Qualifying for the Olympia simply grew to become a much bigger problem.
Whereas earlier Mr. Olympia winners, together with present titleholder Hadi Choopan and 2019 champion Brandon Curry don’t have to fret, different Olympia hopefuls out of the blue face a steeper climb to safe a spot in essentially the most prestigious bodybuilding present on the earth.
With the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest scheduled for Nov. 3-5, there’s now much more stress on the opponents’ sculpted shoulders to impress the judges with their physiques and posing routines. In a transfer that would have career-altering implications, the Olympia Qualifying System (OQS) will solely grant the highest three finishers within the Mr. Olympia an automated berth within the following yr’s contest.
On Oct. 23, 2023, Olympia proprietor Jake Wooden shared an Instagram put up detailing the rationale behind the groundbreaking determination:
“In recent times, the highest 5 finishers within the Mr. Olympia division have obtained an automated qualification to the next yr’s Olympia, however after consulting with the IFBB Professional League we have now determined to make a change.
Beginning with this yr’s occasion, solely the highest 3 within the Mr. Olympia will routinely qualify for the next yr’s Olympia. We’re making this modification in an effort so as to add some extra star energy to the varied regional occasions held worldwide. This transformation is being made with the total help of the IFBB Professional League as all of us share an curiosity in sustaining a system that strengthens occasions in any respect ranges.”
The brand new rule applies not solely to the Males’s Open division, but in addition to the opposite 10 divisions — 212, Males’s Physique, Basic Physique, Wheelchair, Ladies’s Bodybuilding, Ladies’s Physique, Determine, Health, Wellness, and Bikini.
Most significantly, the change will probably be efficient instantly, which ought to make the upcoming present in Orlando, FL that rather more aggressive. Ending among the many high 5 on the sport’s most recognizable contest has at all times been seen a severe achievement. Nevertheless, athletes on this yr’s lineup could also be that rather more hungry for a better inserting and extra prone to think about a end result exterior of the highest three a big disappointment.
After all, that is simply the most recent shift within the Olympia qualification setup. In December 2022, the Worldwide Federation of Bodybuilding and Health (IFBB) determined to cast off the purpose system that gave opponents an opportunity to qualify for the Olympia. Beforehand, the athletes who completed with the three highest level totals over the course of the season routinely punched their ticket to the most important present of the yr.
However with the purpose system now not in play, that has positioned much more emphasis on performing properly when it issues most. With the qualification interval operating from Nov. 21, 2022 till Oct. 9, 2023, right here’s the trail athletes from all divisions (besides Wheelchair Bodybuilding) confronted to earn a spot on this yr’s Mr. Olympia present:
- High 5 from the Males’s Open 2022 Mr. Olympia
- High three from different 2022 Olympia divisions
- Winner of every Open contest held throughout the qualification interval
That benefitted somebody like Samson Dauda, who fell simply in need of a top-five end on the 2022 Olympia with a sixth place end in his Olympia debut. Nevertheless, by taking dwelling the title on the 2023 Arnold Classic, “The Nigerian Lion” earned a $300,000 prize and a spot within the 2023 Mr. Olympia Males’s Open lineup.
Shifting ahead, will probably be attention-grabbing to see how the rule change impacts the aggressive panorama. Lowering the variety of automated bids from 5 to 3 undoubtedly ramps up the significance of the opposite qualifying reveals on the schedule.
With two fewer spots up for grabs on the Olympia, some athletes could must shift their priorities and assault their coaching extra aggressively to return out on high in different key contests.
Dauda did precisely that by getting in prime form for the Arnold Basic and capturing high honors for his efforts. Ditto for Justin Shier, who made essentially the most of his IFBB Professional present debut in July by successful the 2023 Chicago Pro and securing his personal spot within the Males’s Open lineup for the 2023 Olympia.
Most not too long ago, Charles Griffen completed his aim of getting an opportunity to compete in opposition to one of the best of one of the best on the Orange County Conference Heart. Regardless of struggling a torn pec again in April, the decided bodybuilder accomplished his comeback in championship style by successful the title on the 2023 Legion Sports Fest Pro on Oct. 8, 2023. Griffen could face an uphill battle to complete excessive amongst a crowded group of completed opponents, however he actually deserves credit score for grabbing the ultimate qualifying spot.
In the end, permitting solely the highest three finishers on the Olympia to qualify for the next yr’s contest may very well be seen as each a optimistic and a adverse. On one hand, it raises the stakes considerably when everybody steps on stage for essentially the most anticipated present of the yr. Then again, it may depart a couple of opponents on the surface wanting in in the event that they don’t emerge victorious at one of many qualifying contests on the calendar for 2024.
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