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Breaking News: Arnold Classic Winners Now Earn 2021 Olympia Qualifications

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By Roger Lockridge

A new development has taken place that will impact both the 2021 Arnold Classic weekend and the 2021 Olympia weekend! On July 12th, the promoters of the Olympia weekend announced that the winners of the 2021 Arnold Classic, Classic Physique, Fitness International, and Bikini International will now earn qualifications to this year’s Olympia, scheduled to take place in Orlando, Florida on the weekend of October 7th through 10th. Ron Harris of Muscular Development reported this development on the MD YouTube channel. The news had not been shared by either the Arnold Sports Festival or the Olympia promoters on social media, but Olympia President Dan Solomon directly confirmed the news independently to Muscle Insider.

The winners of the contests that will take place on September 25th in Columbus, Ohio were previously going to earn qualification for the 2022 Olympia because the contests will take place after the previously set cutoff date of Sunday, September 12th. As of this writing, the inaugural Arnold UK contests that are scheduled to be held October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd will still be qualifiers for next year’s Olympia.

Why This Matters

This raises the stakes for the Arnold Classic even more for the competitors that are set to compete. Aside from winning bodybuilding’s second biggest title, they can now choose to wait until the Arnold to compete and try to take the qualification for this year’s contest in Columbus. If they happen to win a qualification in another show, then they can use the Arnold to gain momentum leading into the Olympia. Winning a title as prestigious as the Arnold Classic would be a huge spotlight for whoever the champion would be. 

Out of the 14 competitors that are on the Arnold list, only William Bonac, Justin Rodriguez, Nick Walker, and Akim Williams are already in this year’s Olympia. Here are the competitors that still need a qualifying spot as of July 12th.

  • Lionel Beyeke
  • Maxx Charles
  • Seung Chul Lee
  • Mohamed El Eman
  • Steve Kuclo
  • Cedric McMillan
  • Hassan Mostafa
  • Sergio Oliva Jr.
  • Iain Valliere

That same theory also applies to the Classic Physique, Bikini International, and Fitness International contests. It is unclear what happens to the qualifications if the winner of the Arnold is already qualified for this year’s contest. MI will share that information as soon as it becomes available.

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