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Monday, July 13, 2015

Reliving the Best Individual Event Performances in Games History

Today, with just over a week remaining until the 2015 CrossFit Games kick off, I've decided to look back at some of the most impressive individual event performances in recent Games history.  How to determine the "best" performances?  By using the standard deviation scoring method that I proposed way back when (not that I'm the only one to have proposed it).  Using this method, we compare each athlete's score to the average score in that event, then divide by the standard deviation of scores in the event.  The larger the number, the further above average the athlete was.  This allows us to compare performances across events, and in this case, identify the truly standout efforts.

I'll keep the commentary short here, and instead, point you to videos that you can watch discreetly at work (or in the comfort of your own home, I suppose).  For now, I've limited my analysis to 2012-2014.  I'll try to expand back into the dark ages at some point.  Enjoy:

2013 Legless (women) - Winner: Alessandra Pichelli (4.36 standard deviations above average)
2014 Sprint Sled 1 (men) - Winner: Neal Maddox (3.43 standard deviations above average) - Note: Neal is in the 2nd heat
2014 Cinco 2 (men) - Winner: Rich Froning (3.31 standard deviations above average)
2014 Sprint Carry (men) - Winner: Nate Schrader (3.13 standard deviations above average) - Note: Nate is in the 1st men's heat
2013 Cinco 2 (women) - Winner: Talayna Fortunato (2.89 standard deviations above average)
2012 Rope-Sled (men) - Winner: Matt Chan (2.80 standard deviations above average)

And just for good measure, two of my favorites for the fantastic finishes. Both involve Josh Bridges. I do think the Games will miss him this year.

2014 Push-Pull (probably my vote for the most exciting Games heat of all time)
2011 Killer Kage (note: Bridges actually didn't even win this event, that was Spencer Hendel in a prior heat. But still...)


  1. Pretty remarkable that there is only one champion in this list and Chan is the only other podium finisher. We've seen some truly dominating champions in the short Games history but only one Froning event and no Annie events make the list.

    Looks like even more proof that the goal is to be as well rounded as possible, as opposed to having a couple standout skills/events.

    1. Yeah, I think it's not a coincidence that these performances happen in the non-traditional events (sled pushes, object carries, even legless rope climbs at the time were never seen in competition previously). Some of the people with the right background (for instance, Neal Maddox in football) can really blow the field away on some of these events. But if you put all these athletes through Fran, you'd need a 1:45 or something like that to get 3 SD's from the mean, and that's just not happening.