Roman Khrennikov: The Spirit of CrossFit

August 7, 20234 min read

Roman Khrennikov has gone all in on his professional CrossFit career. Following years of visa denials and making a name for himself in off season competitions, he came to the United States last year without his family to pursue his athletic career.

He moved to Cookeville, Tennessee to train at CrossFit Mayhem after finally acquiring a visa. Roman sacrificed seeing the birth of his son to come to the states early and subsequently compete at the 2022 CrossFit Games. His wife and son have since joined him in Cookeville where Roman’s days have been filled with family, friends, and a lot of fitness.

The 2022 2nd Fittest Man on Earth has been impressive at each stage of the 2023:

  • 17th in the Open
  • 19th in the Quarterfinals
  • 4th in the North America West Semifinals

He came into the 2023 CrossFit Games with his eyes set on victory and backed up that goal with the performances of a champion.

Test Finishes

Test 1Test 2Test 3Test 4Test 5Test 6Test 7Test 8Test 9Test 10Test 11Test 12

Following a 4th place in Test 1 Ride, Roman had his first victory of the Games in Test 2 Pig Chipper and claimed the leader’s jersey along with it. He then notched five more finishes 9th or better, including another win in Test 4, The Alpaca Redux. He kept the leader’s jersey through Test 10 Muscle Up-Logs after which he ceded the white jersey to Jeffrey Adler by 2 points.

After Test Overall Place

Test 1Test 2Test 3Test 4Test 5Test 6Test 7Test 8Test 9Test 10Test 11Test 12

In the final rep of Muscle Up-Logs as he climbed over the log, Roman landed on a sandbag wrong and injured his left foot. His future in the competition was unknown to most, but Roman knew. 

In Test 11 Parallel-Bar Pull, Roman would deliver the truest performance of a champion and CrossFitter. Roman accumulated 100 feet of a parallel bar traverse, 133 heavy rope double unders, and 96 feet of a 365 pound hand over hand sled pull solely on his right foot in 15 minutes.

“I want to be a hero for my son and have him see me fight to the end,” Roman shared in the interview following Test 11 Parallel-Bar Pull.

With only the finale ahead of him, Roman sat in 2nd place fighting to stay in the competition in between tests. 

He was able to take the floor, for only the third time without the leader’s jersey, to complete 21 calories on the Echo Bike as the rest of the men completed the test. 

In the end, Roman earned every point, win, and achievement he received this year. Not only is he the 3rd Fittest Man on Earth, he earned the Spirit of the Games award for his determination to push through all of the adversity he has faced on his way to coming to the United States, competing at the CrossFit Games, and standing on the podium for the second year in a row.

Roman encapsulates everything it means to be a part of the CrossFit community. He truly represents the spirit of the Games.

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Barclay Dale

A rising analyst in the CrossFit space, Barclay seeks to find data-driven answers to questions that athletes may not consider asking. He's passionate about spreading the CrossFit methodology and growing the sport through insights and analysis of athlete performance to increase the understanding and accessibility of CrossFit. Barclay started CrossFit in 2020 at CrossFit Gambit to complement his training as a collegiate swimmer. In 2022, he received his L1 and currently coaches at CrossFit Levo. Image Credit: @drawyourdagger


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