remained resilient and used small pulls to gain the advantage. Clinging on for her Titan Games life, Rochelle lost her grip and fell, giving Alvarez the victory.
Mount Olympus (men): Chan’s opponent on Mount Olympus was the East Regional champion, Will Sutton. “Country Strong” dominated Palicia in the second qualifier, winning “Herculean Pull” in a record 19 seconds. Unlike Chan, Sutton had yet to taste defeat on Mount Olympus and because of that reason held a slight advantage. Sutton came out hot as he made quick work of the first obstacles as Chan fell behind on the “Box Flip”. Chan was able to make up a little ground in the “Iron Ascent” and the “Log Lift” before grabbing the lead on the “Sky Bridge”. Facing a new obstacle in the form of a reinforced divider to get into “Cage Crawl”, Chan busted through it like a firefighter busting down a door. That proved to be the deciding factor as it gave Chan enough of a lead over Sutton, leading him to victory and earning him the title of Titan.
- “It felt great to compete again,” said Chan after his victory. “It took me a while to get back into that frame of mind but once I did it was fun. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Mount Olympus (women): The final put two of the most popular athletes in the CrossFit community against each other. These two have shared the competition floor as opponents before during the 2019 Games season at the Rogue Invitational as individual athletes and at the Granite Games as members of a team. This was a different battle as they would be going head-to-head with the prize purse and title on the line. Speegle shot out of the gate as Alavarez kept to her methodical pace that helped her to a perfect 3-0 record on Mount Olympus. She caught up with Speegle on “Crank Down” and both struggled when they came to the barricade at “Cage Crawl”. Alvarez attempted to throw a shoulder into it but it held up. Meanwhile Speegle used her leg strength and eventually broke through. From there it was all Speegle, as Alvarez tired trying to break the barrier. In what ended up being a blowout, Speegle won the title and had her hand-raised by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson as champion.