2020 Mr Olympia Preview: Lineup Breakdown And Predictions

Joe Weider’s 2020 Mr. Olympia is finally here this weekend.

A lot has happened this year in regards to the sport of bodybuilding.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Olympia weekend was rescheduled to the 17th to the 20th of December, held in Central Florida at the Orange County Convention Center. The move from previously planned Las Vegas to Orlando, Florida was aimed to allow fans to still attend the event.

Leading up to this weekends 2020 Mr. Olympia many monster announcements were made. With the biggest news being 7 time Mr Olympia Phil Heath announced he was making a return to bodybuilding’s most prestigious stage after a two year hiatus from the sport. 2008 Mr Olympia Dexter Jackson, the most winning bodybuilder in the history of the sport with 29 professional wins announced this year’s Mr Olympia would be his final show after 21 consecutive years competing at the top of the sport. Olympia President Dan Solomon gifted Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay a “Special Invitation” to compete at the contest after falling short of winning a professional show to qualify and not securing enough qualifying points when he was forced to withdraw from the 2020 Europa Pro Championships in Spain following a positive COVID-19 test result.

Currently there are 16 athletes that are qualified and confirmed to battle it out for this years title of 2020 Mr Olympia. The list is as follows:

2020 Qualified and Confirmed: 

  • Brandon Curry (USA)
  • William Bonac (Netherlands)
  • Hadi Choopan (Iran)
  • Dexter Jackson (USA)
  • Phil Heath (USA)
  • Juan Morel (USA)
  • Hunter Labrada (USA)
  • Iain Valliere (Canada)
  • Lukas Osladil (Czech Republic)
  • Mamdouh Elssbiay (Egypt)
  • Regan Grimes (Canada)
  • Justin Rodriguez (USA)
  • Seung Chul Lee (South Korea)
  • Akim Williams (USA)
  • Antoine Vaillant (Canada)
  • Maxx Charles (USA)

 

William Bonac (Netherlands)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 2nd 2019. (My 2020 prediction 3rd)

Coming off a 2020 Arnold Classic Ohio title win, his second ACO title to his name, William is heading into this weekends contest with plenty of momentum to make a big impact on the stage to go all the way this year and achieving one place better from his 2019 Mr Olympia runner up placing, behind eventual winner in Brandon Curry. With Bonac being most comparable to Phil Heath with similar round and full muscle bellies is only going to make this year’s contest that much more interesting.

William Bonac 2020 Arnold Classic Win

William Bonac at the 2020 Arnold Classic with Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

Maxx Charles (USA)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 12th, 2015. (My 2020 prediction 13th)

Maxx had a busy contest season this year dispite the pandemic, he achieved a qualifying spot on points to compete at this weekends contest. with the highest placing of the year for Charles being 3rd at the Chicago Pro a top 10 placing here would be a win. Many fans will be keeping an eye on his lower body as it is his main weakness

Hadi “Persian Wolf” Choopan (Iran)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 3rd, 2019. (My 2020 prediction 5th)

Fans are extremely excited for Hadi to be competing at this weekends contest after finding out he was granted a visa. Choopan coming from Iran has always been difficult to enter the US to compete until last year which saw Hadi have a fantastic Mr Olympia debut last year placing 3rd, being one of the most conditioned competitors last year had many had him winning. If the “Persian Wolf” brings the same level of mass and conditioning Hadi will be a real threat in this years vastly competitive line up.

Hadi Choopan https://www.instagram.com/p/CDIt2qBpMsx/

 

Brandon Curry (USA)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 1st, 2019. (My 2020 prediction 1st)

The reigning and defending 2019 Mr Olympia Brandon Curry will be looking to put his best package together after taking the year off from all other professional shows to add improvements to his physique. From the progress photos he has shared shows just that how much of a dominant force he will be when the time comes to take the stage.

With the return of Phil heath and him being one of the top runners for the title which Curry hasn’t previously beaten he will want to make sure no stone is unturned leading into the weekend.

Brandon Curry update at 3 days out of 2020 Mr Olympia (image via @aj.kellyrobert instagram page)

Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay (Egypt)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 2nd, 2017. (My 2020 prediction 4th)

The Egyptian bodybuilder will be the biggest athlete on the Olympia stage this year. Big Ramy is well known for his size but with many believing he still needs to bring up his conditioning to take out the title. Coming off a 3rd placing at the 2020 Arnold Classic which he didn’t earn enough qualifying point for him to gain a spot in the qualified Mr Olympia list to compete. Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay intentionally gunning for a win to qualify but instead was gifted  a “Special Invitation” to compete at the contest when he was forced to withdraw from the 2020 Europa Pro Championships in Spain following a positive COVID-19 test result. With world renowned coach in Chad Nicholls and 11 time Olympian Dennis James in his corner for support, one would think this might be the best Big Ramy we will witness.

Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay at the 2020 Arnold Classic competition (image via https://www.instagram.com/big_ramy/)

 

Regan Grimes (Canada)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – Nil. (My 2020 prediction 14th)

The Canadian was the most active bodybuilder in the 2020 Mr Olympia qualifying contest year with competing in 4 Professional shows to make the list. Regan is coming off a win at the Romania Pro 2020 earning the qualification to the 2021 Mr Olympia any placing for Grimes’ first showing is a win.

