The 2023 Joe Wedier’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend is scheduled for November 2-5 in Orlando, FL. The best of the best bodybuilders will lock horns at the grandest stage of bodybuilding to earn the bragging rights to call themselves the best bodybuilders in the world in their respective divisions.
The Men’s Open division (Mr. Olympia) draws the biggest crowd at the Olympia Weekend and is considered the show’s main event. Twenty-four bodybuilders qualified to compete at the 2023 Olympia; however, 19 are expected to take the stage on Nov. 3.
2023 Mr. Olympia Predictions
Here is Fitness Volt’s top seven for the 2023 Olympia:
7. Michal Krizo
Michal “Krizo” Krizanek is among the most promising talents in the industry. He dominated the IFBB Elite Pro federation for years before switching to the IFBB Pro League in 2022 in hopes of winning the Mr. Olympia title. Although he fired many shots at elite IFBB Pro League bodybuilders in the lead-up to the 2022 Olympia, he could only manage a 12th-place finish.
Krizo won the 2023 Empro Classic Pro to punch his ticket to the 2023 Olympia. The Slovakian bodybuilder has been hard at work on his posterior chain in the off-season to bring it up to match his front side. Most of the critique Krizo received from the judges at the 2022 Olympia was regarding his glutes.
Four bodybuilders who placed above Krizo at the 2022 Olympia, including Iain Valliere, Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, William Bonac, and Rafael Brandao, are not competing this year, which should help Krizo secure his first top-10 finish at the Olympia.
6. Andrew Jacked
Chinedu Andrew Obiekea, popularly known as Andrew Jacked, is considered a future Mr. Olympia champion from the day he won his first pro show — the 2022 Texas Pro. He finished eighth at his debut Olympia appearance in 2022 despite being down with a 102-degree fever.
The 6-foot-2 bodybuilder dwarfs other competitors on the stage and has some of the best muscle symmetry, balance, size, conditioning, and proportions in the sport, which is rare for a tall athlete.
Jacked qualified for the 2023 Olympia by winning the 2023 Texas Pro Show; Hunter Labrada got second. The battle between Jacked and Labrada will be intense, as they’ll be vying for a spot in the first callout in Orlando.
5. Hunter Labrada
Labrada’s Olympia journey has been full of ups and downs. He placed eighth at his Olympia debut in 2020, jumped to the fourth spot in 2021, and dropped to seventh place in 2022.
Labrada’s fall at the 2022 Olympia was primarily attributed to a lagging back. He took a long offseason, returned to competition in August 2023 with a much-improved physique, and won the Tampa Pro show to secure his Olympia qualification.
Since Big Ramy is sitting out of the 2023 Olympia, we expect Labrada to move up a rank at the Super Bowl of Bodybuilding.
4. Brandon Curry
The 2019 Mr. Olympia champion, Brandon Curry, finished fourth at the 2022 Olympia. He is the only other Olympia winner in the 2023 Olympia lineup besides Choopan. Curry’s physique updates are convincing enough to make us believe he will be in the first callout in Orlando.
Let’s be honest: it’s incredibly difficult for a former Olympia champion to win back the Sandow trophy after losing it; it has only been done once in the 58-year history of the show. Although it might be a little too early to say this, we don’t think Curry’s off-season progress is enough to challenge our picks for the top four at the 2023 Olympia.
3. Samson Dauda
Dauda’s bodybuilding career is on an upward trajectory. He finished sixth at his debut Olympia in 2022 and followed it with a victory at the 2023 Arnold Classic. Dauda defeated Walker, Big Ramy, and Andrew Jacked to win the second-biggest bodybuilding show in the sport.
Dauda weighed 330 pounds in the off-season, making him one of the biggest bodybuilders in the 2023 lineup. He is unparalleled in the chest department, and his barrel chest is reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Dauda is arguably the best poser in the sport right now, and his posing routines are a treat to watch. What he might lack in conditioning, he makes up in the presentation. We have Dauda jumping three spots at the 2023 Olympia.
2. Hadi Choopan
This will ruffle some feathers, but we predict Lunsford will upset Choopan to win his maiden Sandow trophy at the 2023 Olympia.
Although the reigning champ has not stepped on a bodybuilding stage since the 2023 Olympia, he shares his physique updates regularly on social media. Choopan and Lunsford share a couple of similarities. Both bodybuilders are former 212 competitors and are coached by Hany Rambod.
While we don’t see any issues with Choopan, Lunsford has significantly improved his physique in the off-season, which should help him unseat the defending Mr. Olympia champion.
1. Derek Lunsford
Lunsford sent shock waves across the bodybuilding world by winning the silver medal at the 2022 Mr. Olympia on a special invite. The former 212 Olympia champion has the freakiest X-frame (wide shoulders, tiny waist, and sprawling quads) we have seen in the longest time.
That said, winning the 2023 Olympia will be an uphill battle for Lunsford. Choopan is known for consistently bringing a peeled physique to the stage, making him hard to beat.
Lunsford’s runner-up finish at the 2022 Olympia secured him a direct qualification to the 2023 O. He took a long offseason to add muscle tissue to his frame and improve his chest, back, shoulders, and muscle separation and conditioning. We are betting our money on Lunsford to emerge victorious in Orlando.
If Lunsford receives the judge’s nod on November 4, he will be the first bodybuilder to win Olympia in two divisions.
The other top bodybuilders you must look out for at the 2023 Olympia include:
Grimes qualified for the 2022 Olympia but pulled out of the show 12 weeks before stepping on stage and took most of 2023 off to gain around 15 pounds of muscle mass. Grimes qualified for the 2023 Olympia by winning the 2023 Europa Pro Bodybuilding Show. He will look to break into the top five in his fourth Olympia appearance.
Egyptian bodybuilder Hassan Mostafa is a dark horse heading into the 2023 Mr. Olympia. His muscle size, density, and definition make him stand apart onstage. Mostafa qualified to compete at the 2022 Olympia but had to pull out of the show a few days before taking the stage due to a kidney infection. However, he aims to bring his best package to the 2023 Olympia.
Mostafa locked in his spot at the 2023 Mr. Olympia by seizing victory at the 2023 IFBB Vancouver Pro. It will be Mostafa’s second Olympia appearance. He last competed at the 2021 Olympia, where he had to contend with a 13th-place finish.
Mostafa could break into the top 10 and prove to be a threat to our pick for the number eight spot if he is at his 100% and Krizo misses his peak.
Nineteen athletes are expected to compete for the coveted Sandow trophy at the 2023 Olympia. In comparison, 36 bodybuilders took the field at the 58th edition of the show.
Olympia promoters and the IFBB Pro League can offer special invites to deserving bodybuilders. The 2022 Mr. Olympia silver medalist, Derek Lunsford, entered the contest via a special invite. Although the Olympia organizers have not offered any special invites at the time of this article’s publication, it can change at any moment.
How We Picked — 2023 Olympia Winner Prediction Criteria
This is how we chose our top eight picks:
1. Physique Updates
The Fitness Volt team has its finger on the pulse of the bodybuilding industry and keeps up with every pro bodybuilder. We analyze every new physique update put out by a bodybuilder on social media and compare it with their competitors.
Men’s Open division bodybuilders are judged on their muscle mass, symmetry, quality, and balance. We used the same benchmarks for these predictions.
2. Previous Performance
We look at recent show wins and the entire career trajectory of a bodybuilder to analyze if they are on the right path. Consistent progress is key to winning the Sandow trophy.
3. Fan Favorites
If you think a bodybuilder’s popularity has absolutely zero impact on his performance at the Olympia, think again. Professional bodybuilders spend considerable resources building a social media following for a reason.
Here is another interesting fact: Each year, one of the frontrunners for the Sandow trophy is awarded the People’s Choice Award. Hadi Choopan won this award at the 2020 and 2021 Olympia. Choopan earned his maiden Olympia gold medal at the 2022 Olympia.
2023 Mr. Olympia Qualified Contestants
Twenty-four bodybuilders are qualified to compete at the 2023 Olympia.
- Brett Wilkin (USA) — Withdrawn
- Hadi Choopan (Iran)
- Derek Lunsford (USA)
- Nick Walker (USA)
- Brandon Curry (USA)
- Mamdouh Elssbiay (Egypt) — Withdrawn
- Samson Dauda (United Kingdom)
- Behrooz Tabani (Iran)
- Tony Burton (USA)
- Ross Flanigan (USA)
- Iain Valliere (Canada) — Withdrawn
- Michal Krizanek (Slovakia)
- Phil Clahar (USA)
- Andrea Presti (Italy)
- Hassan Mostafa (Egypt)
- Justin Shier (USA)
- Roman Fritz (Germany)
- Hunter Labrada (USA)
- Chinedu Andrew Obiekea [Andrew Jacked] (UAE)
- Kamal Elgargni (Libya) — Withdrawn
- Nathan De Asha (United Kingdom)
- Regan Grimes (Canada)
- Theo Leguerrier (France)
- Charles Griffen (USA)
Qualified Bodybuilders Who Will Not Compete at the 2023 Olympia
The following four qualified bodybuilders have withdrawn from the Olympia:
Arguably, the biggest letdown heading into the 2023 Olympia is Walker’s unfortunate withdrawal just two days before taking the stage due to a hamstring tear.
“The Mutant” placed fifth in his rookie year at the Olympia in 2021. He brought a much better package the following year to secure a bronze medal. Walker is one of the most popular bodybuilders of this era and won the People’s Choice Award at the 2022 Olympia. He was considered one of the biggest threats to Choopan’s Olympia throne at the 59th edition of the Olympia.
Wilkin became the first bodybuilder to qualify for the 2023 Olympia by winning the 2022 Big Man Weekend Pro show. However, the would-be debutant backed out of the Olympia four weeks before the contest due to digestive issues that led him to lose 17 pounds in two weeks.
Nathan De Asha
Asha competed at the Olympia in 2017 and 2018, finishing seventh and eighth, respectively. The British bodybuilder had momentum behind him heading into the 2023 Olympia, as he was coming off two pro show victories — 2023 IFBB Flex Pro and 2023 IFBB Sheru Classic France Pro. However, De Asha won’t be competing at the 2023 Olympia as he was denied entry into the US due to visa-related issues and had to return to the UK from the Orlando airport.
The two-time Mr. Olympia champion Big Ramy ruled himself out of the 2023 Mr. Olympia to allow his body to recuperate from injuries.
Canadian bodybuilder Iain Valliere announced his retirement from competitive bodybuilding two months before the 2023 Olympia. He aspires to pursue a career as an IFBB Pro League judge.
As a former 212 Olympia champion, Elgargni is qualified for life to compete at the Olympia in the division. However, he won the 2023 Masters Olympia, qualifying him for the 2023 Men’s Open division. After his brother was diagnosed with cancer, Elgargni withdrew from the Olympia owing to family commitments.
2023 Mr. Olympia Schedule
Catch the Men’s Open division action on the following dates and times:
November 3, 2023 — Friday
- 6 p.m.* — Mr. Olympia Pre-Judging
Location: Orange County Convention Center (West Hall A)
November 4, 2023 — Saturday
- 7 p.m.* — Mr. Olympia Finals
Location: Orange County Convention Center (West Hall A)
*All times are in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
How To Watch the 2023 Olympia
The 59th edition of Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend is set for Nov. 2-5, 2023, in Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center.
At the time of writing, the tickets for the Mr. Olympia Finals (Nov. 4) are sold out. However, you can get the tickets for the pre-judging (Nov. 3) on the official Olympia website for $175.00. Fans who cannot attend the show in person can catch the live action on the Olympia Productions website by ordering the pay-per-view for $74.99.
Alternatively, stay updated with the 2023 Olympia by tuning into Fitness Volt’s live event coverage.
All Mr. Olympia Winners
Here is the list of all Mr. Olympia champions since 1965:
|2022||Hadi Choopan||Las Vegas, NV|
|2021||Mamdouh Elssbiay||Orlando, FL|
|2020||Mamdouh Elssbiay||Orlando, FL|
|2019||Brandon Curry||Las Vegas, NV|
|2018||Shawn Rhoden||Las Vegas, NV|
|2017||Phil Heath||Las Vegas, NV|
|2016||Phil Heath||Las Vegas, NV|
|2015||Phil Heath||Las Vegas, NV|
|2014||Phil Heath||Las Vegas, NV|
|2013||Phil Heath||Las Vegas, NV|
|2012||Phil Heath||Las Vegas, NV|
|2011||Phil Heath||Las Vegas, NV|
|2010||Jay Cutler||Las Vegas, NV|
|2009||Jay Cutler||Las Vegas, NV|
|2008||Dexter Jackson||Las Vegas, NV|
|2007||Jay Cutler||Las Vegas, NV|
|2006||Jay Cutler||Las Vegas, NV|
|2005||Ronnie Coleman||Las Vegas, NV|
|2004||Ronnie Coleman||Las Vegas, NV|
|2003||Ronnie Coleman||Las Vegas, NV|
|2002||Ronnie Coleman||Las Vegas, NV|
|2001||Ronnie Coleman||Las Vegas, NV|
|2000||Ronnie Coleman||Las Vegas, NV|
|1999||Ronnie Coleman||Las Vegas, NV|
|1998||Ronnie Coleman||New York, NY|
|1997||Dorian Yates||Los Angeles, CA|
|1996||Dorian Yates||Chicago, IL|
|1995||Dorian Yates||Atlanta, GA|
|1994||Dorian Yates||Atlanta, GA|
|1993||Dorian Yates||Atlanta, GA|
|1992||Dorian Yates||Helsinki, Finland|
|1991||Lee Haney||Orlando, FL|
|1990||Lee Haney||Chicago, IL|
|1989||Lee Haney||Rimini, Italy|
|1988||Lee Haney||Los Angeles, CA|
|1987||Lee Haney||Gothenburg, Sweden|
|1986||Lee Haney||Columbus, OH|
|1985||Lee Haney||Brussels, Belgium|
|1984||Lee Haney||New York, NY|
|1983||Samir Bannout||Munich, Germany|
|1982||Chris Dickerson||London, England|
|1981||Franco Columbu||Columbus, OH|
|1980||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Sydney, Australia|
|1979||Frank Zane||Columbus, OH|
|1978||Frank Zane||Columbus, OH|
|1977||Frank Zane||Columbus, OH|
|1976||Franco Columbu||Columbus, OH|
|1975||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Pretoria, South Africa|
|1974||Arnold Schwarzenegger||New York, NY|
|1973||Arnold Schwarzenegger||New York, NY|
|1972||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Essen, Germany|
|1971||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Paris France|
|1970||Arnold Schwarzenegger||New York, NY|
|1969||Sergio Oliva||New York, NY|
|1968||Sergio Oliva||New York, NY|
|1967||Sergio Oliva||New York, NY|
|1966||Larry Scott||New York, NY|
|1965||Larry Scott||New York, NY|
We expect the Sandow trophy to change hands at the 2023 Olympia, with Lunsford poised to succeed Choopan. Dauda and Curry are our picks for the third and fourth place, while Labrada will have to contend with a fifth-place finish.
Who do you think will hoist the coveted Sandow trophy at the 2023 Olympia? Let us know in the comments section below.