This past Thursday, CrossFit HQ revealed the affiliates that will be hosting the five live announcements of the 2015 Open, and the athletes that will be competing in them. The lineup, I’m sure you’ll agree, is quite spectacular.
15.1: Rich Froning vs. Mat Fraser
Reebok CrossFit ONE
The first workout of the 2015 Open is a barnburner, and in an ironic twist, the most famous athlete in the sport’s history—fresh off announcing his retirement from individual competition at the CrossFit Games—will be going head to head against 2014’s 2nd place finisher, Mat Fraser. Perhaps we can consider this a symbolic ‘passing of the torch’, considering that many people consider Fraser to be the top threat heading into the 2015 season. However this matchup is billed, one fact remains unchanged: 2014’s Fittest man vs. 2014’s 2nd fittest, going head to head at Reebok CrossFit ONE is one event you do not want to miss, and a great way to kick off the CrossFit Games season.
15.2: Michele Letendre vs. Emily Bridgers
The CrossFit Games site has titled this matchup, “AMRAP in ATX” (AMRAP stands for “as many reps/rounds as possible”—within a given timeframe). Trust that Dave Castro (Director of the CrossFit Games) will come up with an adequately brutal AMRAP (AMRAP stands for “as many reps/rounds as possible”—within a given timeframe) for us all to get excited about. To show us just how ‘excited’ we should be, the Games staff has picked two of the best female athletes to have the first crack at the workout. Michele Letendre (4th at the 2014 Games) and Emily Bridgers (6th at the 2014 Games), fresh off competing at the CrossFit Invitational with Team Canada and Team USA respectively, will be sure to demonstrate their exceptional engine power as they seek to gain as many reps as possible before time expires on 15.2.
15.3: Julie Foucher vs. Lauren Brooks
The Windy City will play host to an intriguing contest: four-time top-five Games finisher Julie Foucher (3rd in 2014) will go against 2014 Games rookie Lauren Brooks (7th in 2014). Foucher has said that this will be her last CrossFit Games campaign before she turns her attention to her future career as a doctor, so expect her to come out strong in 15.3. For Lauren Brooks, her rookie appearance at the 2014 Games was earned after her fourth attempt of trying—illness and injury have severely impacted previous bids. She made the most of her first Games experience, finishing 7th and demonstrating a fun-loving attitude throughout the competition that made her an instant fan favorite. She now gets to experience another first—competing in a live announcement Open workout.
15.4: Josh Bridges vs. Scott Panchik
In a rematch of last year’s 14.4 Open announcement, Josh Bridges and Scott Panchik will slug it out once again for bragging rights in 2015. Bridges took the live announcement victory in 14.4 last year AND piped Panchik to fourth place at the Games (by four points, no less). 15.4 will provide a great opportunity to see how both of these rivals have progressed since the Games last summer.
15.5: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet vs. Annie Thorisdottir vs. Sam Briggs
CrossFit Max Effort
Las Vegas, NV
The 2015 CrossFit Open will finish with fireworks, as the last three women to win the CrossFit Games will face off against one another in the city of sin. Vegas provides the perfect backdrop for what will surely be an explosive encounter between three of the most iconic athletes in the history of the CrossFit Games. All three women competed at the CrossFit Invitational (Briggs and Thorisdottir for Europe, Bazinet for Canada), but the Open marks a new season and each athlete has something to prove. Briggs will be on the warpath to reclaim the title after missing out on qualification in 2014, while Thorisdottir, who finished 2nd last year, will want to add a third Games victory to her trophy cabinet. Holding off the charges from the Europeans will be Bazinet, who earned her first Games title last year and will no doubt try to defend it with all her worth. With all three women going head to head in 15.5, expect Castro to come up with something creative to round off the 2015 Open.
Watch the livestream of the Open Announcements on Games.CrossFit.com. The stream will begin at 5 p.m. PT each Thursday night of the Open, starting Feb. 26.
After the athletes have completed the week’s workout they’ll take questions posted by the community on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter on the Cool Down Show. Get insight into the workout from some of the world’s fittest athletes.
Photo courtesy of Jota Murillo