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.
“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