Five-Time CrossFit Games Veteran Jacob Heppner Retires From Competition

March 8, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Crossfit Games
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Jacob Heppner, a CrossFit Games veteran who finished 12th in 2020, announced Monday that he is retiring from individual competition. He will not compete in the upcoming CrossFit Games season and will instead keep busy with several other pursuits. However, he plans on remaining a part of the community instead of simply disappearing in Kansas. 

One big thing: Heppner made the announcement with a video posted on Instagram. He stood in his freshly-constructed barn gym and explained that this video was one of the hardest he has ever filmed in his life. Heppner then confirmed that he is retiring instead of trying to compete for another trip to Madison, WI. 

  • “I’m here to announce today that I am done specifically competing in the sport of CrossFit,” Heppner said. “For some of you, super saddening. For some of you, you’re super excited because another spot on the leaderboard opened up.” 
  • “CrossFit has been one of the largest blessings in my life. The people I’ve met, the friendships I’ve forged. The fact of the matter that friends and competitors are the same people. The person competing next to me also cheers me on.” 

The big picture: Heppner has expanded his business portfolio in recent years. He is the co-creator of Stream Fitness, an online platform that provides at-home fitness classes to people all around the world and creates opportunities for coaches to sell content. Other examples are Grit, an online programming platform, and Functional Eating, a nutrition-based company. These businesses — and others — keep Heppner busy, but he has other things he would like to accomplish. 

  • “I would like to humbly announce that I’ll be running for a commentating position at the CrossFit Games this year,” Heppner announced. “If that’s something that you think I’d be good at, if that’s something that you like to see, let CrossFit Games know down below.” 
  • “The more I thought about how I value time, the more I thought about competing in the sport for one more year, the more I thought that I think it’s time to move on,” Heppner added in a YouTube video. “I think it’s time to do other things in the sport. I think there are other opportunities that exist out there for me. That’s kind of my ‘why now.’” 

What now: Heppner laid out some of his goals for the future. He clarified that he is done competing in CrossFit Games, but he will still test his skills against other people. He will compete in fitness and firearms competitions. Additionally, he will take part in some other competitions that he can not yet reveal at this point in time. 

  • “I will be doing one athletic endeavor this year that I can’t announce,” Heppner said. “That will be huge. Like, really huge. Something with three letters that I can’t talk about.”
  • Heppner also announced one way in which he will give back to the community: “We will be holding camps and seminars in — I don’t have a name for it yet. We’ll just call it the barn gym. We are going to be holding camps and seminars this year in the barn gym. That’s the goal.” 

The bottom line: A perennial force in the sport, Heppner walks away from competitive CrossFit with five appearances at the Games to his name. He posted a seventh-place finish in 2018 and then achieved a career-best sixth-place finish in 2019. He also walks away as a fan-favorite competitor and a master of friendly trash talk.

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