Athletes from all over the world competed for the titles and a piece of the $1 million prize purse
CARSON, Calif., Aug 01, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- After four months of competition, Rich Froning Jr. has been named the Fittest Man on Earth(TM) and Annie Thorisdottir has been named The Fittest Woman on Earth(TM) at the 2011 Reebok|CrossFit Games. Froning Jr, from Cookeville, Tennessee, USA, and Thorisdottir, from Kopavogur, Iceland, earned their titles after beating the 50 male and female finalists from the initial field of 27,000 competitors over the course of ten workouts at the Reebok|CrossFit Games, which took place from July 29-31 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. In addition to the title, both athletes won $250,000.
This year's competition, the fifth annual CrossFit Games and the first in which Reebok was the title sponsor, challenged the athletes to push both their bodies and their minds to the limit. The winning athletes proved their physical fitness by achieving the highest total score in a total of 10 events which featured a combination of tasks including swimming, running, rowing, biking, performing Olympic lifts, climbing ropes, completing gymnastic movements throwing softballs, and moving large loads long distances quickly. In addition to the workouts, athletes were tested time and again mentally; in most cases, they had only an hour to prepare for each workout, and sometimes they had only two minutes to rest after one workout before starting the next one.
Froning Jr. and Thorisdottir found the road to victory by securing first place finishes in three of the ten events. For both athletes, this year's success is especially sweet because it followed runner-up finishes in 2010. In fact, Froning Jr. said, "My goal coming into this event was to show that last year wasn't a fluke." Thorisdottir said, "I kept focusing on trying to win the title, and I'm just so happy. I haven't even thought about what I would do with the money!"
The 24-year-old Froning Jr. struggled in the opening event but won the next two events to signal his presence as a contender to the field and the crowd. By the end of the second day, he had built a commanding lead, fuelled by two second-place finishes and once sixth-place finish. Going into the final event, which consisted of eight movements including Olympic and power lifts, gymnastic moves and resistance training, Froning Jr. had all but cemented his position atop the scoreboard. Ultimately, he finished nearly 100 points ahead of 28-year-old Joshua Bridges from La Mesa, California. Virginia's Ben Smith, a 21-year old student at Old Dominion University, finished third.
On the other hand, the 21-year-old Thorisdottir didn't find her way to the top of the leaderboard until the final day of the competition. Her consistent performance on the first two days landed her within nine points of the 2010 defending champion, Kristan Clever, going into the final day of competition. On Sunday, Thorisdottir took the lead after the first event, and cemented her position with consecutive third-place finishes in the final three events. Clever, 29, finished second, followed closely by her San Fernando Valley, California, training partner and teammate, 30-year-old Rebecca Voight.
"The level of the competition this weekend was outstanding, with the competitors proving that they truly are the fittest men and women on earth -- and not just physically, but also mentally," said Chris Froio, Head of Fitness and Training, Reebok. "In the last events, it was amazing to watch athletes push themselves physically, rest for two minutes, and then start another workout -- and at the end of the event, it was inspiring to watch these athletes finish their workouts and then cheer their competitors on, or give each other tips to help them make it to the finish. We are thrilled to be a part of this event and proud of all of the competitors and our athletes, especially Rich and Annie, for their accomplishments."
Perhaps no event better illustrated the CrossFit philosophy of being prepared for the unknown and the unknowable than the opening event, where athletes had to complete an open-water swim in the Pacific Ocean; run 1,500 kilometers in the sand; power through 50 pullups, 100 pushups and 200 squats; and race to the finish with another 1,500 kilometer run in the sand. In addition to the crowd-pleasing final event, Saturday's final event was one of the most popular with the capacity crowd; after completing seven heavy lifts and biking 700 meters, the athletes had to traverse a set of monkey bars for 100 meters.
This weekend's finals marked the culmination of a three-stage competition that began in March with the Reebok|CrossFit Open Series, which featured more than 27,000 competitors from around the world who were fighting for a place in one of 17 regional competitions. At the Reebok|CrossFit Regionals, the top 60 men, 60 women and 30 teams in the region competed for three days to make it to the Reebok|CrossFit Games. This weekend's field consisted of no more than three men, three women and three teams from each region.
For more information about the 2011 Reebok|CrossFit Games, go to http://games.crossfit.com .
About Reebok, Reebok is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment. An American-inspired global brand, Reebok is a pioneer in the sporting goods industry with a rich and storied heritage in running, training and fitness. A subsidiary of the adidas Group, Reebok operates under the multiple divisions of the Reebok brand, Reebok-CCM Hockey and the Sports Licensed Division. For more information, visit Reebok at www.reebok.com .
About CrossFit, CrossFit, Inc. is the world's foremost developer of functional fitness programming and a leading accredited certificate issuer for physical training professionals worldwide. Founded by Greg and Lauren Glassman, CrossFit(R) is the principal strength and conditioning program for hundreds of accomplished and professional athletes and hundreds of thousands of individuals seeking to achieve elite fitness. CrossFit offers specialty certificate courses and programs, including the CrossFit Kids program; publishes the CrossFit Journal; and created and operates the CrossFit Games, an annual event which seeks to find and crown the Fittest on Earth(TM). There are currently more than 2,500 affiliated gyms in the global CrossFit training network. For more information, please visit www.crossfit.com
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