VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Tucked into an industrial park, CrossFit Fort Vancouver looks like any other CrossFit gym in the nation.
However, one person who trains there isn’t just any other CrossFitter.
Adam Neiffer, who owns the gym, trains Justin Medeiros, this year’s CrossFit Games champion. Asked if he ever reflects on the fact that the fittest man in the world trains at his gym, Neiffer said yes.
“I think that all the time. All the time. It’s wild,” he said.
Their pairing almost didn’t happen though.
Back in 2019, Adam’s friend Sun Chang began working out with Medeiros at a Boise gym. He saw something special.
“At the time, I had just got done competing myself, so I wasn’t really interested in jumping back into the competitive CrossFit scene, but he kept harassing me saying, ‘Hey, you’ve got to work with the Justin kid,’” recalled Neiffer.
Finally, Neiffer relented, but he threw one last wrench into the plan for the then-Boise State student.
“I told him, ‘If we’re going to work together, you’re going to have to come out here and train in Vancouver.’ I didn’t think he was going to say yeah, but sure enough, he was like, ‘Cool, I’ll be out there in the summer,’” said Neiffer.
The duo immediately hit the ground running, quite literally, and Sun proved to be even more right than he could’ve ever imagined about the pairing.
“We have the best team,” said Medeiros. “The thing that’s just the biggest difference is that they want me to win the CrossFit Games probably more than I want to win the CrossFit Games. They believe in me. It’s crazy the support I have from them.”
In 2020, Justin placed third at the games, in 2021, he took the top spot, and we know how this year’s games turned out.
“Right after the 2021 season, all the way through until now, the goal was to win the CrossFit Games. It wasn’t like, ‘I want to show people I belong. I want to do good.’ It was like, ‘No, I’m here to win,’” said Medeiros, who Neiffer noted may hate to lose more than he loves to win.
At only 23, Medeiros has a lot more winning in his future.
“Being the fittest on earth at the level that the sport has grown to? It’s unreal. Yeah, I do have to pinch myself at times and be like, ‘This is real life. He just won the CrossFit Games,’ said Neiffer. “I wouldn’t bet against him. I think he can be successful in this sport as long as he wants to compete.”