The 2022 Olympia weekend is almost here. The grandest show in bodybuilding takes place Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV, and will feature contests across all 11 IFBB pro divisions. The headline contest is a potential title defense by two-time reigning Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. However, many in the strength and fitness world are even more excited about the Classic Physique division helmed by three-time reigning Olympia champion Chris Bumstead.
Cydney Gillon will appear on stage, seeking a record sixth title in the Figure division. Jennifer Dorie aims to defend her Bikini Olympia title. Derek Lunsford vacates his 212 division crown to make his Men’s Open debut via special invitation. Can anyone dethrone the queen of the Women’s Physique division Sarah Villegas or capture the crown of two-time Ms. Olympia Andrea Shaw?
There’s plenty of other action in the other divisions, too, and it will all be live-streamed. Spectators can see all the 2022 Olympia action via the pay-per-view premium package for $69.99 at the Olympia Productions website — www.olympiaproductions.com.
[Related: The Hany Rambod Plan — The Final Leg Days for Chris Bumstead and Derek Lunsford Before the 2022 Olympia]
Who’s Watching Who?
It will be difficult for any of the challengers across any division to claim the Olympia title from a defending champion. It seems most people, including former Mr. Olympia champions Phil Heath and Jay Cutler, expect Big Ramy to run it back for a three-peat in Las Vegas.
However, that isn’t to say an upset could happen. Cutler and another former Mr. Olympia champion, Samir Bannout, expect Lunsford to bring a show-stealing package that could potentially land him in the top five. Heath will be on commentary and previously voiced that he thought Hadi Choopan “brought it” in 2021 — perhaps conditioned well enough to have deserved the Sandow trophy. We’ll see if Choopan can make that a reality this year.
Similarly, William Bonac found himself outside the top five in 2021 and had to earn his way back to the Olympia via a win at the 2022 Boston Pro. He’s claimed that 2022 will be his best physique yet. His muscle bellies are notoriously full, so perhaps the judges will tally that more favorably this year.
Hunter Labrada and Nick Walker were in the top five in 2021 and have only improved upon their packages in the off-season. Suffice it to say, the 2022 Mr. Olympia lineup is absolutely stacked, and a Big Ramy title defense will have to be earned against such a strong field.
2022 Olympia Previews
Below are previews for each of the 11 divisions that will be contested at the 2022 Olympia:
- Men’s Physique Olympia Preview
- Wheelchair Olympia Preview
- Fitness Olympia Preview
- Bikini Olympia Preview
- Figure Olympia Preview
- Wellness Olympia Preview
- Women’s Physique Olympia Preview
- Ms. Olympia Preview
- Classic Physique Olympia Preview
- Olympia 212 Showdown Preview
- Mr. Olympia Bodybuilding Show Preview
Featured image: @hadi_choopan on Instagram