It’s Sunday morning, the swim event is done, and I’ve got some thoughts. If you’re not watching live this will contain spoilers and if you’re not following CF then this will all be gibberish to you.
First things first – The Cuts.
I liked them then I hated them, pretty much like everyone else.
It was cool to see all the new people, the national champs, out there giving their best and then it was cool not to have to put up with them the whole weekend.
Then, yes, the cuts gave urgency to the early events.
But then the shift happened. And suddenly very viable athletes, podium contenders and former podium winners, got cut for tiny little shit. Basically bad luck ended the games for some amazing athletes and fan favourites. It feels insulting. To us and to them.
To be fair and balanced though it did give us the weight lifting event – which would have been impossible with a field of anymore athletes. So it’s still a hit/miss thing.
On to the big thing: Noah Olsen leading the men’s division over Fraser.
Now here’s my thing with Olsen; I had just recently stopped liking him and this has brought me back around.
Last year Olsen seemed to me like a nice dude and a good, but immature, athlete. And when I say immature I mean his tendency to start events too fast and burn out. That’s the Olsen magic trade mark.
What bugged me though is he wouldn’t acknowledge that. He would always, after losing events, say that he had a great time and people were so supportive and blah blah blah positivity bullshit. Putting the nice guy band-aid on rather looking at his weakness and working on them.
And in the event where he overtook Fraser even the Rogue announcers were joking, literally joking at his expense, about Olsen going out too hot and blowing up – and then it was amazing to watch him hold the lead and hold the lead and defy expectations. It’s a moment that will go down in the history, it’ll be Olsen’s personal Toomey/Webb moment.
So Olsen’s leading and he’s holding on, having the performance of his life – especially considering he barely qualified, he essentially didn’t qualify, he lucked in because of Vellner and (I think) Travis Mayer.
Like I said, this post is for Crossfit fans so I’m not explaining any of these things. Take it.
Anyway watching Olsen be the lead has been great. I’m proud of him for taking it and yet I still thought it would be a fluke but he’s held on and he’s stayed himself. He’s waving, happy, signing things for fans and being the nice guy. His nice guyism isn’t just an act to take the sting off a loss, it’s at least also how he celebrates. And while Fraser is an inspirational champ, Olsen is a totally opposite style of champ that’s also inspirational.
So it’s all cool for Olsen. And it’s given us the gift of watching hungry, young Fraser again. It’s great to see Fraser dominate these last few years but it made us forget what we loved about him the first time round when he ascended. He ascended to champion Mat. And Champion Mat is very cool as I said but Competitor Mat, the Mat that came to stone-face kill whole villages with his fitness powers is what we really, really love to see.
I fully expect Fraser to win and Olsen to be cool and I wanted to publish this before the day was over so I’d have to be accountable for that prediction.
I’m gonna throw Armin’s recap from yesterday here at the end because it contains everything I’m taking about here and if you don’t watch Armin (but if you’re a Crossfitter, you do) then you should.