It appears Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay‘s contest plans have yet to be finalized. In a recent YouTube video with Bob Cicherillo, Ramy suggested that he might take the year off and return at the 2024 Mr. Olympia competition.
As a two-time Mr. Olympia, many in the sport suspected Ramy’s reign would last a few more years, such as eight-time winner, Ronnie Coleman. However, Elssbiay’s hopes of retaining his title were neutralized at the 2022 Olympia where Hadi Choopan asserted himself as the first Iranian-born champion. Meanwhile, Ramy fell off the podium in fifth place.
Determined to make a statement in his comeback, Ramy entered the 2023 Arnold Classic on short notice. He once again faced off with Nick Walker and Samson Dauda. While he brought an improved package from his Olympia look, judges still saw Ramy in fourth place with Walker and Andrew Jacked behind the newly crowned champion, Samson Dauda.
In light of the Arnold Classic and Olympia results, fans and even some bodybuilding figureheads have called on Elssbiay to either take a break or retire. Event announcer Bob Cicherillo is among them and took to a handful of Voice of Bodybuilding podcasts to lay out why Ramy won’t succeed in winning another Sandow.
Even though Ramy mentioned earlier this year that his intention was to continue competing, some believe he’s changed his mind. Speaking with Cicherillo, Big Ramy shared his competition plans on the horizon.
Big Ramy’s Next Competition Unclear, Hints at Taking Year Off After 2023 Pittsburgh Pro Guest Posing
Big Ramy says ‘he’s fighting to do better’ and believes it’s possible fans won’t see him back on stage until the 2024 Mr. Olympia. It should be noted that Ramy is a former Mr. Olympia, therefore, he’s qualified to compete at Olympia contests for life.
“But I had to now, my passion for the people is growing every day. And I have a lot of fans in my country and they love me; a lot of the world, they believe I can do more. I’m fighting to do better,” Big Ramy said.
But that’s up to you and your trainer Chad, you put together the game plan. So, you’re not going to do anything until next year’s Olympia at best right? So we don’t need to see you on stage before that?” asks Bob Cicherillo.
“No [I won’t be on stage again this year] Well, maybe in Pittsburgh,” added Ramy.
Dennis James, who runs The Menace Podcast, took issue with some of Bob Cicherillo’s criticisms regarding Big Ramy. James accused Bob of using a ‘misleading’ comparison, which juxtaposed two different lat spreads of Big Ramy nearly 10 years apart from each other.
Cicherillo has remained in the headlines following Ramy’s last two performances. Given Samson Dauda’s victory in Columbus, Ohio, Bob named him alongside Derek Lunsford as Hadi Choopan’s biggest threats. Nick Walker, who took third at last year’s Olympia, recently said he doesn’t see Choopan ‘repeating’ as champion when all is said and done.
Big Ramy’s competition schedule appears to be tentative. However, he plans to be in attendance to guest pose at the 2023 Pittsburgh Pro after no-showing last year. Many believe the Pittsburgh Pro guest posing serves as an appetizer for what’s to come on the Mr. Olympia stage in November.