Everyone likes to win, but this is different. Mat Fraser decimated the rest of the competitive fitness landscape at the 2020 CrossFit Games and set a standard beyond anything we’ve seen before in the sport . When Fraser first won the Games in 2016 he opened the weekend with an event win (ironically enough it was the Ranch Trail Run), but that would be the only event win for him on his way to securing his first title of “Fittest on Earth.” Notably, he finished second seven times that weekend. The topic came up in interviews regularly that year and right away you could tell it did not sit well with the newly crowned champion. His mindset seemed to be that winning the Games alone was not enough, but that event wins were meaningful, too. In the years since he’s done considerably better in the event win department. In 2017 he claimed four events, in 2018 he only won two, then last year, in a new format, he took six events and was breathing down the neck of Rich Froning for the most event wins in history. Considering both parts of the 2020 CrossFit Games, Fraser won 14 of 19 total events: four out of seven in stage one; and 10 out of 12 in stage two. Winning events at that rate is unheard of , but if you haven’t been watching closely you might miss the most impressive elements of the streak he put together this year. In an interview leading up to the Games, he said “just because you’re bad at something one year, doesn’t mean you’ll be bad at it next year.” He was alluding to the mindset many people, analysts included, usually take in this sport, which is to assign athletes’ weaknesses. Mat Fraser relies on ‘grit and determination’ for photo finish victory And while in some cases, it makes sense and generally holds true over time, with Fraser that simply isn’t the case. We take certain events for granted that Fraser will win, like the 2007 Reload or the Snatch Speed Triple. But other events featured elements that are much less predictable, like the Corn Sack Sprint or the Ranch Loop. And finally, we have events that feature implements where he’s done poorly previously, such as the Sprint Sled Sprint. The exact same sled was used last year and resulted in a 21st place finish for Fraser, the worst event finish he’s had since the Ranch Deadlift Ladder on day one of the 2016 Games. This time, Fraser was ready, but that didn’t mean it would be easy. It was this event that encapsulated his unending desire to win more than any other. Having already earned nearly twice as many points as his closest competitor, and knowing all he had to do is finish the remaining events to secure his record-breaking fifth straight title, he still took the starting line with the tenacity of a champion. Noah Ohlsen took an early lead on the first run, with Fraser and Kwant nipping at his heels. Ohlsen had won the sled event last year, and Kwant had taken fourth, so they were presumably going to move it better than Fraser. But this year, that wasn’t the case. Regardless of whether the turf was any factor at all, Fraser was ready for the sled because any time there has any been something difficult for him at the Games, he returns the next year and manhandles it. As he made the turn for the final run Kwant was still right beside him. Both men with wobbly legs set off for a final 100-yard sprint. Kwant seemed to be closing the gap, it looked like he may have even overtaken Fraser with 20 yards to go. Despite experiencing what he would later call muscle fatigue, somehow Fraser found the will to leg it out against the taller competitor and hit the finish line four-tenths of a second ahead of Kwant. In an interview with Niki Brazier following the event, he was asked what drives him to fight for tenths of second when he has hundreds of points separating him from the next closest competitor. In a serious manner he explained how hard he and Tia-Clair Toomey had trained all year, and then with a little grin added, “I want to see what I’m capable of”. Well, everyone else watching is also curious. With the level of dominance Fraser displayed this weekend, we are forced to re-evaluate what CrossFit’s limits truly are.