Mat Fraser, who trained as a weightlifter at the former U.S. Olympic Education Center at NMU, recently retired as the most decorated and dominant professional CrossFit athlete in history. He was a five-time "Fittest Man on Earth," winning the CrossFit Games title every year from 2016-2020 before announcing his retirement from competition in February.
In his retirement message, Fraser wrote about how CrossFit became a career in 2012 after his first Throwdown event. He finished with a first-place win and earned $500.
“As a broke college kid, I thought I'd struck gold and immediately wanted to find more opportunities to earn extra pocket money," he said. "I'd search this website where all the local events posted their competition dates and prize purse. I started traveling throughout New England competing for $1,000 here and $5,000 there. It wasn't a bad gig for a full-time student, but I didn't start CrossFit with the intention of making it my career.
“[Now] I'm ready to make decisions based on how they affect my family, friends, health and happiness, not only my performance. So thank you for allowing me this opportunity, and a special thanks to everyone who's helped me as a sponsor, training partner, coach or friend. I'll always be involved in CrossFit. I just won't be doing it from the competition floor any longer.”
Read a summary of Fraser's career evolution, achievements, training/nutrition regimen and future plans through a question-and-answer format here.