Shaquille O’Neal Named 2020 Olympia Ambassador

The basketball great is also a bodybuilding fan.

American Media and Chief Olympia Officer Dan Solomon, who is in charge of promoting and producing the Mr. Olympia contest, has announced that Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has been named the 2020 Honorary Olympia Ambassador. The news was made in a press release earlier today.

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SHAQUILLE O’NEAL NAMED HONORARY AMBASSADOR OF 2020 OLYMPIA WEEKEND Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend has selected Shaquille O’Neal as its Honorary Ambassador for the 2020 event. Widely regarded as one of the world’s most recognizable athletes, the selection of the Hall of Famer and 4-time NBA champion is part of the Olympia’s ongoing initiative to reach new audiences, while inspiring men and women across all sports to embrace the principles of fitness and bodybuilding. Chief Olympia Officer Dan Solomon explains, “In recent years, Shaq has become an enthusiastic supporter of Olympia Weekend. He follows the bodybuilding scene with the same authenticity and passion that has made him one of today’s most sought after product endorsers and a powerhouse in the world of business and entertainment. Shaq was in attendance at last year’s Olympia and his relationship with the fitness community continues to evolve.” One of the most popular athletes of his generation, Shaq’s interest in bodybuilding and fitness will also be on full display the month before Olympia Weekend when he teams up with former IFBB Professional Bodybuilder Roc Shabazz for the inaugural ROC ATLANTA EXTRAVAGANZA presented by SHAQUILLE O’NEAL. Sanctioned by the NPC and the IFBB Professional League, the August 22nd event will be held in Atlanta. Recently named Shaq’s Chief Fitness Officer, Shabazz adds, “When Shaq puts his name on something, you know it’s gonna be big. We are planning a great experience for the fans, athletes and sponsors.” For 55 years, Olympia Weekend has been the signature event on the fitness industry’s calendar. Spearheaded by attendance and sponsorship increases at the 2019 event, plans are already underway for 2020 and organizers have begun laying the groundwork for a series of upgrades to its popular arena production and convention center tradeshow. In his role as Honorary Ambassador, Shaq will be promoting Olympia Weekend throughout the world while also documenting his own fitness journey to his millions of fans via social media. Join Shaq along with the best bodies on the planet in Las Vegas September 10-13th. ( #Shaq #Olympia2020

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The Olympia Ambassador position was created in 2019 with four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler being given the inaugural honor. This move is a part of a strategy by the Olympia to not only increase engagement with celebrities but expand the awareness of bodybuilding beyond its own fanbase. Other celebrities that have been involved with the Olympia in recent years include Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Solomon expressed praise of O’Neal when making the announcement. “In recent years, Shaq has become an enthusiastic supporter of Olympia weekend. He follows the bodybuilding scene with the same authenticity and passion that made him one of today’s most sought after product endorsers and a powerhouse in the world of business and entertainment.” He had been in attendance at the Olympia for several years, including the 2018 and 2019 contests.

There was no direct quote from O’Neal in the statement but his involvement in the sport of bodybuilding will be on full display even before the Olympia when he joins IFBB Pro League bodybuilder Roc Shabazz in producing the first “Roc Atlanta Extravaganza Presented by Shaquille O’Neal” in Atlanta, Georgia on August 22nd. O’Neal has a connection with Atlanta in his role as an analyst and host of TNT’s “Inside the NBA”.

The four-time NBA Champion hasn’t been shy about sharing his own fitness level in recent years. Before the 2019 Olympia, he posted a video of himself posing in an elevator which garnered over 1.8 million views. According to the press release, the 19 year NBA veteran will document himself training and preparing for the Olympia himself on social media.

O’Neal played for six NBA teams, most notably the Los Angeles Lakers, from 1992-2011 and won four NBA championships as well as the 2000 NBA MVP. He is also an Olympic gold medalist and member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He was considered one of the strongest and most dominant players ever. 

The 2020 edition of Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend takes place September 10-13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Featured Image: Instagram/mrolympiallc

Roger Lockridge

Roger Lockridge

Roger "Rock" Lockridge has been writing professionally for 10 years and has been training for 20. His work in the fitness industry has been seen in numerous outlets and has been a part of coverage for several events including the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, the CrossFit Games, and the Olympics. He's also shared his own personal success story in several interviews and articles. Lockridge lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.

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