Sergio Oliva Jr. announced on Monday that he will be one of the competitors invited to take part in the 2020 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio this coming March. The news came in the form of an Instagram post.
Aside from his joking about formal announcements, Oliva did share his excitement to return to the IFBB Pro League stage.
“So as of today I got word I have officially been accepted into the 2020 Arnold Classic. I’ve gone to this show every year since when it was back at the Veterans Memorial. The venue my father and Arnold went against each other in. I wanted to wait ‘til I was good enough to honor the return of the Oliva/Schwarzenegger names being together again and 2020 is that time. #ArnoldClassic.”
Sergio Oliva Sr. and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Oliva Jr. is the son of Sergio Oliva Sr., who was considered one of the early legends of bodybuilding. Among the titles the senior Oliva won in his career were three consecutive Mr. Olympia championships from 1967-1969. The 1969 contest also included a young Arnold Schwarzenegger who finished as the runner-up. Oliva Sr. is actually the final man to beat Schwarzenegger onstage.
Schwarzenegger would get his revenge at the 1970 Mr. World competition when he stunned the reigning Olympia champion and took the victory. That contest was actually held in Columbus, Ohio and is believed to be when Schwarzenegger expressed interest in working with promoter Jim Lorimer on competitions, which is what evolved to become the Arnold Classic.
Weeks after the initial upset, Schwarzenegger would defeat Oliva again to claim his first of seven Olympia titles. Oliva never regained the title and retired from competition permanently in 1985. He passed away in 2012.
Rise of the Son
Oliva Jr. is believed by many to be the first second-generation bodybuilder to turn professional. He did so by winning the 2015 NPC Nationals. His first pro victory came at the 2017 New York Pro. He competed at the Mr. Olympia for the first time in 2018 but didn’t place in the Top 15. This will be his first time competing at the Arnold Classic if he steps onstage in Ohio.
The storyline would basically write itself should the younger Oliva win. He would be receiving the trophy from Arnold Schwarzenegger in the same city that he and his father had their legendary contest 50 years prior. He will have to defeat the rest of the field which includes Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay if that is to happen. The rest of the Arnold Classic field is expected to be announced in early December.
Featured Image: Instagram/sergioolivajr