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Meet Samuel Kwant: 21.2 Athlete and Second Fittest Man on Earth

Since bursting onto the scene in 2016, no one expected Samual Kwant to finish behind Mat Fraser and become the Second Fittest Man on Earth at the 2020 CrossFit Games, but he did. 

Considered one of the most underrated athletes in CrossFit, at just 24-years-old Sam Kwant is a veteran with a whole lot of Games experience under his belt. With Mat Fraser out of the competition, could Kwant become the 2021 Fittest Man on Earth? Quite possibly.

Who is Samuel Kwant? Open Athlete 21.2 

Samuel “Sam” Kwant started CrossFit back in the early days, taking part in his first CrossFit Open in 2012 when it was only 16 years old. At 18, he had already qualified for his first Regionals, and in 2016 became the youngest individual male to compete at the CrossFit Games, finishing a very respectable 16th overall. 

 

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Following his Rookie year, Samuel headed into the 2017 season and subsequent CrossFit Games, but struggled with knee and back injuries he sustained during training. Despite a strong performance in several of the workouts, he finished in 20th place that year. Samuel made the difficult decision to sit out the 2018 season to focus on rehab for his injuries.

“It was a hard decision that eventually came down to whether or not I wanted to be able to put my best foot forward or to struggle through competing with an injury and not be able to perform up to my standards,” Sam said in a 2019 interview, “It was either a couple years of struggling through injury until it eventually stopped me or to just buckle down and focus on recovery so I can make a comeback.”

 

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The decision was a smart one. He opened the 2019 season strong with a 19th place finish in the Open and a second place finisher in the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge. When the Games rolled around he placed 13th, but admits that he only had six months to get into competition shape following his injury.

“Going into the 2019 games I knew I was pretty prepared but also knew I had only had 6 months of really good training after taking 2018 off, so I knew it was just a step in my comeback.”

It would be almost a year before Sam would grace the competition floor again thanks to the coronavirus, making the Top 5 athletes selected to compete alongside Mat Fraser, Justin Medeiros, Noah Ohlsen and Jeffrey Adler. He ended up placing second.

One of seven kids, the Kwant’s make CrossFit a family affair. Sam trains with his family, including parents and siblings, at their home gym in Washington State, which he describes as “like a gym in the sense that we support and push each other but it’s a lot smaller scale obviously.”

“I have six siblings, so there’s seven of us in total. Four of them do CrossFit and there is always someone to jump in on a WOD with me. Then, later in the day, it’s my mom and dad.”

Not only did Sam become the 2nd Fittest Man on Earth in 2020, but he also became a husband and father, marrying long-term girlfriend Alyse and welcoming their son, Layton, in November. The pair met at High School where they were both Cross Country runners.

 

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When he’s not preparing for Games season, Sam is a coach at Mallard CrossFit in Burlington, WA.

At 24, Samuel Kwant is already veteran of the scene, and is gearing up for another podium spot in 2021. He will take on the man with the luscious mullet and 2020 third-place finisher Justin Medeiros in an Open match-up titled ‘Youth vs. Experience.’ Justin was 2020’s Rookie of the Year at the Games, making Samuel the more experienced athlete in this match-up.

Read More: How to Watch CrossFit Open Workout 21.2 Live Announcement

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