Mat Fraser is one of the biggest names in CrossFit but it did not happen by accident. Years of hard work and dedication saw him move up the ranks to total domination. He has lifted the CrossFit Games trophy five times and courted controversy with Rich Froning, the former champion. Biography At just 1.73m, and 88kg, the athlete packs a mighty punch. He was born in 1990 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, although he is American. His mother is a doctor and both his parents were also figure skaters. At 11 years old, Fraser turned his attention to weightlifting, showing great promise. He won his first national title at 13, was school age champion in 2003, 2005 and 2007, and became junior national champion in 2009, according to CrossFit blog Box Rox. He started training full-time when he left school in the hope of making the Olympic weightlifting team. Rivalries are great, but is Fraser-Froning fallout at all shocking? But injury cut his hopes short. He knew something was wrong, but was pushed by his coaches to keep training and get stronger. He broke his back. After surgery, he returned to sport in 2011. By that point, he had found CrossFit and never returned to weightlifting. Undoubtedly, his background in weightlifting has helped him excel in CrossFit. CrossFit Games, The Open and Sanctionals Fraser finished second at the CrossFit Games in 2014 and 2015, and then won five straight titles from 2016, earning him the title of ‘Fittest on Earth’. It is the most victories, surpassing Froning’s four consecutive titles from 2011. Fraser’s first podium in 2014 came as a surprise even to him. He said he had no expectations and felt proud of his second place. But in 2015, despite finishing second again, he was not pleased . “It was just a year of complacency and cutting corners . I felt like I had lost second place,” he said. This feeling of failure spurred him on: “I have really tried to never rest on my laurels since. Every year there are different PRs and different things to focus on to make into strengths.” It has worked and he has gone from strength to strength. He only won one Games event in 2016, but performed consistently in the others, earning enough points to clinch the victory overall. How to beat CrossFit king Mat Fraser? Forget the myth for a start In 2017, he won four events. In 2018, he won two and only finished outside the top 10 in one event, still enough to clinch first place overall. The 2019 Games was far closer than Fraser would have liked. He was deducted points when he dropped a weight on the Ruck Run and did not realise it until it was too late. He unknowingly continued with a lighter load. He had to claw back the lead and a win in the final event secured him his record-equalling fourth title . His steady rise reached higher levels than ever in 2020. A reduced format because of Covid-19 meant there were two rounds. The first was online among 30 men and 30 women. The top five went to an in-person final in California. Fraser absolutely dominated and had the victory in the bag before the last day. He won 10 of the 12 events. Froning responds to Fraser’s ‘boldfaced lie’ In between the CrossFit Games, Fraser won the Open in 2015 and from 2017 to 2019. He won the Dubai CrossFit Championship in 2016, 2018 and 2019. He won the Rogue Invitational in 2019 as well. He wins everything he enters – he has not lost a live event in five years. Diet The task of fuelling Fraser has fallen largely to his fiancé, Sammy Moniz. So much so, that she has a business, sharing her recipes under the name Feeding The Frasers. Keeping the “Fittest Man on Earth well-fed, you could say she has a lot on her plate,” her website says. Many CrossFit athletes are obsessed with the detail of their diet, weighing the exact amounts of different food groups. Fraser is not so fanatical. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Feeding The Frasers (@feedingthefrasers) “I tried to take my diet to a more extreme place, but it wasn’t for me,” he told GQ Magazine. “It was taking too much time and energy away from different parts of my life. Now, instead of obsessing, I just try to eat well: No junk food. No soda. Very little that comes in wrappers. It’s mostly meat, vegetables, and fruit. If I’m hungry, I eat. If I’m not hungry, I don’t. There’s not too much science behind it.” He does treat himself to the occasional Hersey milk chocolate bar, though. Prize Money CrossFit is a young sport with the first Games being held in 2007. But it has exploded in popularity and with it has come lucrative sponsorship deals and prize money. It is guesswork to try to assess how much Fraser earns in a year, but we know how much he wins. The CrossFit Games first prize has grown from US$500 in the first year to US$300,000 in 2020. The prize money was US$250,000 for his wins in 2016, 2017 and 2018, then jumped to US$300,00. The prize money for the CrossFit Open is US$2,019 per round and there are five rounds. In 2019, his latest Open victory, he won two rounds. His 2019 Rogue Invitational victory earned him US$50,000. There is also US$5,000 up for grabs after each round. He won three rounds. The Dubai CrossFit Championship victory in the same year earned him US$10,000. Rich Froning Spat Froning and Fraser sit head and shoulders above the rest of the CrossFit field, having won nine of the last 10 competitions between them. But it seems they have little in common away from the sport. Although it seems trivial , fans were shocked when in early 2021, Fraser said Froning had not spoken to him in two years , despite living relatively close to each other. Froning then responded saying that he was not actively ignoring or excommunicating Fraser , it was just that the pair had little to talk about personally. It is hardly a rivalry for the ages, but it tweaked people’s interest in a sport where outwardly everyone, competitors or not, is friendly and supportive.