The lineups for the 2019 Olympia Weekend are all set and official but the IFBB Pro League shared news that affects how competitors will be eligible for the 2020 edition in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The only athletes that don’t have to qualify for the Olympia every year are the current and past champions. There are also special occasions where special invites are offered, such as the case of Cedric McMillan but those are at the discretion of the IFBB Pro League and are considered special circumstances. Everyone else has to earn a qualification to compete at the biggest stage in bodybuilding. Depending on which division the athletes compete in, his or her success throughout the season determines their eligibility to compete for the world title of that division.
This information is important because qualifying for the 2020 Olympia has already begun in some divisions. Here’s a breakdown of how qualifying will work for the next bodybuilding season.
Men’s Open, 212, Fitness, Figure, and Women’s Physique
These divisions share the same qualifying process because there will be less than 25 total contests taking place over the course of the year. Of course, the champion will automatically be allowed to return to defend the title. The Top 5 finishers of the 2019 Olympia will also automatically qualify for the show next year.
The winners of each contest throughout the season will earn his or her trip to Las Vegas next September. Those winners will not have to compete again until the Olympia but can if he or she chooses to.
Out of those athletes that don’t win a contest next season, those that finish in second, third, fourth, and fifth places can earn points depending on the show placing. The shows are grouped into tiers of 1, 2, 3, and 4. The Arnold Classic (Ohio) is the only Tier 1 show so the placings there have the most points. Tier 2 shows are a little less and so on. Those tiers with the shows that are a part of them are in the accompanying photo. Those points that the athletes collect will add up throughout the season. The
Top 3 finishers in the points system will be qualified to join the winners at the Olympia.
Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, and Bikini
These divisions have the same system because there are more than 25 contests for them. In these groups, the only athlete to earn an automatic spot for the next Olympia is the 2019 champion or past Olympia winners.
Outside of that, the winners of each contest will earn a qualifying spot. The Top 5 points finishers will also move on to Las Vegas. Here is where the differences are. At the beginning of the Olympia weekend, there will be a prejudging round for all qualified athletes in these divisions. The top finishers of that round will be the only athletes allowed to move on to the Finals at the Orleans Arena where the Mr. Olympia is held. So some of the athletes that move on to Vegas will be eliminated before the finals.
Final Note About The Points
There have been years in the past where if an athlete didn’t compete at the Olympia due to injury or choice, then the next highest points athlete took his or her spot. That wasn’t the case for 2019 and will not be the case in 2020 either. If any of the top finishers in the points system choose to not compete or are unable to participate, then that spot will remain vacant.
Featured image: @cedricmcmillan on Instagram