The CrossFit Games champions have been crowned: Rich Froning and Sam Briggs.
After 12 events, the two separated themselves from the field and proved themselves fitter than any other athlete in the world. For Froning, it was his third consecutive win, establishing the first dynasty in CrossFit Games history. Briggs won the 2013 Open, and her previous best finish at the Games came in 2011, when she was fourth. She sat out 2012 with an injury.
Both champions will take home US$275,000 in addition to prize money won for placing in various events. The top 10 male and female athletes all received prize money, and more than $1.4 million was awarded to athletes and teams over the week of competition.
Earlier in the day, Games Director Dave Castro brought the 30 remaining Individual athletes to the tennis stadium to reveal the final events.
Cinco is a two-part challenge, with each half scored separately. In the first half, Cinco 1, athletes were hit with three rounds of five heavy deadlifts (405/265 lb.) and five weighted one-legged squats (53/35 lb.) per leg before an 80-foot handstand walk.
One minute after the seven-minute cap of Cinco 1, Cinco 2 had athletes performing three rounds of five muscle-ups and five deficit handstand push-ups before 90 feet of walking lunges with a fat-bar (165/100 lb.) held overhead.
Froning won every event on Sunday.
"Yeah, all according to plan," he said sarcastically.
Froning beat Ben Smith by 11.6 seconds to take first on Cinco 1, and at that point the overall competition was already his. On Cinco 2, the tennis-stadium crowd was on its feet as Froning stalked Josh Bridges on the gymnastics movements before passing him on the walking overhead lunges. Froning finished the event just over a minute faster than Bridges.
Knowing he had made history, the 26-year-old jumped into the stands to give his wife a hug and a kiss, stood up on the concrete ledge to wave to the fans, and then proceeded to encourage his fellow competitors who were still working on Cinco 2.
Winning his third consecutive Games, he said, was something he couldn’t put into words.
“It’s been a battle all weekend,” Froning said. “It’s amazing.”
Throughout the week, he described this year as the most difficult Games to date. His 30th-place finish in The Pool event was his worst placing in any of his four Games appearances.
“This year’s just been rough, real rough,” Froning said.
Tonight, his plans were simple: "Relax. Don't work out."
Rounding out the top spots were 2008 Games champion Jason Khalipa and 2011 third-fittest man Ben Smith.
When asked how it feels to be on the podium again for the first time in five years, Khalipa simply replied, "Excellent."
Going into the final events, Khalipa has an outside chance to catch Froning, but he had second all but locked down.
"I knew if I did well in (Cinco 1) I could relax a little in the second one,” he said. “I wanted to have fun and enjoy the experience on the second one.”
Smith described the feeling as “awesome.”
"I knew I had a shot,” he said. “And all you can do is give yourself an opportunity to get there. I just put my faith in God. And it's awesome."
Among the women, former collegiate volleyball player and Olympic weightlifter Lindsey Valenzuela—a fan favorite—placed second, while 2010 third-fittest woman and schoolteacher Valerie Voboril returned to the third-place podium spot.
"I'm fuckin’ ecstatic right now," said Valenzuela, who erupted in tears.
The endurance events weren't as strong for the 26-year-old, but she said she kept reminding herself to see it through until the end.
"There were so many ups and downs. And I just had to keep with it," Valenzuela said.
The Southern California athlete then made her way through the crowds of volunteers and staff to hug her husband, Arsenio.
Meanwhile, Voboril's first reaction wasn’t about her podium finish.
"I'm so glad I didn't make it to the overhead lunges," she said. "I was more nervous about the second (event) ... I hate those stupid lunges. And my muscle-ups have been on and off."
Once she discovered she was third overall, Voboril said she was surprised.
"Holy cow, what just happened? I never look at the standings," she said. "It's hard not to think about it. … I just try to do my personal best."
In the awards ceremony, 2010 CrossFit Games champion Kristan Clever was presented with the Spirit of the Games Award. The SoCal athlete twisted her ankle before the Games and competed at less than 100 percent. Despite the injury, she soldiered on and finished 32nd, demonstrating the perseverance and dedication that define the finest CrossFit athletes.
Women The Cinco 1
1. Elisabeth Akinwale (3:32.2)
2. Talayna Fortunato (4:36.4)
3. Danielle Horan (4:46.6)
Women The Cinco 2
1. Talayna Fortunato (6:43.7)
2. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (6:47.8)
3. Michele Letendre (7:01.0)
1. Samantha Briggs
2. Lindsey Valenzuela
3. Valerie Voboril
Men The Cinco 1
1. Rich Froning (4:05.7)
2. Ben Smith (4:17.3)
3. Scott Panchik (4:25.5)
Men The Cinco 2
1. Rich Froning (4:41.0)
2. Josh Bridges (5:40.8)
3. Jason Khalipa (5:52.6)
1. Rich Froning
2. Jason Khalipa
3. Ben Smith
Spirit of the Games Award Winner
For complete standings and all scores from all divisions, visit the Leaderboard.