The Rogue Invitational looks to be the largest CrossFit Sanctional event of 2019. Solidifying this point, it gathers the greatest CrossFit Games athletes, past and present. Here are the exciting stories we’re following this weekend:
By: Ben Garves, Senior Editor
Mat Fraser and Patrick Vellner
Mathew Fraser is one of the two most prolific athletes in the history of CrossFit. Since 2016, Pat Vellner has been close behind. Vellner followed his third-place finishes in the 2016 and 2017 CrossFit Games with a second-place finish in 2018. As the second-fittest man on earth that year, Vellner had competed the entire 2018 CrossFit Games with a bruised lung. We’re excited to see if he can wear away at the indestructible armor Mat Fraser wears.
Rogue Invitational: Three Healthy CrossFit Dottirs
Davidsdottir has two fittest-on-earth titles under her belt. She’s been healthy the majority of her young career and is making another run for a title during the CrossFit Games 2019 season.
Anníe Mist Þórisdóttir
Annie Thorisdottir has been a staple of the CrossFit Games since 2009. A back injury in 2013 took her away from competition. She returned in 2014, but had to withdraw again in 2015. That year, athletes completed the CrossFit Murph hero workout. The Carson, California sun left Annie Thorisdottir with heat stroke.
Sara Sigmundsdottir was looking to have a very promising CrossFit career. She took third place in the 2015 and 2016 CrossFit Games. Sigmundsdottir returned again in 2017 to take fourth place. After breaking a rib in the 2018 CrossFit Games, she had to withdraw. Well, she’s back now. Pundits believe Sarah Sigmundsdottir is looking stronger than ever to make a run at the Fittest on Earth title.
Ben Smith: CrossFit Games #11
Ben Smith is doing something never before achieved in CrossFit. He’s making an attempt at his eleventh-consecutive CrossFit Games appearance. The roadblock? Smith’s knee injury. Years of hard use required surgery. Even while in recovery, Ben Smith participated in the 2019 CrossFit Open. He managed to place 4756th-overall. If he can punch his ticket to the CrossFit Games this weekend, he’ll set a record for the most consecutive appearances.
Rogue Invitational: Ten Years of CrossFit Champions
Call it genius on the part of Rogue. The Rogue Invitational will feature ten years of male CrossFit champions and nine years of female champions.
Rogue Invitational: Male Champions
Mat Fraser (2016-2018)
Mathew Fraser is in his prime and will be competing in the elite male category.
Ben Smith (2015)
As noted earlier in this article, Ben Smith is looking to own the record for the most consecutive elite CrossFit Games individual appearances.
Rich Froning (2011-2014)
After four-consecutive wins, Rich Froning retired from individual competition in 2014. Since then he has won three fittest-team-on-earth titles with his CrossFit Mayhem Freedom team. Froning has stated he will compete in the Legends category this weekend if he stays healthy.
Graham Holmberg (2010)
Holmberg will join Froning on the competition floor for the Legends events. Some will remember the 2010 CrossFit Games as Froning’s breakout season. A rope climb event cost Froning the championship, which went to Graham Holmberg.
Mikko Salo (2009)
Mikko Salo has had a long, long CrossFit career. His 2009 finish as the Fittest Man on Earth was an exclamation point on his competitive years. He returns to the floor at the Rogue Invitational as a Legends athlete.
Jason Khalipa (2008)
After a surprising win at the 2008 CrossFit Games, Khalipa kept competing. He took fifth in 2012, second in 2013, and third in 2014. Jason took years away from competition to focus on his daughter’s recovery from cancer. Now, he’s a serial entrepreneur, podcast host, and author. On top of owning the NCFIT Collective, he wrote and released As Many Reps As Possible in 2019. Khalipa hosts the AMRAP Mentality, Coffee with Khalipa, and Business of Fitness podcasts. His return to competition will be in the Legends category.
Rogue Invitational Dark Horses
- Dan Bailey – CrossFit’s Dan Bailey has been to the games many times, placing as high as 4th in 2015. Injuries took him away from competing. After joining the CrossFit Games’ 2018 broadcast team, he looks to be taking the floor again for competition.
- Matt Chan – Chan placed second in the 2012 CrossFit Games. This could be a rematch between him and Rich Froning.
Rogue Invitational: Female Champions
Tia-Clair Toomey (2017-2018)
Tia Toomey joined Katrin Davidsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir in 2018 as the third woman with two consecutive “fittest on earth” titles. Her appearance in the elite women category will pit her against the other two.
Katrin Davidsdottir (2015-2016)
Davidsdottir was the second woman to win two-consecutive CrossFit Games. She’s in her prime and will be competing in the Elite Women category at the Rogue Invitational.
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (2014)
Camille is one of the most notable athletes in CrossFit. Her 2014 championship was only a small part of a career that includes her CLB Fitness training programs. She will be competing on team ROMWOD/WIT at the Rogue Invitational.
Sam Briggs (2013)
Samantha Briggs has no quit in her. After winning the 2013 CrossFit Games, she returned to take fourth place in 2015 and 2016. She has popped into many CrossFit Sanctional events this year, and looks to be a frontrunner at the 2019 CrossFit Games.
Anníe Mist Þórisdóttir (2011-2012)
Annie Thorisdottir broke records with her back-to-back Fittest on Earth wins. Her competitive spirit and drive have inspired athletes like Katrin Davidsdottir.
Kristan Clever (2010)
Kristan Clever has never been far from the CrossFit Games podium. As recently as 2017, Clever competed as a Masters athlete and placed 17th in the Womens 35-29 category.
Tanya Wagner (2009)
Wagner’s CrossFit Games 2009 win placed her at the top of the sport when it was still an infant. Since then, she has been an annual competitor in CrossFit Regional events.
Rogue Invitational Dark Horses
- Julie Foucher – Now Dr. Julie Foucher-Urcuyo, Foucher returns to competition in the Legends division. She finished second in 2012 and third in 2014. Her interest in preventative care led to her creation of the popular Pursuing Health podcast.
- Becca Voigt – We are in the midst of a ten-year period of time you cannot mention the CrossFit Games without mentioning Becca Voigt. She has the most CrossFit Games appearances of any female athlete.