Kara Saunders Announces Move to Mayhem Athlete + ACTIV Collaboration With Froning
One of CrossFit’s most iconic athletes has just joined forces with nine-time champion Rich Froning, joining a host of others at Mayhem Athlete as well as a new exclusive collaboration between Saunders’ ACTIV Eyewear and Froning. Saunders announced the transition from Brute Strength on Wednesday during a special Instagram Live session with Froning.
One big thing: At this point, Mayhem will very likely field the largest number of individual athletes at the 2022 Games, and possibly even across all divisions. Saunders is now the sixth individual athlete to join Mayhem since the 2021 CrossFit Games and the biggest name outside of Froning, but the total is now at least 15, not including the 43 athletes they fielded in 2021 across all divisions.
- Six athletes have joined since the 2021 Games: Kara Saunders, Guilherme Malheiros, Lazar Dukic, Agustin Richelme, Piero Gorichon, and Mel Rodriguez.
- The list of existing Mayhem Athlete individual competitors: Alex Vigneault, Royce Dunne, Samuel Cournoyer, Alexandre Caron, Aleksandar Ilin, Stas Solodov, Haley Adams, Baylee Rayl, and Sasha Nievas.
How it went down: “You’re actually looking at your newest Mayhem Athlete. I don’t know if you’d heard that,” Saunders said during the Instagram session. She added that she needed a change in her programming, so she reached out to Tasia Percevecz to ask about the different paths.
- Saunders began doing one piece of the “What’s Rich Doing” in the immediate aftermath of her mandatory, two-week quarantine. She has since began consistently doing the Mayhem Athlete programming.
- “I’ve just been doing the Compete and loving it. But you know, hurting and adjusting,” Saunders said.
“After this year’s Games that I missed I did some reflecting and decided I needed to make some changes to really enjoy my time as an athlete and not lose any mental and emotional energy that could be going towards my family,” Saunders added via email. “My previous coach Nick Fowler was honestly the best and such an amazing human in general. He took such good care of me, but I actually just felt like I didn’t want to have a coach anymore and wanted to just do CrossFit and have so much fun getting better.”
Another big thing: Saunders will head to the United States earlier than normal in 2022 so that she and her family can get settled in. She will head to Cookeville and train with Froning and the rest of the Mayhem Athlete family.
- Saunders was open about the emotional toll of being separated from her husband and their daughter, both in the immediate aftermath of the games, as well as during the Instagram Live with Froning. Heading to the United States early provides the opportunity for the family to stick together during a critical time.
“Put your glasses on, Shades”: Another important part of the conversation revolved around a new collaboration between Froning and Saunders’ eyewear brand, ACTIV. The nine-time champion now has his own signature pair of shades, which feature the Froning “R” logo, as well as Galatians 6:14, the Bible verse tattooed on his ribs.
- Talks between Froning and ACTIV began well over one year ago. The shades officially launched on December 7 after some considerable time and effort.
- The sunglasses are a limited edition. There are only 1,000 pairs available, which will inevitably sell out in a short period of time.
- The price of the Froning sunglasses are $199 USD. They come with a numbered signature card, an ACTIV/Froning microfiber pouch, a Froning cleaning cloth, and an ACTIV/Froning hard case.
The bottom line: Saunders has been training hard in Australia to prepare for the 2022 season, and she will have support from one of the sport’s most accomplished figures and his top-tier staff. Now she will draw even more attention as she prepares for the 2022 CrossFit Games.