Mat Fraser’s Top 5 Moments: 2017 Fibonacci Final
The 2017 CrossFit Games season was a year of new horizons. The sport broke new ground in Madison, Wisconsin as the new home of the CrossFit Games, and for the first time in history, the fittest on earth would be crowned outside of CrossFit’s home state of California.
While the rest of the community had questions about what the Games in the Midwest would look like, one thing that was not in question was Mat Fraser’s place atop the sport after getting over the hump in 2016.
#4 – The Fibonacci Final
There were plenty of competitive highlights at the 2017 Games, and some may have more pizazz to them as far as a social media highlight videos or Games promos might be concerned, but there is arguably no moment more emotive than Fraser’s moment to “drink it all in,” during the Fibonacci Final.
Coming into the final, Fraser was a whopping 210 points clear of 2nd place Brent Fikwoski, which meant as long as Fraser hit the minimum work requirement of two rounds of the handstand push-up, kettlebell deadlift couplet, there was no way he could lose the title.
- Two years prior, both movements were pieces of the two part “Pedal to the Medal,” finale where Fraser saw his chances at a first CrossFit Games title dashed. Now all that stood between him and back-to-back titles were 13 reps of each.
The sports zeitgeist is filled with clichės about full effort and keeping throttle down through to the end, but they often fail to capture the reality of winning through the lens of sheer dominance. By taking a beat to be fully present, Fraser was able to soak in the magnitude of his accomplishment in real time.
- Matt O’Keefe, Manager: “That moment where he realized he validated his first win with a second consecutive, that his incredible hard work had paid off and all the blood, sweat and tears were worth it, was something that will be burned into my memory forever. Mat doesn’t boast or showboat. He’s all business. That was pure pride and joy in himself. He made himself proud. Seeing his happiness and joy is what it was always about for all of us around him, and it was personified in that moment.”
- Chase Ingraham, Color Commentator: “Prior to 2017, two years of 2nd place finishes in 2014/2015 and a tsunami of expectations in 2016 had hardened Fraser’s persona to the public. All Mat needed to do was hit the minimum work requirement and a 2nd straight gold medal was his. As broadcasters we knew what number he needed to hit. He knew what number he needed to hit. We all watched with eager anticipation. He took his time. Mat hit that last rep he needed to seal it, I knew he would get it, that was never in question. Then something happened I wasn’t expecting. Mat stopped. He stepped back, dropped his rough, brash, “me against the world” chip on his shoulder… looked around the arena… and smiled. He was the Champ, again. Then in true Mat Fraser fashion, instead of stopping there he stepped back into competition mode, went back to work, decimated the field and marched his way with two kettlebells over his head to a second CrossFit Games Championship. It was in that moment that I knew, Mat will win as many as he wants to, and he’s just getting started.”
Despite taking his time to ensure he hit the work requirement, Fraser still managed to flip the switch late and win the final heat and finish the workout in 2nd overall. The performance served to highlight the growing disparity between Fraser at the top and the rest of the men’s field. In 2017 he became just the second man in CrossFit Games history to win back-to-back titles, and the first to do it in two separate locations while firmly planting his flag in Madison for the years to come.