Getting a Boost from Mat Fraser, Literally
When the final event of the Dubai Fitness Championship, “Walking with the Devil”, kicked off in Coca-Cola Arena, spectators were initially focused on how quickly these ladies in heat one moved on their hands. But it wasn’t long before they started chipping away at their 20 programmed muscle-ups, and all eyes were on lane two — where five-time Fittest Man on Earth, Mat Fraser, was on the competition floor. Standing under the rig just behind the rings, he said “‘Tell me 3, 2, 1 go and I’ll spot you” to competitor Valentina Magalotti.
Prior to the event, Magalotti asked if she could “put a box or something under the rings,” to allow her to reach them. She recalls that Fraser told her, “‘No no don’t worry, it’s the same if someone helps you on the rings,’ and I said okay. But I didn’t know the person would be Mat,” she said laughing.
Standing a self-reported 150cm (just under 5-feet) tall, she would’ve required two risers for the muscle-ups, which could be considered unsafe according to HWPO’s Jake Marconi.
Nothing like having the champ right next to you to give you a little added motivation.
“While I was doing the ring muscle-ups, I just kept telling myself ‘Do it better, do it better, do it better than you (normally) do’,” Magalotti said. “He (Fraser) is a very nice person and a gentleman… he took the responsibility to make sure things are perfect. It was an honor for me.”
The Italian athlete finished 14th in that event and 17th overall, her best finish recorded in a major in-person competition to date.