Podium Guide: Which Teams Could Challenge Mayhem Freedom
Death, taxes and Rich Froning on top of a podium. That seems to be the case when it comes to the CrossFit Games. Froning has won an unprecedented eight Games titles including four with his team, Mayhem Freedom. A second place finish with his team in 2017 is the only blemish on that record since winning his first title as an individual in 2011.
Despite a change in the team division this year that all but eliminated the “Super Teams” that had dominated the division the last three years, Froning has put together what could be perhaps his best team to date. With the division being more “affiliate-based,” the disparity between Mayhem and other teams has increased. The addition of Games veterans Andrea Nisler and Taylor Williamson has made the team seemingly unstoppable in Froning’s path to his ninth title.
Here are five teams we think will put up a fight against Mayhem and contend for podium spots.
- Omnia: The Denver-based team won by 89 points at the Granite Games in a team field that was considered the toughest out of all of the North American Semifinals. They didn’t have a finish worse than 6th place and collected two event wins. Daniel Bullock is the veteran of the squad, having appeared at the Games in 2018 with Omnia. MaryKay Dreisilker competed at the 2018 Central Regional and just missed out on an individual Games berth in 2020 when she placed 35th in the worldwide Open. Elisa Schauer had back-to-back team Regional appearances in 2017 and 2018 with CrossFit Sanitas. Cooper Wise competed as an individual at the 2017 South Regional.
- Pro1 Montreal: This Canadian team might have a set of women that can measure up to the Mayhem duo. Chloe Gauvin-David and Manon Lesur were each a part of the team when they finished 9th at the 2019 Games. Each will be appearing in their third Games with Gauvin-David competing as an individual in 2018 and Lesur on a team that same season. Joined by Frédéric Dubé and Dominic Trepanier, the team from Montreal, Canada was the top team out of the Atlas Games Online Semifinal winning four of the six virtual events. A podium finish by this team will be a first by any Canadian team since the start of the team division.
- CrossFit Oslo Wolfpack: Since the start of the team division, no team from Europe has finished on the podium. This team from Norway leads a pack of teams that could end that drought. They recorded all top three finishes in their German Throwdown Semifinal win highlighted by two event wins. They finished 50 points ahead of The Athlete Program. Male athletes Tinglum Pettersen and Joakim Rygh have each competed at Regionals on a team.
- Invictus: A staple name in the team division, this year’s version of Invictus features Masters athlete Jenn Ryan and 2019 Games individual athlete Ryan Sowder. Brittany Weiss was an alternate on the 2018 Invictus team that competed at the Games. Jorge Fernandez rounds out the team that won the West Coast Classic and finished second to Mayhem in the North America Quarterfinals. Consistent throughout their Semifinal, recording four runner-up finishes and two third place finishes.
- CrossFit Nordic: Another Scandinavian team to keep an eye out for, this team from Stockholm, Sweden won the Lowlands Throwdown Semifinal to punch their ticket to Madison. One of the older teams in the field with an average age of 31, they have a wealth of team experience at the Regional level. Anna Viggedal competed at the 2016 Games with CrossFit Nordic, helping the team to a sixth place finish.
Other teams to keep an eye on: Team Butcher’s Lab T-Bone, i1luvit, Blues City Athletics and Team Man Made.