Fraser, 5-time CrossFit Games champion, announces retirement

Published February 3, 2021, 1:28 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from CrossFit Games

Mat Fraser, the winningest CrossFit Games champion, announced his retirement from the competition Wednesday.

In a social media post, Fraser shared the recent development through a series of posts, explaining his reasons for the decision. But the 31-year-old CrossFit king only needed few words on his caption.

“Today, I leave the sport, older, wiser, fitter and grateful,” wrote the five-time consecutive CrossFit Games champion.

Fraser said he’ll be “diving” into the next chapter of his life with the same “hard work pays off” mentality and will continue to be part of the CrossFit community.

In a separate open letter through The Morning Chalk Up, the Canadian champion wrote a more detailed explanation behind the shock retirement.

It was not the pressure as the winningest CrossFit Games titleholder that made him do so but rather the excessive mentality of winning to the point that he’d stop “doing obviously risky things,” such as riding a motorcycle to the gym or not using a streak knife on meals.

“It wasn’t worth the .01% chance I’d cut myself and ruin my week of training or compromise my performance during competition,” noted Fraser. “I was obsessed with finding improvements anywhere possible and always terrified that one had slipped through the cracks.”

For his future plans, Fraser reiterated that he will continue to follow the sport as a fan and open a YouTube channel together with his fiancée Sammy.

Unlike other athletes, Fraser doesn’t plan to open an affiliate gym and instead will soon launch a home gym when they move in Vermont, and more CrossFit and workout content are expected on their YouTube channel.

“I’ll always be involved in CrossFit. I just won’t be doing it from the competition floor any longer.”

Fraser, who first joined competition in 2012 and the CrossFit Games in 2014, has won the record-setting title “Fittest Man” from 2016 until the coronavirus-delayed 2020.

He finished second in his 2014 debut, matched it up the following year, before making a historic five-year championship run.