Bodybuilder Shaun Clarida is in a unique spot. After winning the 212 Olympia title in 2020, he has a standing qualification to compete again for that crown every year. But with an Open division win at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest, he’s also qualified for the Open at the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest.
The one thing he can’t do is compete in both divisions this year. So, a choice had to be made, and on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Clarida took to YouTube to officially announce that he will return to 212 this year to try and reclaim his title.
Shaun Clarida Returns to the 212 Olympia
In his decision video, Clarida states that his goal is to win multiple 212 Olympia championships, and that losing the 2021 crown to Derek Lunsford gave him the “motivation I needed to come back this year bigger, better, and more determined than ever.”
In an Instagram post about his decision, Clarida wrote, “As much as I would have loved to battle it out with the big boys in the open, that’s going to have to wait for now. I’ve got unfinished business in the 212!”
[Related: Samir Bannout Says Derek Lunsford Can Crack the Top 5 at the 2022 Mr. Olympia]
While “unfinished business” is the theme of Clarida’s decision, he won’t be able to regain his 212 title back from Lunsford, who switched to Men’s Open over the summer after receiving a special invitation.
Still, that doesn’t mean a win is a sure thing. According to the official Mr. Olympia website, Clarida will face stiff competition, as Kamal Elgargni, Mohamed El Azim, and Ahmad Ashkanani are all qualified for the show in 2022.
A Chance to Make History
If Clarida can reclaim his 212 crown after losing it in 2021, he’d join the likes of Jay Cutler and Brandon Hendrickson as multi-time Olympia winners who regained their titles after previously losing. (Cutler, of course, competed in Men’s Open, while Hendrickson did so in the Men’s Physique division.)
We’ll see if Clarida can make some history when the Olympia returns to Las Vegas, Nevada, from December 16-18.
Featured Image: @ShaunClarida on Instagram