Flex Lewis Drops Out of the 2020 Mr. Olympia Competition Due to Injury

Lewis' Men's Open division debut will be halted due to an undisclosed injury.

James “Flex” Lewis will not be competing at the 2020 Mr. Olympia. Lewis, a seven-time 212 Mr. Olympia champion, announced on Oct. 16, 2020, that he is dropping out of the competition due to an undisclosed injury. This year, Lewis was supposed to make his highly-anticipated debut in the Men’s Open division — which is often considered the most competitive division in the sport. The Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition will take place on Dec. 18-19, 2020, in Las Vegas.


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From 2012 to 2018, Lewis dominated the Olympia stage. He collected Sandow after Sandow and is one of only six bodybuilders to win seven Olympia titles — a milestone record originally set by Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

After his historic seventh win in 2018, fans speculated that Lewis would make a run for the Open title. For one, the Men’s Open is far more lucrative. Last year, Brandon Curry, the current Mr. Olympia, took $400,000 compared to 212 winner Kamal Elgargni, who won $50,000. Also, Lewis has been known to look incredible 10 to 15 pounds above his stage weight of 212 pounds. Without the weight restriction, many believe that Lewis could step on stage looking even better than usual. In February of 2020, it was confirmed that Lewis would be moving up to the Open division.

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Unfortunately, we won’t find out if that’s true this year. Lewis didn’t give too many details in his somber video. However, he says that the decision to drop out was made by him, his wife, his coach, Neil “Yoda” Hill, and a doctor. 

“This injury was sustained, and it’s being taken care of right now,” Lewis says in the video. “But if I were to keep going in the direction that I was going, it would have probably impacted my entire career.” 

Lewis goes on to say that he attempted to battle through his injury — which he said he’ll reveal in a coming video. However, his concerned wife contacted Hill, and the two sat Lewis down to reason with him. Apparently, Lewis saw three doctors about his ailment, and it was ultimately decided that he needed to stop training


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“I want to let everyone know that I am so grateful for all of the support. I’m not looking for sympathy,” Lewis says. “I will be putting everything into what I need to do to get back up on that stage. I truly believe — truly believe — that at this year’s Olympia, I was going in to be a front runner. 

“But 2021 is going to be a different animal. I look forward to documenting this whole process and bringing you all into seeing what I will be doing. And being open, honest, and exposing every vulnerability that comes with this next process. This is a positive move for the future, and I would love to have continued support. I will be going for that champ-champ title.”

Featured image from Flex Lewis’ Instagram page @flex_lewis