CrossFit Games

Consistency Is Key: Justin Medeiros’ Performance At The Games Mirrors the CrossFit Methodology

August 3, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Kay Wiese
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At the close of the 2021 CrossFit Games, 22-year-old Justin Medeiros bested his competitors by 82 points to take home the crown of Fittest Man on Earth. As he walked across the finish line into the embrace of his parents, Medeiros became the first man since 2016 other than the legendary Mat Fraser, to do so.

One big thing: Despite a solid lead over his competitors at the close of competition (an 82 point gap is nothing to sniff at), there was something that was certainly curious about Medeiros’ record over the weekend.

  • Unlike Mat Fraser’s absolute domination in 2020 with 15 event wins and his lowest finish being 8th place in the 1,000 meter row, Justin Medeiros only had one first place finish over the course of the whole weekend.
  • Even if you look beyond Fraser’s performance in 2020, which one could argue isn’t an accurate picture because of the smaller size of the field, in 2019, Fraser dominated the field with six event wins out of 12 events.

As the crowds receded from the coliseum and the lights on the competition floor dimmed, many fans were left wondering how Medeiros could have possibly won with so few event wins.

  • After all, it seemed like other competitors were winning left and right throughout the weekend.
  • 7th place finisher Guillermo Malheiros would walk home from the weekend with three event wins, and even 11th place finisher Scott Panchik walked away from the weekend with more wins than Medeiros. 

Consistency is key: While on the surface, it may seem like event wins are what make a champion, it’s actually quite far from that.

  • While the CrossFit community has become quite used to Mat Fraser, Rich Froning, and Tia-Clair Toomey’s absolute domination over the past few years, many forget how their win streak started.
  • In fact, in Mat Fraser’s first year winning the Games, he only took home one event win.
  • In Rich Froning’s first year winning the Games, he would only take home three event wins.
  • In fact, if you average the number of event wins by CrossFit Games champions since 2011 (excluding 2020 for consistency purposes), the champs only needed about 2.6 event wins in order to come home with the gold.
  • Just like the sport of fitness, the champions at the CrossFit Games prove that you don’t need to be exceptionally great at any one workout, rather, at the top of the pack across the board.
Rich Froning
YearNumber of Event WinsLowest Finish
2011326th
2012218th
2013318th
2014527th
Ben Smith
YearNumber of Event WinsLowest Finish
2015234th
Mat Fraser
YearNumber of Event WinsLowest Finish
2016123rd
2017520th
2018211th
2019621st
2020*158th
Justin Medeiros
YearNumber of Event WinsLowest Finish
2021115th

The Medeiros Era: While many have critiqued those who have called the Medeiros win the “start of the Medeiros era”, those who claim such are not too far from reality.

  • In fact, the story of Justin Medeiros’ road to the top of the podium, very closely mirrors the legends who have stood atop it for years at a time.
  • Mat Fraser, Tia-Clair Toomey, and Rich Froning all had similar rises on the podium before taking home the gold medal. Medeiros, too, stood on the podium the year before taking home the crown of fittest on earth.
  • Just like Mat Fraser, Medeiros also only won one event in his first year winning the CrossFit Games.

The big picture: Is this the start of the Medeiros Era? Only time can tell at this point, but one thing is for certain. Just like the champions before him, it was Medeiros’ consistency throughout the week that earned him the title. Just like the sport of fitness, which encourages its participants to be as broad as possible in every aspect of their fitness, Medeiros too applied that methodology to his performance at the Games, ultimately earning him the title that so many strive for of Fittest on Earth.

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