A Sharbot Lake-born, American athlete — Mat Fraser — has just won the Reebok CrossFit Games, an International strength competition. The win carries the title “Fittest Man on Earth,” an honour Fraser has earned for the fifth consecutive year.
“The fittest on earth and the fittest in history,” proclaimed the announcers as Fraser completed the final challenge of the three-day event on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020.
The last challenge of the weekend, for example, consisted of a one mile (1.6 km) run, 100 handstand push-ups, 200 single-leg squats, 300 pull-ups and another one mile run. Male athletes completed the challenge in a 20 pound (nine kg) weighted vest; and female athletes in a 14 pound (6.4 kg) weighted vest.
“We watched it all weekend,” said Mat’s grandmother Dorothy Fraser, who still lives in Sharbot Lake. “He spoke to his mom right after.”
Dorothy Fraser said her grandson traveled to the competition location near Los Angeles, CA, a week ahead of the group quarantine period, to isolate and acclimatize himself to the elevation.
Then, because of the global pandemic, she said all athletes and games officials were required to test for COVID-19 and isolate together in a Los Angeles-area hotel. They then traveled on to the competition location in a group, on a private, chartered bus.
At 30 years old, 5’7 and 195 lbs, Fraser is a mainstay of the CrossFit leaderboard. He earned the title of Fittest Man on Earth in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. According to CrossFit, he won the 2016 games by the largest margin in the history of the competition. He also previously placed second in 2014 and 2015, winning the Rookie of the Year award at his first competition in 2014.
Before becoming a CrossFit athlete in 2012, Fraser was reportedly a U.S. Olympic Weightlifting team hopeful. He left the sport after a back injury and major surgery in 2011.
Fraser’s parents are also competitive athletes, former Canadian Olympian figure skaters Don Fraser and Candace Jones. They won the Canadian Figure Skating Championships in 1975 and 1976, and competed in the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
Though Mat Fraser resides in Tennessee and competes on behalf of the USA, he was born at Kingston General Hospital and resided in Sharbot Lake as a child. Dorothy Fraser said her grandson still visits every summer, though he was not able to do so this year because of the pandemic.
His family owns property in the community, she said, and she expects her grandson to continuously maintain his local roots. “He’ll always be coming back,” she said.