The Olympia qualification season came to an end on October 18th following the Chicago Pro this past weekend. That means there are no more opportunities to compete for a spot at the massive event that will be taking place in December this year. However, it’s not out of the ordinary for an athlete to receive a special invitation due to circumstances that warrant it.
Remember last year when Cedric McMillan was given a special invitation to the Olympia due to his military obligations? Well, it was the sort of a similar situation (but much different reasoning) for top Open competitor Big Ramy who tested positive a few weeks back as he was preparing for the Europa Pro qualifier but had to pull out.
This year has especially tough and unpredictable to say the least due to the Covid-19 situation. Not to mention, all events were canceled earlier on in the year. But competition resumed and competitors had the chance to qualify for the big show.
Big Ramy placed second to Phil Heath at the 2017 Mr. Olympia competition, nearly snagging the title. And if he accepts, it’s going to make for an exciting ending to an unfortunate year if he can show up with champion-caliber conditioning which wasn’t the case in 2018 with his disappointing 6th place finish.
He didn’t compete last year as a result but let’s see what happens especially with Phil Heath returning to try and win his eighth Mr. Olympia title. But he’ll also have to go up against current champion Brandon Curry and other top contenders like William Bonac, Hadi Choopan, and Dexter Jackson.
Here’s what the IFBB Pro League posted to their Instagram regarding the special invitation.
“Former Olympia Runner-Up Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay Receives Special Invitation”
“One of the world’s most popular bodybuilder’s will be onstage in December to compete for bodybuilding’s most prestigious title. Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay has received the coveted “Special Invitation” to compete at the 2020 Mr. Olympia contest. The Egyptian born champion fell short of securing enough qualifying points when he was forced to withdraw from a recent event following a positive Covid-19 test result.”
“In 2017, Big Ramy nearly defeated Phil Heath at the Mr. Olympia where he was forced to settle for 2nd. It turned out to be Heath’s final victory before he relinquished his title a year later.
Olympia President Dan Solomon explains, “The challenges of 2020 have impacted all of us in so many ways. After we took a close look at the unique circumstances, we all agreed that he would have qualified for the event if he hadn’t tested positive for the virus. The fans want to see the best in the world on the Olympia stage and Ramy will be an exciting addition to this year’s lineup.”
“As the star power of the 2020 Olympia continues to grow, reigning champ Brandon Curry is currently in Kuwait preparing to defend his title against 7-time champ Phil Heath, 2019 runner-up William Bonac, Iranian sensation Hadi Choopan, and several other challengers, including former champ Dexter Jackson who recently announced this will be his final Olympia appearance. The addition of Big Ramy sets up an epic clash at the Planet Hollywood Resort on the Vegas Strip.”
“IFBB Pro League President Jim Manion adds, “This year has presented our sport with some unique circumstances. We are proud to offer Big Ramy this special invitation and we look forward to welcoming the best athletes in the world to Las Vegas in December.”
Witness history December 17-20 as Trifecta Presents Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend brought to you by Northern Chill and by Wings of Strength. Get more info at www.MrOlympia.com”