As with every other sport in the world, bodybuilding had to make systemic changes and adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has been impacting the world for the entire year of 2020. However, with the conclusion of the Chicago Pro event, the lineup for the 2020 Mr. Olympia contest is now officially set. We now know who will be competing in Las Vegas, Nevada this December for bodybuilding’s version of the world championship.
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About the Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Lineup
The lineup for this year’s contest has been forming since the conclusion of the 2019 contest, which saw champion Brandon Curry leave with his first Sandow Trophy. Twenty-one men from 10 different nations will
compete in the two-night contest. There were a few different ways to earn qualification for this contest. All past champions have lifetime eligibility to compete, the top 5 of the previous year’s competition are automatically invited to take part in the next year’s show, athletes that win contests throughout the season earn qualifications, and finally, the top three non-winning point leaders on the Olympia scoring system are allowed to take part in the Olympia.
Current and Past Champions
For the first time since 2013, and the third time ever, three Mr. Olympia winners will be competing on the same stage for the title. 2019 Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry hopes to defend his title against seven-time champion Phil Heath as well as 2008 winner Dexter Jackson, who will be retiring after this year’s contest.
Brandon Curry (USA) – 2019 Mr. Olympia
Phil Heath (USA) – 7-time Mr. Olympia
Dexter Jackson (USA) – 2008 Mr. Olympia, 4th Place – 2019 Mr. Olympia
2019 Olympia Top 5
The other men who placed in the top 5 of last year’s contest are also in this year’s lineup. Runner-up William Bonac also won the Arnold Classic this past March, so he qualified in two different ways. Jackson also finished 4th last year, so he took one of those qualifying spots as well.
William Bonac (Netherlands) – 2019 Mr. Olympia runner-up, 2020 Arnold Classic Champion
Hadi Choopan (Iran) – 3rd Place – 2019 Mr. Olympia, 2019 People’s Champion
Roelly Winklaar (Curacao) – 5th Place – 2019 Mr. Olympia
2019 Contest Winners
There were a few international contests that took place after the 2019 Olympia that rewarded their winners with qualifying spots in this year’s contest. Those champions are listed below.
Cedric McMillan (USA) – 2019 Fit Parade Grand Prix and 2019 Romania Pro Winner
Nathan DeAsha (UK) – 2019 Monsterzym Pro Winner
Juan Morel (USA) – 2019 Japan Pro Winner
2020 Contest Winners
There were not nearly as many contests this season due to the pandemic, but there were six contests that awarded spots to worthy champions.
Hunter Labrada (USA) – 2020 Tampa Pro Winner
Iain Valliere (Canada) – 2020 New York Pro Winner
Lee Seung Chul (South Korea) – 2020 South Korea Pro Winner
Antoine Vaillant (Canada) – 2020 California Pro Winner
James Hollingshead (UK) – 2020 Europa Pro Winner
Akim Williams (USA) – 2020 Chicago Pro Winner
There were five bodybuilders who were able to earn positions in the lineup. Due to the lack of international contests in 2020, two extra positions were awarded to the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the Europa Pro contest.
Lukas Osladil (Czech Republic) – 2020 Europa Pro, 2nd Place
Rafael Brandao (Brazil) – 2020 Europa Pro, 3rd Place
One popular bodybuilder who was unable to qualify for the Olympia was Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. He was set to compete in the Europa Pro, but he tested positive for COVID-19 before he could travel. On October 21st , he was offered and accepted a special invitation to compete this December.
Finally, after the Chicago Pro show concluded, the top three finishers in the Olympia scoring system
were determined. Maxx Charles earned 16 points to take the season scoring victory.
Mamdouh Elssbiay (Egypt) – Special Invite
Maxx Charles (USA) – 2020 Olympia Points Leader (16)
Justin Rodriguez (USA) – 2020 Olympia Points Runner-Up (14)
Regan Grimes (Canada) – 2020 Olympia Points, 3rd Place (12)
Who’s on the Outside?
Seven-time Olympia 212 Division Champion James “Flex” Lewis was invited to compete in the Open contest this year, but was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury.
Featured Image: Instagram/brandon_curry