Romania Pro 2020 Win https://www.instagram.com/p/CHqGkn_DCBq/

 

Phil Heath (USA)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 1st 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017. (My 2020 prediction 2nd)

7 time Mr Olympia champion is returning to the stage after we last saw him at his second placing in the 2018 Mr Olympia behind winner Shawn Rhoden. Phil announcing his return back in August of this year has fans of the sport really excited to see if he can reclaim his title and make it 8 wins. Many suggest his time away may help or hurt him for this year but due to having a serious surgery to fix his abnormal hernia he was force to miss the 2019 Mr Olympia. If Phil is going to claim a tied eighth win with Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney after being absent for two years, he will have to bring is past impressive packages with a tight midsection.

Phil Heath (image by @w_wittmannphoto taken from https://www.instagram.com/p/BsJm0FXhDqg/)

 

Dexter Jackson (USA)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 1st 2008. (My 2020 prediction 6th)

Having achieved the most professional bodybuilding wins in history (with 29), the winningest bodybuilder in Dexter Jackson – 2008 Mr Olympia, announced this year would be his final show. With the “The Blade” as his nickname due to consistently competing in tremendous shape one would only think Dexter would want to go out with a bang and finish on a high with his trademark conditioning. At fifty one years old… Yes 51 years old, he is the oldest that will be on stage at this weekends show. Thank you and congratulations on an amazing career Dexter.

Image taken from https://www.instagram.com/p/CIvRgfrDsVX/

 

Hunter Labrada (USA)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – Nil. (My 2020 prediction 7th)

Making his Olympia debut, Hunter Labrada is the son of bodybuilding royalty Lee Labrada. Hunter had a perfect start to his professional career this year with a win and qualification straight up at the Tampa Bay Pro with an impressive showing. With this years Mr Olympia being his 7th ever bodybuilding show which includes amateur and professional just shows how talented this future star in the making is. Hunter is one of the most complete bodybuilders that will grace the stage with a real chance to make it into the top 6 with a good showing.

Hunter one week out of the 2020 Mr Olympia

 

Antoine Vaillant (Canada)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – Nil. (My 2020 prediction 12th)

In what was the biggest turn around placing 7th at the New York Pro fast forward to a week later and winning the California Pro will a similar line up. Vaillant had a full year off in 2019 due to a bicep injury which saw him tear it needing surgery. In his first Mr Olympia competition Antoine will be battling it out for a top 10 spot.

Iain Valliere (Canada)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 14th 2018. (My 2020 prediction ????th)

Starting the 2020 contest season with a runner up placing at the Tampa Bay Pro behind Hunter Lebrada, Iain Valliere redeemed himself and qualified for this years Mr Olympia with a win at arguably the 3rd biggest bodybuilding show of the year at the New York Pro. Beating the likes of Justin Rodriguez, Antoine Vaillant and Maxx Charles at the New York Pro who are also in the show, Iain has plenty of momentum leading into the show to improve and try to crack the top 10 of the 2020 Mr Olympia.

Qualified for the 2020 Olympia the Canadian had been training with his brother-in-law, 2019 Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead, being around an experienced winner in Bumstead, would only help his case in claiming a great placing at this weekends contest.

 

Akim Williams (USA)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 9th 2019. (My 2020 prediction 8th)

Akim earned his spot to compete by winning the final bodybuilding contest to offer qualification spots to the 2020 Mr Olympia was at the Chicago Pro show. Williams brings an incredible amount of size to the stage and if he brings conditioning to match he will be fighting for a spot in the top 10.

Seung Chul Lee (South Korea)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – Nil. (My 2020 prediction 15th)

Chul Lee won his qualifying ticket to the Olympia by winning the secret Monsterzym Pro in South Korea, the pro show was kept quiet as the promoters were fearful of it being cancelled if the government found out. Beating IFBB pro Samson Dauda at the show would give Seung confidence he can hang with the big boys this coming weekend.

Juan Morel (USA)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 10th 2014. (My 2020 prediction 11th)

Juan Morel will one of the most vascular and conditioned athletes to be on this years stage. After winning the 2019 Japan Pro which earned him the spot for this years Olympia, Juan could focus on just this weekend to prepare for.

Lukas Osladil (Czech Republic)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 8th, 2019. (My 2020 prediction 10th)

Placed 2nd at the 2020 European Pro behind IFBB Pro James Hollingshead at a show where the top 3 qualify for the 2020 Olympia granted him a place on the list to compete. Lukas improves his Olympia placing every time he has made it to the big dance and will be looking at improving from last years showing of 8th place.

Justin Luis Rodriguez (USA)

Best Mr Olympia Placing – 16th, 2018. (My 2020 prediction 16th)

Rodriguez qualifying on points to compete at this years Mr Olympia and will be looking at improving is 2018 Olympia placing of 16th this weekend.

 

All coverage of the 2020 Mr Olympia this weekend is on Olympiatv PPV for US$59.95 via https://www.olympiaproductions.com/

 

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