On May 11, the organizers for the Olympia officially announced that the biggest contests in bodybuilding will be rescheduled and hosted in a different venue. The Joe Weider Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend will now take place December 16th through 20th. It will still be in Las Vegas but the venue has been changed from the Orleans Arena to Planet Hollywood.
Dan Solomon reported the news officially on the Mr. Olympia LLC Instagram page via an IGTV video.
“Over the last several weeks our team here at Olympia headquarters has been working around the clock monitoring the situation throughout the world, we’ve been staying in contact with city leaders in Las Vegas, we’ve been working with the IFBB Professional League offices, and I’m pleased to share some big news…The 2020 Olympia will take place at the incredible Planet Hollywood resort right in the center of the Las Vegas strip…To give all the athletes they need to qualify and prepare, to give our business partners the time to stabilize following the quarantine, and to give everyone extra time to make plans to experience something unlike anything we’ve ever done before, the 2020 Olympia has been set for the middle of December. So this year the fitness industry will come together during the holiday season to crown new champions, and to celebrate the fitness and bodybuilding lifestyle.”
2020 will be remembered in bodybuilding as perhaps the sport’s most challenging year to date. The obvious reason is the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the majority of the world at-large, starting with the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival Expo being cancelled. Aside from that, the Olympia had seen a contest in 2019 that may be remembered more for who didn’t compete than who did, a change in ownership in the early part of 2020, and now a rescheduling of the big contests to near the end of the year.
In spite of all the changes and issues that the new owner, Jake Wood, and Solomon have faced, there are still high hopes for the success of the contest. The event is still planned to be former Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson’s final appearance on that stage. Former multi-time 212 Olympia champion Flex Lewis will make his Olympia Open division debut this year and he along with Arnold Classic Champion William Bonac will challenge the reigning Mr. Olympia, Brandon Curry for bodybuilding’s world title.
This year will also mark the return of the Ms. Olympia for the first time since 2014, and Shaquille O’Neal has been announced as the Olympia Ambassador. There is no official word when contests will start taking place again but the new dates does serve as a positive for athletes who have yet to qualify. With some states re-opening and gyms starting to allow people to train again, they can start preparing for when they can return to the stage.
Featured Image and Video: Instagram/mrolympiallc