Mat Fraser has ridden off into the sunset . CrossFit’s GOAT (greatest of all-time) has officially retired after an unprecedented five straight titles, where he dominated in virtually all of them. Fraser essentially robbed any other male CrossFitter from reaching the pinnacle of the sport, no small feat indeed and probably one that will never be replicated. His retirement leaves a massive hole and also sets the stage for what will be the most interesting men’s competitions dating back to 2015 when Ben Smith won a wide open competition after Rich Froning announced his retirement from individual competition. Before 2015, Froning won four titles, meaning in the last decade only three men have won the title of “Fittest on Earth”. Before Froning stormed onto the scene, four different men won from 2007 to 2010. This all adds up to an incredibly interesting and competitive dogfight for the 2021 title. All four men who competed against Fraser at the in-person finals in California last October could win the title this year. Retiring Mat Fraser’s CrossFit dominance will stand test of time Second place went to the quiet American Samuel Kwant. Then there’s rookie sensation Justin Medeiros and his beautiful mullet , perennial contender and veteran Noah Ohlsen, and Canadian Jeffrey Adler. Four other athletes just missed the final five cut and all could have easily challenged Fraser. There’s Chandler Smith, who many had tipped to possibly unseat the king; Finland’s Jonne Koski, who has overcome injuries and looks better than ever; another veteran contender in Iceland’s Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson, also known as BKG; and Canadian Patrick Vellner, who came second in 2018 and third in 2017 and 2016. By mentioning Vellner, we also have to include fellow countryman Brent Fikowski, also known as “The Professor”, who came fourth in 2018, second in 2017 and fourth in 2016. The list goes on and on, as there’s also Americans Jacob Heppner, Travis Mayer and Saxon Panchik and Australian Khan Porter. So, who looks primed to take the crown? Statistically, Kwant would be the leading candidateas he won the Swim ‘n Stuff event, one of the few blemishes in Fraser’s final showcase of his brilliance. Kwant has flown under the radar due to his personality, but has to be the betting favourite by the thinnest of margins. Medeiros will have to dispel the notion that he is a one-hit wonder and not fall victim to the dreaded sophomore slump. He may surprise everyone, and given his age (21), he will be a force to be reckoned with for some time regardless. The safest bet for 2021 is probably Ohlsen . After a mindset shift, he has reeled off some impressive finishes, including a second in 2019, sixth in 2018 and fourth in 2017, after a dreaded 15th in 2016. Let us not forget it was Ohlsen who stole the lead from Fraser during the 2019 Games, which required the GOAT to do what GOAT’s do and pull out a remarkable come-from-behind victory. Adler surprised a few people by making the final five, but also surprised Fraser when he challenged him in a few events, including the Snatch Speed Triple and Bike Repeater. His weightlifting prowess is second to none (a huge component of CrossFit), and he looks the type of athlete who is improving every year and doesn’t have a ceiling. What the 2021 CrossFit Games will most likely come down to is who can control the leaderboard the best. Without Fraser to chase, the first few events will be critical. For the first time in what seems like ages, they will get a chance to wear the white leader jersey, and see how it fits and how they handle the pressure and athletes nipping at their heels. Mat Fraser retires from CrossFit in shock announcement Most likely it will come down to the final event. With so many contenders and no Fraser to gobble up points, the white jersey is likely to bounce around all weekend until someone grabs it at the right moment and doesn’t let go. Trying to pick a winner is almost impossible and there is a decent chance another athlete roars out of nowhere to claim the title. In the end, this is great for fans. The GOAT, like the rest of us, will surely sit back and watch the next chapter and era unfold, ushering in a new champion.