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2020 Mr Olympia Contest Report
If there is any category that was bounding with news and updates leading into the 2020 Olympia contest, you need not look any further than the Mr. Olympia Men’s Open Bodybuilding division. We saw several big-name athletes withdrawing from the Olympia, even Roelly Winklaar pulled out of the 2020 Olympia at the last minute due to a positive COVID-19 test. Once again Hadi Choopan was having Visa troubles and wasn’t sure if he would be able to make it in time. And we can’t forget the controversy that surrounded the decision for Big Ramy to be granted a special invite to the 2020 Olympia. When the big boys took to the stage, we knew this would be a battle to be talked about for some time. Most people were looking for a close battle between the reigning Mr. Olympia Champion Brandon Curry, and the previous 7x Mr. Olympia Champion Phil Heath.
Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay
After comparisons on Friday, fans were thinking Phil was not as sharp as Brandon, but he is “Mr. Saturday Night” and was expected to come back fuller and tighter the next day for finals. In the end, it was Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay that would shock the world. When you think of what makes a Mr. Olympia Champion, it really is someone that brings a physique to the stage that truly is not achievable for almost any other person on the planet. While Ramy has always brought an incredible amount of mass to the stage, he has often failed to bring the conditioning to match. This year was the culmination of everything we have always wanted to see from this incredible competitor. This is an amazing accomplishment considering he tested positive and was diagnosed with COVID-19! He brought the size and conditioning, with legs that simply could not be matched by anyone else on stage. This resulted in Big Ramy walking away with his first-ever title of Mr. Olympia Champion.
Brandon Curry did manage to hold off the onslaught from Phil Heath this year, edging him out so that Curry finished in 2nd place. Brandon did bring excellent conditioning and a nice, full upper body. The one key factor that could have potentially led to Brandon dropping further in the placings, was the fact that his legs were just no comparison for both Phil Heath and Big Ramy.
While Phil did seem to beat all others on stage with his back-double-bicep pose, it still seemed that he was not able to bring in his abdomen area to the level it needed to be. He also did not come back with the usual Saturday conditioning that we all expected to see. We even felt Heath could have dropped even further back behind Hadi Choopan.
Now that Hadi Choopan has been afforded an entire year in the Men’s Open Bodybuilding division, it has allowed him to continue to pack on the muscle mass, without having to worry about the limiting factor of staying under 212 pounds. Hadi really has made the most of this improvement season, packing on substantial muscle compared to last year. He did manage to maintain the same level of extreme conditioning he brings to stage, which earned him a very respectable 4th place finish.
Olympia live stream commentators were saying it was a close battle between Hadi and William Bonac for the 4th place spot. In our opinion, Bonac was not even in the same conversation as Choopan. We felt it was pretty clear that Hadi would place over William Bonac, but we just weren’t sure if Choopan could possibly edge out Phil Heath.
Our Canadian men did not disappoint in any way at this year’s Olympia. Leading things off was Ottawa's Iain Valliere, finishing in 7th place. This is Iain’s highest Olympia placing to date. We were very impressed with the amount of muscle Valliere has been able to pack on this year, while also bringing an insane level of conditioning to the stage. If he keeps up the progress at this rate, we could see him working his way into the top 5 as soon as next year.
After battling back from a major bicep tear, the recovery time seems to have been a bit of a blessing in disguise for fellow Canadian Antoine Vaillant. During his recovery, Antoine didn’t miss any workouts, choosing to just train his legs more often. What was once a lagging body part for Vaillant, his legs are now some of the best in the division. Antoine finished the 2020 Olympia in 14th place, but he really did stand out as one to watch moving forward.
Regan Grimes made his Olympia debut in the Men’s Open Bodybuilding division and really did hold his own up on that stage. Regan ended up placing right behind Antoine, finishing in 15th place. While Grimes does need to add roughly another 20 pounds of muscle mass, his shape and conditioning are on point. We are super excited to see what the year ahead will bring for Regan.
Final 2020 Mr. Olympia Contest Results & Prize Money:
1. Big Ramy, $400,000
2. Brandon Curry, $150,000
3. Phil Heath, $100,000
4. Hadi Choopan, $45,000
5. William Bonac, $40,000
6. Akim Williams
7. Iain Valliere
8. Hunter Labrada
9. Dexter Jackson
10. Justin Luis Rodriguez
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