Before and After – 10 CrossFit Games Athletes Before They Were Famous

We all start somewhere!

If you think CrossFit Games athletes started right at the top, skilled and unbelievably strong, think again. A bit of research through Instagram or YouTube channels will give you a different perspective on how long, and how much work it takes to improve to Games level.

Click through the “back then” list to get an impression what current CrossFit Games athletes were like before they got famous.

1. Mat Fraser



crossfit games 2016 updates mat fraser
The fittest man in the world 2016

2. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet




Here we go day 2 ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️👊🏽🦄🦄

A post shared by Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (@camillelbaz) on

3. Rich Froning


First #tbt… Senior year baseball picture #babyface

A post shared by richfroning (@richfroning) on


A little #tbt via @roguefitness

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4. Julie Foucher

BEFORE Julie’s background in gymnastics and track and field help her with bodyweight movements and engine, but Olympic weightlifting was a skill she had to learn from zero:


The @crossfit community is amazing. Words cannot express the amount of love I am feeling. ❤️ Thank you.

A post shared by Julie Foucher-Urcuyo, MD, MS (@juliefoucher) on

5. Jason Khalipa

In 2005 Khalipa worked in sales at the conventional gym, not really knowing what he wanted from life.

Ten years later he is one of the best CrossFit Games athletes in the field. 

6. Sam Briggs

Before starting Crossfit and winning the Games in 2013, Sam was a football (soccer) player. Later she built that pain-resilient engine, competing in triathlons and duathlons.



7. Lucas Parker

Lucas was, well shaved. That was in 2011. In his youth he also played rugby, football (soccer) and did karate.


8. Annie Thorisdottir

Annie’s background is gymnastics and track and field. Her first CrossFit Games appearance was in 2009 where she learnt how to snatch and do a muscle-up.


9. Scott Panchik

Scott got into CrossFit with his dad who was a certified coach. His background is football and wrestling.

Tbt #teampanchik taking on a 5k run. Any guesses on which one I am? @papa_panchik

A post shared by Scott Panchik (@scottpanchik) on


Grippin and rippin into the week! @rxsmartgear #elevateyourfitness

A post shared by Scott Panchik (@scottpanchik) on

10. CrossFit Games Competitors: Brooke Ence

Brooke was a dance major at the University of Utah. She also did “a few steps” in the world of miss figure and fitness.


How about you? What is your background? What did you do before Crossfit?

crossfit games 2016 updates mat fraser © RX'd Photography

Camille-1 ©

Sam ©


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About The Author

Editor-In-Chief at BOXROX. I come from a background of rugby and weightlifting. Growing up in the English Lake District, I spent a great deal of time swimming in its stunning lakes and rivers. In 2015 my brothers and I became the first people to swim the 145km length of the River Eden, from source to mouth, in 9 days. We also swam the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the third largest in the world, and Crossfit is a huge part of my training for these events.


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