Bodybuilder Hadi Choopan etched his name in the record books as the first Iranian to win the Mr. Olympia competition last December. To honor his monumental achievement, a massive ten-foot-tall statue of Choopan was unveiled in Iran.
Hadi Choopan gained attention for his insane conditioning and symmetry as a Men’s Open and 212 competitor. He rose to prominence in 2017 at the IFBB Asia Grand Prix, where Choopan narrowly missed out on the top prize to legendary 212 competitor Flex Lewis.
He scored his first win in the IFBB Pro League 212 class at the 2018 Portugal Pro. His potential as a bodybuilder was evident from the start but there were many obstacles in his way such as the disturbed relations between the US and Iran, which would ultimately present difficulties for Choopan when it came to getting a visa.
Choopan later decided to switch to the Open category. He dominated the competition at the 2019 Vancouver Pro before impressing everyone with a third-place finish at the Olympia. Choopan proved to be one of the most disciplined athletes in the sport by staying in the top four at Olympia contests for the next two years.
In 2022, Choopan was tasked with dethroning two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay. He also had to beat Nick Walker and former 212 Olympia victor Derek Lunsford, who recently made his way to the Open division following a special invitation.
Hadi emerged as the winner of the 2022 Mr. Olympia and became the first Iranian born champion. During his post-show speech, ‘The Persian Wolf’ dedicated his victory to the women and people of the country of Iran.
Hadi Choopan unveils ten-foot-tall statue in Iran
In a recent Instagram post, Hadi Choopan gave fans a look at the ten-foot-tall statue that got built in his honor by a group of local artists in his homeland of Iran.
The statue is reminiscent of the eight-foot-tall bronze piece of legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger in Columbus, Ohio.
Choopan’s name has been in the news, but for different reasons lately. Bodybuilding veteran Rich Gaspari criticized Hadi Choopan after his win at the Olympia due to his conditioning. Gaspari drew a comparison between the backs of Choopan and six-time Mr. Olympia champ Dorian Yates. Choopan fired back at Gaspari for the comparison and called on him to be more professional.
Choopan’s win meant a lot to the country of Iran. He received a hero’s welcome back when he returned to his homeland after the last Olympia. Hadi is laser focused and dedicated to keeping the title in Iran moving forward.