On June 29, 2021, the Arnold Sports Festival announced on their social media platforms that pro bodybuilders Roelly Winklaar and Nick Walker have been added to the already star-studded lineup of the 2021 Arnold Classic. The contest, currently scheduled to take place on Saturday, Sept. 25 in Columbus, OH, already includes 12 professional bodybuilders. The updated lineup of competitors is below.
- Lionel Beyeke
- William Bonac
- Maxx Charles
- Seung Chul Lee
- Mohamed El Eman
- Steve Kuclo
- Cedric McMillan
- Hassan Mostafa
- Sergio Oliva Jr.
- Justin Rodriguez
- Iain Valliere
- Akim Williams
- Roelly Winklaar
- Nick Walker
Brent LaLonde, Communications Director of the Arnold Sports Festival, told BarBend that adding these two athletes to their lineup was something they knew the audience would appreciate.
“Both Nick and Roelly are competitors that the fans want to see on the Arnold Classic stage, and we’re excited that both of them are going to be coming to Columbus to compete this year,” LaLonde says. “This is going to be a great show, and having them in it will make it even better.”
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Winklaar’s Pedigree of Success
Winklaar, a native of Curacao, brings a list of accomplishments to the Ohio contest. He placed third at the 2018 Mr. Olympia, was named the Olympia’s first “People’s Champion,” and he won the 2018 Arnold Classic Australia. He was considered a top contender for the 2020 Olympia, but he had to withdraw the week before the contest due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Winklaar has never won an Arnold Classic Ohio contest, but he did win the 2009 NPC Arnold Amateur, which is how he earned pro status. His highest placing at the U.S.-based contest is fourth in 2018. His arms are considered by many to be among the best in bodybuilding. He has yet to qualify for the 2021 Olympia, but winning the Arnold would qualify him for the 2022 contest.
Nick Walker: The Rising Star
It’s been a long time since a bodybuilder created a buzz as Nick Walker has. The 2020 North American champion got a lot of attention as soon as he stepped onstage at that season’s Chicago Pro. Ultimately, he placed fourth in that contest, but his improvements during the following postseason led him to take the win at the 2021 New York Pro.
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Walker has said that his focus recently has been on improving his upper chest and back. His hamstrings are definitely a strength, and he has improved his posing significantly since turning pro. He’s currently qualified for the 2021 Olympia, taking place Oct. 7-10, but winning the Arnold Classic as well as the 2022 Olympia qualification that comes with it could certainly give him a lot of momentum.
This will mark Walker’s Arnold Classic debut and the biggest stage he has competed on so far. If his nerves don’t get the best of him, it will be intriguing to see where he stands against competition such as Winklaar, Steve Kuclo, William Bonac, and Cedric McMillan.
Featured Image: @arnoldsports on Instagram