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/ november 2016
Jessica Lagace, Reebok Canada

8 Athletes to Watch at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Invitational

The 2016 Reebok CrossFit Invitational has finally arrived.

This year, the Fittest on Earth will come together on Canadian soil – the first time Canada plays host to a CrossFit event of this scale – to represent their countries as they compete for the title and bragging rights!

Whether you’re watching the competition live from Oshawa, Ontario this weekend or tuning in, don’t miss out on the action. Here’s a list of our top eight athletes to follow during the Invitational.

1. Pat Vellner

In his rookie year, Vellner has a podium finish at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games. He brought a lot of strength and speed to the Games so we aren’t expecting the Invitational to be any different. “I’m excited to compete as a team for the first time,” says Vellner. “We [the Canadian Team] get along very well and we have great chemistry on the competition floor. We balance each other out. I’m confident that each of us belongs here!”

 

2. Katrin Davidsdottir

There’s no debating that the reigning Fittest Woman on Earth knows how to turn it on in competition. She’s proved this time and time again, evident by her back-to-back Games wins. Will she be adding an Invitational medal to her already super impressive collection? You better believe she wants to.

 

3. Michele Letendre

Letendre is making her third appearance at the Invitational this year. The veteran athlete has announced that this will be her last competition before retirement (secretly, we’re crossing our fingers she’ll change her mind) which only ups the ante; her teammates are quick to attest that they’re looking to help her go out on top.  “The Invitational changes every year because each team has different athletes,” says Letendre. “This year though, I’m so excited to return as a competitor and do the team work with these guys!”

 

4. Kara Webb

Webb is known for being one of the strongest, most spirited competitors in the CrossFit landscape, finishing in the top 10 at the Games both of the last two years. This Aussie is also a Pacific Team veteran and brings a wealth of Invitational experience back with her to the competition floor. Will that experience pay off? Tune to Sunday to see.

 

Getting shit done at @crossfit_416 with #teampacific. @reebok @romwod #crossfitinvitational2016 #aussies

A photo posted by Kara Webb 🐨🇦🇺 (@karawebb1) on Nov 16, 2016 at 1:12pm PST

 

5. Rich Froning

Enough said? But really, Froning is the only CrossFit athlete to have won the title of Fittest Man on Earth four times. For the second year in a row, he will also be the only person at the Invitational playing double duty serving as both coach and competitor. He appeared to do this with ease last year, so we aren’t expecting anything different this time around. Bonus: having spent the last two summers competing for CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, the two-time CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup Champion, Froning is no stranger to competing on a team.

 

6. Ben Smith

The 2015 Fittest Man on Earth has quite the resume. Smith has not only finished in the top 10 six out of the last seven years at the Invitational, he’s actually stood on the podium four times. It’s safe to say that if he’s in a competition, you’d be a fool to not put him on your list of those to watch. Though an injury kept Smith out the Invitational last year, he’s feeling good this year and ready to join the US Team in their pursuit of a repeat victory. A Smith-Froning combination has to have the men from the other teams getting a bit nervous.

 

 

7. Brent Fikowski

Known for his bright charisma and tall statue, Fikowski took many in the CrossFit community by surprise in his first ever Games appearance this past summer. Here, he proved he could hang with the best, keeping right up with the leaders throughout the gruelling week. He’s now set on doing the same as part of the Canadian team at the Invitational. “I’m excited to do team workouts. Teammates bring out the best in you and are there to support you,” Fikowski says. “You experience some of the highest highs when on a team, and I’m excited for that!”

 

8. Tia Toomey

Not only did Toomey finish in second at the 2016 Pacific Regionals, she has also finished in second place at the Games two years in a row. Will Toomey break this streak and bring home a first place Invitational finish? She and her Pacific teammates certainly hope to. With Toomey and Webb returning as the women on the Pacific team for the second year, the two already have some practice as teammates on the Invitational scale. This can only prove an asset in a competition that usually features a lot of synchronization and communication.

And for live coverage of the #CrossFitInvitational throughout the weekend, be sure to follow   @ReebokCanada   and   @CrossFitGames .

/ november 2016
Jessica Lagace, Reebok Canada