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Roger “Rock” Lockridge
Roger "Rock" Lockridge is Muscle Insider's Senior Writer and has been involved in the fitness industry in multiple roles since 2002, including as a personal trainer and supplement sales associate for multiple locations. He is best-known as a freelance writer whose work has been featured by publications such as Muscle & Fitness, Men's Health, BarBend, Bodybuilding.com, and others. As of 2022, he's had over 2,100 articles published in print and digitally in ten languages on six continents. His personal transformation and story has been featured in a variety of outlets such as Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, Huffington Post, Deseret News, Muscle & Strength, and Bodybuilding.com. Lockridge has contributed to Muscle Insider since 2021. He lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.
Will We Ever See a Two-Division Olympia Champion?
By Roger Lockridge
Winning the Olympia in any division submits your name into the annals of bodybuilding history. From 1965 to 1980, there was only one contest – the Mr. Olympia itself. Then came the Ms. Olympia, and over the years since, more divisions have been added to include Fitness, 212, Bikini, and physique for both men and women. In total, there are now 11 divisions that make up bodybuilding’s biggest show.
Now that there are so many divisions, there is a new level of history that an athlete could make by becoming the first person to win the Olympia in two different divisions. The closest anyone has come to doing it was Monica Brant, who won the Fitness Olympia in 1998 and placed second at the 2003 Figure Olympia. To date, no one else has been that close to achieving immortality in physique sports, but we think there are five that have the potential to do just that.
The Indiana native and 2021 Olympia 212 champion is the one that many people think has the best shot of being a two-division Olympia winner. He has received an invite to compete in the Mr. Olympia (men’s open) in 2022, and he is now preparing for that contest. This was the result of Lunsford sharing the stage with Olympia contenders Hunter Labrada, Nick Walker, and 2019 Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry in Pittsburgh at a guest posing appearance and holding his own.
Lunsford hasn’t shared a stage with the reigning Mr. Olympia, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay as of yet, but when he does, the matchup will certainly be interesting. Lunsford is working with coach Hany Rambod, so conditioning will very likely not be an issue. It’s a matter of size and density next to the big boys.
Clarida could be called the reason we’re even having this conversation to begin with. When Clarida won the 2020 Olympia 212 title, there was immediate anticipation to see him next to the heavyweights. Clarida entered and won the 2021 Legion Sports Fest in a lineup that featured several Olympia contenders such as Sergio Oliva Jr., Regan Grimes, and the late Cedric McMillan.
Thanks to that win, Clarida qualified for the men’s open in 2022. As a former Olympia 212 champion, he’s qualified for that contest for life. Thus, he’s the first man to qualify for two Olympia contests in the same year. He wants to do both, but that decision rests on IFBB Pro League President Jim Manion. In the meantime, Clarida could try to make lightning strike twice by entering the open this year and taking his shot at the ultimate glory.
Two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Breon Ansley is competing in his division for the last time this year. Reports indicate that he intends to move up to the 212. He is in his 40’s but the 212 is one division where age is only a number. You may remember that Kamal Elgargni won the Olympia 212 title in 2019 at the age of 48. That gives Ansley several years to make it happen. The only caveat is he will have to enter and win a 212 show in order to qualify next year. His Olympia lifetime pass only counts for Classic Physique.
Hendrickson is the current three-time Men’s Physique Olympia champ, and he is the favorite to make it four in 2022. Erin Banks may have something to say about that, but we can let that matchup play out in Las Vegas in December.
Hendrickson has shown online that he has great lower body development, and has suggested that he may dip his toe in Classic Physique in the future. It would be immediately welcomed with open arms from the fans, and if proved himself in a contest, the Olympia would only be one more step away.
Stern is a two-time Figure Olympia champion, who made the switch to Bikini and qualified for the Olympia in 2021. She placed 15th. Thanks to her winning the 2022 Republic of Texas Pro in July, she is now qualified for the 2022 contest as well.
The Bikini Olympia has had four new champions in the last four years. Angelica Teixeira won her second title in 2018, Elisa Pecini took first in 2019, Janet Layug claimed her first title in 2020, and Canada’s own Jennifer Dorie won the title in 2021. She hopes to break the new champion streak by going back-to-back, but that trend along with Stern’s own Olympia experience may serve her well in 2022. Anything can happen.