Underdog? Fraser Says Yes.
Early Thursday morning, Mathew Fraser and his four competitors are fielding questions from across the globe during an organized zoom press conference. The typical topics arise about training for the unknown, the uniqueness of the Ranch and working through COVID.
“Who feels like an underdog?” A Barbend reporter asks.
A lone hand shoots up. It’s Fraser’s.
A question most would assume wasn’t intended for him at all, Fraser was the only athlete to answer yes, offering a glimpse into how he’s approaching his run towards history.
“Him winning fuels other competitors’ fire to try and bridge any gap from the prior year. We know they are tirelessly working to accomplish that,” says longtime friend and manager Matt O’Keefe, who’s with Fraser inside the bubble.
On the eve of the 2020 CrossFit Games, four-time defending champion Mathew Fraser is exactly 96 hours away from making history as the first and only athlete, male or female, to win five straight titles as Fittest on Earth and it’s business as usual.
“Mat looks at every year independently,” O’Keefe continues to say. “Winning is incredibly hard. Winning two harder. Winning five, nearly impossible. The cards are stacked against him. The microscope is on him more than anyone. He welcomes that challenge. He wants to beat those odds. Mat is the hardest worker I have ever been around or witnessed.”
Fraser, who’s bested every test that Director of Sport Dave Castro has thrown at him the last four years has to face upwards of 12-15 more events against whatever maelstrom Castro has concocted.
“Mat doesn’t have this sealed up, and that’s what’s exciting about it,” Castro wrote in an Instagram post. “The scoring resets. He’s gonna have to work to win. This event is going to be so wild and so unknown that, like he’s not safe. It’s not over.”