On October 21st, the promoters of the Olympia Weekend announced that they had extended a special invitation to Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay of Egypt to compete in the 2020 Mr. Olympia contest this December in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Olympia President Dan Solomon shared in a statement regarding the reason for Elssbiay to receive the invitation in spite of not qualifying for the contest.
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SPECIAL INVITATION FOR BIG RAMY One of the world’s most popular bodybuilder’s will be onstage in December to compete for bodybuilding’s most prestigious title. Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay has received the coveted “Special Invitation” to compete at the 2020 Mr. Olympia contest. The Egyptian born champion fell short of securing enough qualifying points when he was forced to withdraw from a recent event following a positive Covid-19 test result. In 2017, Big Ramy nearly defeated Phil Heath at the Mr. Olympia where he was forced to settle for 2nd. It turned out to be Heath’s final victory before he relinquished his title a year later. Olympia President Dan Solomon explains, “The challenges of 2020 have impacted all of us in so many ways. After we took a close look at the unique circumstances, we all agreed that he would have qualified for the event if he hadn’t tested positive for the virus. The fans want to see the best in the world on the Olympia stage and Ramy will be an exciting addition to this year’s lineup.” As the star power of the 2020 Olympia continues to grow, reigning champ Brandon Curry is currently in Kuwait preparing to defend his title against 7-time champ Phil Heath, 2019 runner-up William Bonac, Iranian sensation Hadi Choopan, and several other challengers, including former champ Dexter Jackson who recently announced this will be his final Olympia appearance. The addition of Big Ramy sets up an epic clash at the Planet Hollywood Resort on the Vegas Strip. IFBB Pro League President Jim Manion adds, “This year has presented our sport with some unique circumstances. We are proud to offer Big Ramy this special invitation and we look forward to welcoming the best athletes in the world to Las Vegas in December.” Witness history December 17-20 as Trifecta Presents Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend brought to you by Northern Chill and by Wings of Strength. Get more info at www.MrOlympia.com @big_ramy @dansolomon_official @ifbb_pro_league @jake_wood_wos @t_manion @npcnewsonlineofficialpage
“The challenges of 2020 have impacted all of us in so many ways. After we took a close look at the unique circumstances, we all agreed that he would have qualified for the event if he hadn’t tested positive for the virus. The fans want to see the best in the world on the Olympia stage and Ramy will be an exciting addition to this year’s lineup.”
Elssbiay had not competed in the 2019 Olympia and had only competed in the 2020 Arnold Classic this season. He placed 3rd in that contest. The season was then halted and rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was set to compete and considered the favorite to win the 2020 Europa Pro in Alicante, Spain before he tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. That contest was won by James Hollingshead of the United Kingdom.
Elssbiay shared his thoughts and confirmed he would join the lineup on Instagram.
“I wanna thank the @ifbb_pro_league of Mr. Jim Manion and his whole team and Mr. @jake_wood_wos and Mr. @dansolomon_official for offering me the chance to participate in the 2020 @mrolympiallc. I’m very thankful to them, we all had an awful year I did my best to fly to the @arnoldsportsau but the lockdown didn’t allow the show to happen. Then I stayed 4months in Dubai stranded away from my family but I never stopped training and hoping for the best… I managed to prep for the @npceuropean show where I couldn’t participate after getting positive at the corona test… But thanks to God Almighty let’s forget about all this and aim for a brighter future for everyone…. I’m happy and very excited to officially accept this invitation. OLYMPIA I’M COMING!!”
Elssbiay was the 2012 Amateur Olympia Champion which is how he turned professional. This will be his 7th appearance on the Mr. Olympia stage. His highest placing was in 2017, where he placed 2nd to eventual champion Phil Heath. Elssbiay makes the 21st man to join the lineup in Las Vegas this December. He’s popular among fans for his immense overall size, highlighted by his legs, which are considered his strongest feature.
Featured Image: Instagram/mrolympiallc