Bodybuilder Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay was prepared to compete at the 2020 Europe Pro Show in Alicante, Spain this weekend with hopes to win and earn an automatic invite to the 2020 Mr. Olympia contest. (That contest is scheduled to take place the weekend of December 18th through the 20th.) That will no longer be happening as Elssbiay has tested positive for COVID-19. The popular bodybuilder from Egypt self-reported his status on Instagram late in the day on October 8th.
“I would like to make the official statement that I have tested POSITIVE for COVID-19. Therefore, I will not be able to compete this Sunday 11/10/20 at @npceuropean championships. I wanna wish good luck to the athletes and the promoter of the show my friends @emilio_martinez_romero and Gian Rico . I am devastated with this news as this is completely out of my control and it is the second preparation I lose cause of this virus.”
Elssbiay went on to say that he is dealing with a cough, but otherwise is feeling okay. He also shared that he didn’t want to risk the health of others to compete and thanked fans for their support. He was also supposed to compete at the 2020 Arnold Australia earlier this year, but the early stages of the pandemic led to the cancellation of that event.
Due to the rescheduling of events and the Olympia, the top three finishers of this contest would earn qualification positions on the big stage in Las Vegas, Nevada. With Elssbiay out of the contest, the favorites going in appear to be Regan Grimes of the USA as well as James Hollingshead and Samson Dauda of the United Kingdom.
Elssbiay wasn’t officially qualified to compete in the Olympia this year as of yet. He placed 3rd at the Arnold Classic in March and is currently sitting in the third position of the season points standings, which allows the top three non-victorious competitors an opportunity to make it to the Olympia. He hasn’t seen the first place position onstage in three years. His last victory was the 2017 Arnold Europe.
He had fans and experts buzzing about how he was going to fare onstage after sharing recent photos of how he looked going into the final week of his contest prep. His midsection and core appeared to be tight with very visible definition.
Because of Elssbiay’s diagnosis, he will have to isolate until he can test negative. By the time he would be able to compete again, there would be no more contests available for him to enter for him to qualify for the Olympia. So if he is to compete, he would likely have to do so by earning a position on the points standings.
Featured Images: Instagram/big_ramy