BREAKING NEWS Anderson Police arrest convicted arsonist for new incident Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Pat Vellner aiming to overthrow 'CrossFit King' Mat Fraser

Canadian Patrick Vellner is the second fittest man on the planet, but does the chiropractor student think he can take down Mat Fraser at CrossFit Games?

Posted: Jun 19, 2019 6:30 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 6:30 AM

For the last three years, no one has come close to challenging CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser.

Not only has Fraser won every competition he's entered, he has also dominated the field, with ever increasing margins.

However, if there's one man who is capable of dethroning Fraser, it could well be Canadian Patrick Vellner.

The 28-year-old from Ontario, Canada, has finished on the podium in each of the last three years at the CrossFit Games, finishing second in 2018.

Splitting his time

Remarkably, while his contemporaries trained full-time, Vellner was still in school studying to become a chiropractor, though the former gymnast doesn't feel this academic commitment weighs against him.

"It's like an escapist kind of mentality, that I can escape from my schoolwork by going to the gym and I can escape from the gym by going into my schoolwork and that's what I do," he told CNN Sport. "And it keeps me sane."

At the 2018 CrossFit Games, Vellner suffered a myriad of misfortunes, enough to derail the toughest of competitors.

In the opening event, a cycling criterium, or "crit," Vellner crashed, resulting in him having to race part of the course carrying his bike until a replacement could be found.

READ: How CrossFit's power couple met as teenagers

Then during the "Battleground" obstacle course, Vellner's leg got caught in a rope ladder, causing him to fall 15 feet to the ground, landing on his shoulder.

He even had to deal with a piece of rogue weightlifting equipment somehow rolling away mid-event, forcing him to chase after it across the competition floor, costing him vital seconds.

Bouncing back

Vellner dusted himself off, carried on and still managed to finish second. It's this workmanlike attitude, partnered with the fact that he's not a full-time athlete that has contributed to Vellner becoming a fan favorite among the CrossFit faithful, regularly receiving rapturous applause above and beyond any of his rivals.

"I noticed it last year." Vellner said. "And that's cool. It's something that I'm proud of. But I think that to a certain degree it's a result of how I've managed to get to where I've been.

"I've had a lot of little injuries. Last year was a comical year with the amount of mistakes I made and little things that happened. But you know, like I said, I just dust myself off and I keep chugging forward.

READ: How CrossFit star Sara Sigmundsdottir dealt with a broken bone on the biggest stage

"I think a lot of people can identify with that and appreciate that. It's not a smooth run. I don't make it look easy. But I get it done."

Toppling the king

In August, the CrossFit Games will once again be held in Madison, Wisconsin, where Vellner will join the field competing for the title "The Fittest Man on Earth."

The one man standing in his way will once again be Fraser, the three-time defending champion, whose dominance in the sport has made it seem like everyone else is competing for second.

But Vellner believes Fraser is beatable, and that he could well be the one to do it. "Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not," Vellner acknowledges.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos

"If I think that he's going to roll over, he's not going to. He doesn't make it easy for anybody and I wouldn't want him to, frankly.

"So it's going to be a good test. It's going to take most of what I have in me, but I'm willing to give it a shot. So we'll see."

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3563578

Reported Deaths: 51953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119089421328
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2862912816
Orange2610223904
San Diego2596413271
Santa Clara1104221777
Kern102627826
Fresno952021443
Sacramento931801472
Alameda804961241
Ventura77534844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus56024946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38922515
San Francisco34213410
Santa Barbara31763409
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28063298
Imperial26888591
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15436209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12816185
Shasta10972174
Butte10941160
El Dorado9095100
Napa901469
Sutter884597
San Benito575959
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada395274
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador345741
Humboldt318033
Lake315341
Glenn222023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Chico
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 63°
Oroville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 59°
Chico
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 63°
Red Bluff
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 65°
Red Bluff
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 65°
Chico
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 63°
After a windy Saturday and fairly breezy Sunday, the wind we've had is weakening as the month of February comes to a close. We can expect a mostly clear first morning of March, followed by more clouds and mild air by the afternoon.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events