Rich Froning Announces He Won’t Compete in 2023 CrossFit Games
At the close of the 2023 Age Group Semifinals, the unofficial* leaderboard had Rich Froning in first, just outperforming fellow Games veteran Sam Dancer in the 35-39 division by a mere two points.
While there were questions about whether or not Froning would accept his invitation and compete in person in Madison, WI, on Tuesday, Froning announced that he would not be competing in the 2023 CrossFit Games via the Rich Froning Podcast.
- “[I did] Age Group Semifinals this weekend. For fun, for competition as well,” the four-time individual and six-time team champion said.
- “[I] will not move on past this regardless,” Froning continued. Adding that “I’ll be there [at the CrossFit Games] hanging out, working out, supporting our athletes,”
What does this mean?: For the first time, since 2010**, we will not see CrossFit’s most legendary athlete (arguably) grace the big stage in Madison.
- Since 2010, Froning has taken home either a first or second-place medal in the individual or team division.
- This year, he had the opportunity to extend that run with a qualification via the masters 35-39 division.
A Timeline of Rich’s CrossFit Career:
- 2010: Rich’s first appearance at the Games. He took second behind Graham Holmberg after losing the now-infamous rope climb workout
- 2011: Froning came back to win first and began his four-year win streak
- 2012: First Place: Individual Division
- 2013: First Place: Individual Division
- 2014: First Place: Individual Division
- 2015: Rich retired from Individual competition and assembled a team that took first place in the Affiliate Cup
- 2016: First Place: Team Division
- 2017: The first and only year Rich’s team placed outside of first, losing to Wasatch CrossFit
- 2018: First Place: Team Division
- 2019: First Place: Team Division
- 2020: No Affiliate Cup Due To Covid
- 2021: First Place: Team Division
- 2022: First Place: Team Division
The one exception: In his podcast, Froning did state that there would be one circumstance this year that would lead him to compete at the CrossFit Games.
- Froning is currently listed as the alternate athlete for Mayhem’s team, Mayhem Independence.
- “I am your alternate, but only if somebody dies,” said Froning to the team’s leader, Angelo Dicicco.
- “Even if it’s surgery or something, no, you have to be dead.” Froning continued, firmly establishing the conditions for his return to in-person competition.
The big picture: While Froning’s step back from individual competition in the masters division certainly opens a large hole in 35-39, there is certainly no shortage of competition left in the men’s division. While scores have yet to be made official, Games legends Sam Dancer, Scott Panchik, Frederik Aegidius, and Elijah Muhammad still remain top contenders after Semifinals.
Not only that, but Rich Froning stepping out unofficially allows former Canadian Games athlete Paul Tremblay to crack the top ten, potentially earning him an invite. While scores and rankings remain unofficial, the unofficial leaderboard currently lists Paul Tremblay in eleventh, making him the next candidate for a Games invite should Froning decline his.
*All Age Group Semifinals points and rankings remain unofficial until CrossFit makes their official announcement. We have been referring to the unofficial Age Group leaderboard, which makes corrections for point errors in the official CrossFit Games leaderboard.
**Except 2020, which marked a year of no team competition due to a worldwide pandemic