Handicapping The Games

They say it takes one to know one. So we figured if we’d like some insight into who’s a shoo-in to win this year’s Games, we should ask some of CrossFit’s top names. Here’s what they said.
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CrossFit Games People

Logan Gelbrich

Men’s Pick:“Froning doesn’t look like he’s slowing anytime soon. Mikko Salo’s return will be fun to watch, however. In addition, I think Josh Bridges is going to make whoever takes home the title bleed for it.”

Women’s Pick:“Sam Briggs looked unbeatable in the Open, so I think she’ll compete with Annie for the title. But, as we all know, the Open doesn’t crown the Fittest on Earth. Also, Lindsey Valenzuela has always been the strongest woman in the field, and her sheer heart makes her a viable contender. I think now her gymnastics and conditioning capacity are the final stars to align to see her on the podium in 2013.”

Lindsey Mathews 

“Whoa! So hard. Can I pick two?”

Women’s Pick:“Lindsey Valenzuela. She works harder than anyone I’ve seen. And she’s the people’s champ. Sam Briggs will definitely be up there.”

Men’s Pick:���Neal Maddox. I feel like he’s calm, cool and collected. Silent assassin, almost. He works super-hard and trains smart. I also think Kenny Leverich will put up a solid fight.”

Team Pick:“Hack’s Pack. Why? Because they all love and support each other.”

Katie Hogan

“I think Annie is the favorite but Lindsey Valenzuela can definitely get on the podium. For the guys, I think Khalipa is going to surprise people. I’ve been talking to some of his training partners, and they are claiming some unreal numbers in met-cons for Khalipa, which have always been his Achilles’ heel. Also, I did an event with him, and he was balls-to-the-wall intense.”

Bob Harper

“How can you not think Rich will be a triple threat? Same with Annie. Besides Rich, I think Kyle Kasperbauer is definitely one to watch. And Camille Leblanc-Bazinet is someone I compare to Rich in the way that she does not stop.”

Jason Khalipa

“I can pick myself, right? Then I pick me. I’ll pick Rich Froning, too. And I have to pick my guys, Pat Barber and Neal Maddox. For the girls, I have to say Annie Thorisdottir. Other than Annie, I like Lindsey Valenzuela. She killed the OC Throwdown this year.”

Pat Barber

Men’s Pick: “I’ll say Jason Khalipa. If Neal Maddox gets his head together, his physicality is more than enough to win the Games.”

Women’s Pick:“I think Talayna Fortunato has a huge chance. She’s a bit of a tank and she’s a little bit crazy, so she can probably win.”

Elisabeth Akinwale

Men’s Pick: “I don’t follow the guys that closely, but I do think that Rich Froning is going to be hard to beat.”

Women’s Pick:“One of the things I look at is proving yourself over time, through multiple workouts, over the years. The name that pops into my head is Camille Leblanc-Bazinet because she has repeatedly been top five, top six, top seven. To me, that says ‘contender.’"

Annie Sakamoto

Men’s Pick: “I have a strong connection with Josh Bridges, so I would be tickled if he won.”

Women’s Pick:“I am going to say it will be a dark horse. A relative unknown is going to come out of nowhere.”

Chris Spealler

Men’s Pick: “I think Rich’s days are numbered. I think there are a lot of guys knocking on that door. I think Josh Bridges is the guy.”

Women’s Pick: “Samantha Briggs is smashing everybody right now. She is one to keep an eye on.”