Former two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay’s sudden fall from grace at the 2022 Olympia came as a shock. A similar outcome at the 2023 Arnold Classic raised a lot of questions about his chances at this year’s Olympia. However, Big Ramy has put all the speculations to rest by announcing his decision to withdraw from the 2023 Olympia.
Big Ramy is an Egyptian IFBB Pro bodybuilder who is known for his insane size, massive quads, and muscle definition. He climbed the tallest mountain in the world of professional bodybuilding and became the 2020 Mr. Olympia, dethroning Brandon Curry in the process. The 39-year-old defended the top spot at the 2021 Olympia but a large section of the bodybuilding community opined that he left ‘a lot of doors open’ for the rising contenders to exploit.
2022 Olympia saw Big Ramy slide down to the fifth spot. This was one of the steepest falls in the history of Olympia champions. A variety of factors from misguided prep to excess use of diuretics were speculated to have resulted in Ramy bringing a flat physique at the show.
The former Mr. Olympia promised to fix the issues and recapture the title. He made a surprise entry into the 2023 Arnold Classic but had to be satisfied with another fourth-place finish. Calls for his retirement were getting louder at this point and some experts stated that it was impossible for the Egyptian bodybuilder to win the Mr. Olympia title again. But Big Ramy continued to work hard and refused to take time off from competition. However, he has changed his mind and decided to focus his energies on fixing the problems with the physique.
Big Ramy announces the decision to sit out the 2023 Olympia
Big Ramy joined Siddique Farooqui of RX Muscle for a conversation during the 2023 Dubai Pro. Ramy was asked to shed light on the future plan of action given the outcome of the 2022 Olympia and the 2023 Arnold Classic. Ramy revealed:
“I have to be smart to know the best time for me to be on the stage and the best time for me to stop a little bit. I think this year I have to get a break from the show and if I have the chance to bring a better version of myself and I can bring something different, yeah, I would be in the next show. But I think Olympia is the closest show. I’m not going to be in Olympia this year.”
“For many people in the Middle East, that’s not making them happy. But I work hard to give them the best version of Ramy and I don’t think this is the right time to go to Olympia this year. Me and my team spoke about that and I think the best thing we can do right now, we’re looking forward to the other goal. Yeah, we’re thinking about next year.”
Big Ramy has not missed any of the Olympia weekends since 2013. He will be in attendance at the 2023 Olympia weekend as well but as a spectator and not a competitor.
The 39-year-old is fully aware of the elite line-up in the Men’s Open division and feels that it will be a tough road to win the competition for each one of them. Although Ramy refused to predict the outcome of the 2023 Olympia, he gave his best wishes to all the competitors.
Watch Big Ramy’s complete interaction with Siddique Farooqui below, courtesy of RXMuscle’s YouTube channel:
Watch the detailed analysis of Big Ramy’s recent competitive history and announcement below, courtesy of Muscular Development’s YouTube channel: