Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay, a former two-time Mr. Olympia, is now under pressure to retire. In an Instagram stories post, Ramy questioned those calling for him to step away from bodybuilding and reflected on his recent performances.
Elssbiay succeeded in taking the Mr. Olympia throne from Brandon Curry in 2020. He used a combination of freaky leg volume, sheer mass, and conditioning to retain his title the following year. However, he missed a guest posing appearance at Jim Manion’s Pittsburgh Pro last May. Ramy apologized over two weeks later for the mishap.
Aiming to defend his title in Las Vegas at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, the Egyptian native entered the competition as the clear favorite but was sidelined on stage for most of the night. Hadi Choopan claimed gold and Elssbiay shockingly fell to fifth place.
Elssbiay, led by his trainer, Chad Nicholls, decided to enter the 2023 Arnold Classic on short notice. With redemption and a $300,000 check on the line, Ramy delivered improvements but still finished fourth. Some have suggested that Elssbiay wasn’t given a fair look at either of his recent contests.
In a Voice of Bodybuilding podcast, athletes’ rep Bob Cicherillo took a closer look at the controversy surrounding Big Ramy and his placements. He denied that Ramy was overlooked as part of a conspiracy theory, like missing the Pittsburgh Pro. In addition, Cicherillo revealed that he doesn’t believe Big Ramy is ‘capable’ of winning another Sandow.
Big Ramy Opens Up on Bodybuilding Future, Addresses Those Calling for Retirement: “I’ll Stay”
It’s unclear if Ramy was responding to Bob Cicherillo, but regardless, the former Mr. Olympia has made it clear he plans on continuing his bodybuilding career.
“Hey guys, I need to talk about something today, I had somebody, he – he needs to me to be retired from the bodybuilding world – need me to stop doing any shows anymore. I don’t know this advice for what, I think I did well with shows this year. I think I respected everyone the last 10 years when doing this game, and in the end, I don’t hear about this advice to come to any bodybuilder before. I don’t know why. I don’t know for any reasons. But I think I did well all my life. I think the last show, I did my best and I come in the best version for me.
I just need to say that because already I believe in myself and I think that I did well. In the end, I don’t know why this advice comes just – in the end, I respect everyone, but I need to say something: I did this sport because I love it. If someone don’t like me to compete, why didn’t you give this advice for some people before? I don’t know why. But anyways, I will stay – love everyone because it’s my personality like this. I never change it to nobody else because I’ve always said in that way, that is the only way to have a nice life and love the people and respect everyone, thank you,” Big Ramy shared.
In addition to fans, bodybuilding veteran Zack ‘King’ Khan has suggested outside factors affected Ramy’s Olympia outcome. In a Muscular Development interview, Khan thought social media influenced the judges’ decision-making process and said Ramy deserved more comparisons against the men who placed above him.
RELATED: Chad Nicholls Details Big Ramy’s ‘Disaster’ 2022 Olympia Prep: “Everything Went Wrong”
As a former Mr. Olympia winner, Big Ramy is guaranteed a lifetime invitation to compete at the event. With nearly eight months of preparation ahead, Ramy plans to prove his naysayers wrong in November.
Catch full coverage of the 2023 Arnold Classic, including pre-judging, event recaps, analysis, and final and full results at our Arnold Classic coverage hub: FitnessVolt.com/arnold-classic
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