Rich Froning announces he will not compete in 2023 CrossFit Games

Photo Credit: Kay Wiese

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At the end of the 2023 age group semifinals, the unofficial* leaderboard was Rich Froning, who edged out fellow Games veteran Sam Dancer in the 35-39 division by just two points.

Although there were questions about whether Froning would accept his invitation and compete in person in Madison, Wis., on Tuesday, Froning announced that he will not be competing in the 2023 CrossFit Games via the Rich Froning Podcast.

  • “[I did] Age group semi-finals this weekend. For fun, for competition too,” said the four-time individual and six-time team champion.
  • “[I] won’t go past it regardless,” Froning continued. Adding that “I’ll be there [at the CrossFit Games] we go out, we train, we support our athletes,”

What does this mean?: For the first time since 2010**, we won’t be seeing CrossFit’s (arguably) most legendary athlete grace the big stage in Madison.

  • Since 2010, Froning has won first or second place medal in the individual or team event.
  • This year he had the opportunity to extend that run with a qualification through the master division 35-39.

Timeline of Rich’s CrossFit Career:

  • 2010: Rich’s first appearance at the Games. He finished second behind Graeme Holmberg after losing the now infamous rope climbing exercise
  • 2011: Froning came back to win first and began his four-year winning streak
  • 2012: First Place: Individual Division
  • 2013: First Place: Individual Division
  • 2014: First Place: Individual Division
  • 2015: Rich retired from individual competition and put together a team that took first place in the Affiliate Cup
  • 2016: First Place: Team Division
  • 2017: The first and only year Rich’s team placed outside of first place, losing to Wasatch CrossFit
  • 2018: First Place: Team Division
  • 2019: First Place: Team Division
  • 2020: No affiliate cup due to Covid
  • 2021: First Place: Team Division
  • 2022: First Place: Team Division

The only exception: On his podcast, Froning did state that there would be one circumstance this year that would cause him to compete in the CrossFit Games.

  • Froning is currently listed as an alternate athlete for the Mayhem team, Mayhem Independence.
  • “I’m your replacement, but only if someone dies” Froning told team leader Angelo DiCicco.
  • Even if it’s surgery or something, no, you have to be dead. Froning continued, firmly establishing the conditions for his return to private competition.

The big picture: While Froning’s withdrawal from individual competition in the Masters division certainly opens up a big hole in the 35-39, there’s certainly no shortage of competition in the Men’s division. Although the results have not yet been officially announced, gaming legends Sam Dancer, Scott Panczyk, Frederick Egidius and Elijah Muhammad still remain the top contenders after the semi-finals.

Not only that, but Rich Froning’s unofficial exit allows former Canada Games athlete Paul Tremblay to crack the top ten, potentially earning him an invite. Although the results and rankings remain unofficial, the unofficial rankings currently have Paul Tremblay eleventh, making him the next candidate for a game invite if Froning declines his.

*All semi-final points and standings in all age groups remain unofficial until an official announcement is made by CrossFit. We mean the unofficial age group rankings, which make corrections for point errors in the official CrossFit Games rankings.

**Excluding 2020, which marked a year without a team race due to a global pandemic

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