On Jan. 12, 2023, the Arnold Sports Festival announced that 2021 Arnold Classic champion Nick Walker has entered the 2023 Arnold Classic, set to take place on the weekend of Mar. 2-5, 2023, in Columbus, OH.
“2021 Arnold Classic champion Nick Walker will…attempt to regain his title against a formidable field of some of the IFBB’s best competitors!”
You can see the announcement in the Instagram reel below:
This will be Walker’s sophomore appearance at the Arnold Classic. He made his debut in September 2021, when the contest was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He shocked the rest of the field and the bodybuilding world when he won the contest with exceptional conditioning combined with dense muscle mass. Walker competed at the 2021 Mr. Olympia the following month, finishing in fifth place.
Walker is coming off a third-place finish at the 2022 Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas, NV, in December 2022. That placing means he is already qualified for the 2023 Olympia, which was his planned next contest before entering the 2023 Arnold Classic. While unconfirmed, the prize money increase that Schwarzenegger announced may have swayed Walker to return to the stage sooner than expected.
Nonetheless, Walker joins two-time Arnold Classic winner William Bonac, two-time Olympia 212 winner Shaun Clarida, former Olympia 212 champ Kamal Elgargni, and three other IFBB Pro League athletes in the 35th edition of the bodybuilding contest in Columbus, OH. The updated seven-man roster is below:
2023 Arnold Classic Roster | Men’s Open
- William Bonac
- Shaun Clarida
- Samson Dauda
- Kamal Elgargni
- Justin Rodriguez
- Nick Walker
- Akim Williams
The original roster included Charles Griffen and Blessing Awodibu, both of whom dropped out shortly after the original lineup was announced. ASF officials have not said whether additional athletes would be permitted to compete as of this writing. Mr. Olympia winners, such as 2019 champion and two-time Arnold winner Brandon Curry, two-time Olympia champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, and 2022 Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan, are allowed to enter any contest they wish. Other competitors must be granted an invitation to compete in the Arnold Classic.
Tickets to the 2023 Arnold Classic are still available on the Arnold Sports Festival website, and fans that won’t be in Columbus can still watch the contest live on pay-per-view, courtesy of Fanmio.
Featured Image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram