At last year’s Reebok CrossFit Games, we found out that that defending champion and all-around beast, Rich Froning, had a weakness after all: swimming. The seemingly invincible athlete struggled and finished 30th in 2013’s swimming event, called The Pool.
This year, swimming is his kryptonite no more. At The Beach, Froning placed 8th amidst strong waves, a searing Californian sun, and possible shark attacks (seriously.) He placed ahead of other elite athletes like Dan Bailey (9th), Scott Panchik (10th), and Jason Khalipa (18th).
The 2014 Games’ first event consisted of a 250 yard swim, 50 kettlebell thrusters, 30 burpees, a 500 yard swim, another set of 30 burpees and 50 kettlebell thrusters, and finally a 250-yard swim before a short run to the finish line.
Four-time All-American swimmer and former lifeguard Jordan Troyan, did a repeat of his performance last year, placing first by leading from start to finish. He was followed by 19-year-old Jonne Koski and last year’s event 3rd placer Josh Bridges.
For the women’s individuals, sailor Anna Tunnicliffe led all the way and finished first. Kara Webb and Chyna Cho had a two-woman race for second place, with the latter finally pulling away midway through the 500-yard swim. Last year’s event 1st place finisher, Michele Latendre, finished fourth.
Froning won last year’s competition despite having a rough start. Now, after banishing his 2013 demons at The Beach and kicking off his campaign off on a good note, it may only be a matter of time until he is crowned “Fittest Man on Earth” for a record fourth consecutive time. Goes to show that even your greatest weakness can improve with consistent practice.
You can watch the replay of the events below.