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 9:30 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 9:30 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."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
Elkhart17663230
St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
Vermillion6607
Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
Union2782
Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 399808

Reported Deaths: 6346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin52652672
Cuyahoga39132746
Hamilton31491372
Montgomery21355242
Butler15768149
Lucas15301420
Summit14667330
Stark9780209
Warren878777
Mahoning7985301
Lake752566
Lorain7149106
Clermont622953
Delaware597337
Licking589977
Trumbull5867148
Fairfield576464
Greene559568
Clark5438129
Allen518389
Medina496557
Marion489359
Wood4861108
Miami456268
Pickaway410548
Portage385574
Columbiana376599
Tuscarawas360567
Richland349639
Wayne340894
Mercer299248
Muskingum262510
Hancock257240
Ross251259
Darke246160
Auglaize243935
Erie240868
Ashtabula240454
Putnam234549
Geauga227051
Union20838
Scioto204316
Lawrence201139
Shelby199917
Athens19984
Seneca192919
Belmont176729
Madison172019
Sandusky166429
Huron163022
Preble162521
Defiance149923
Holmes146939
Knox139719
Logan139018
Jefferson138113
Fulton135826
Crawford134417
Washington133427
Ottawa128830
Ashland117328
Williams11479
Clinton113115
Highland108118
Brown10755
Hardin107019
Henry105423
Champaign10535
Jackson102012
Van Wert99918
Fayette97317
Guernsey96814
Morrow9682
Coshocton91015
Perry86613
Adams83813
Gallia81615
Pike7921
Wyandot76118
Paulding70012
Hocking68516
Noble65124
Carroll53210
Meigs41712
Monroe34921
Morgan2925
Harrison2433
Vinton2326
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Angola
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 29°
Huntington
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 33°
Decatur
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Van Wert
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Warm Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events