Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend is widely regarded as the most prestigious bodybuilding show in the world. Bodybuilders and fans from all corners of the globe flock to this event, which took place in Orlando, FL, from November 2nd to 5th in 2023. Not only is the Olympia steeped in historical significance, but it also offers the largest cash prize for the winners. The champion of the Mr. Olympia division, the most celebrated category at the show, takes home a $400,000 check, a gold medal, and the highly coveted Sandow trophy.
The clash between reigning Mr. Olympia champion Hadi Choopan and 2022 Olympia silver medalist Derek Lunsford was undoubtedly the most highly anticipated battle at the event. Samson Dauda, the reigning Arnold Classic champion, also made his mark by securing a spot in the top three during the pre-judging round. Choopan, known as “The Persian Wolf,” aimed to become the 12th bodybuilder to win multiple Olympia championships, while Lunsford and Dauda were determined to claim their maiden Olympia trophies in their second appearances in the Open division.
When the dust settled, it was Derek Lunsford who emerged victorious, becoming the 18th bodybuilder to hoist the coveted Sandow trophy. Lunsford etched his name in the history books as the first athlete to win Olympia titles across multiple divisions, having previously won the 212 Olympia crown in 2021. In addition to his triumph, Lunsford also won the People’s Choice Award, further solidifying his dominance. This year’s Olympia featured 11 divisions, with seven new champions being crowned and four reigning champions successfully defending their titles.
Here are the winners in each division at the 2023 Olympia:
– Men’s Open: Derek Lunsford
– Men’s 212: Keone Pearson
– Classic Physique: Chris Bumstead
– Men’s Physique: Ryan Terry
– Ms. Olympia: Andrea Shaw
– Figure: Cydney Gillon
– Fitness: Oksana Grishina
– Women’s Physique: Sarah Villegas
– Bikini: Jennifer Dorie
– Wellness: Francielle Mattos
– Pro Wheelchair: Karol Milewski
In the highly anticipated Men’s Open division, Derek Lunsford emerged as the new Mr. Olympia champion, joining the elite group of bodybuilders who have lifted the Sandow trophy. The pre-judging round saw Hadi Choopan, Derek Lunsford, and Samson Dauda in the final callout, making them the favorites to clinch the prestigious trophy. The confirmation round further intensified the competition, as every bodybuilder in the Men’s Open division showcased their best physique. Head judge Steve Weinberger meticulously evaluated the competitors through multiple comparison rounds before making the final decision. In the end, Derek Lunsford claimed the ultimate prize, becoming the first athlete to win both the 212 and Mr. Olympia titles. Along with the gold medal, Lunsford also won the People’s Choice Award. Hadi Choopan settled for the runner-up position, while Samson Dauda secured the bronze medal.
The 212 Olympia division saw Keone Pearson claim his first title at the 59th edition of the Olympia. With 2022 bronze medalist Kamal Elgargni absent due to a family emergency, Pearson seized the opportunity to shine. He showcased exceptional conditioning and muscle fullness, outclassing his competitors, including Shaun Clarida, in the final callout. Angel Calderon Frias, who initially held the bronze medal position, was pushed to fourth place as a result of Pearson’s impressive performance. Kerrith Bajjo also made a significant improvement, climbing from seventh place in the previous year to secure fourth place at the 2023 Olympia.
In the Classic Physique division, Chris Bumstead continued his reign as the dominant force. Despite a fierce battle with Arnold Classic champion Ramon Rocha Queiroz, Bumstead emerged victorious, claiming his fifth Classic Physique Olympia crown and solidifying his legacy in the sport. Queiroz settled for the silver medal, while “The Miracle Bear” Breon Ansley delighted the audience with his break-dancing moves and secured the bronze medal.
These are just a few highlights from the 2023 Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend. The event showcased the incredible dedication and talent of the world’s top bodybuilders, with each division crowning deserving champions. The Olympia remains the pinnacle of the sport, attracting athletes and fans alike, and setting the stage for future battles and triumphs in the world of bodybuilding.