Hadi Choopan congratulated all the 2023 Olympia winners in an heartwarming Instagram post after walking off the stage prematurely. Newly crowned Mr. Olympia Derek Lunsford showed champion’s heart and responded kindly to the former champ.
Heading into the 2023 Olympia contest, reigning champion Hadi Choopan and Derek Lunsford were the favorites for the winner and runner-up spots. Looking at the previous year’s Olympia results, most industry experts predicted that Lunsford would be able to beat Choopan if he worked on the pecs and quads. While Hadi Choopan had better conditioning at 2023 Olympia, Derek Lunsford had the overall solid package with proportions, aesthetics and muscle development.
In the end, Derek Lunsford edged past ‘The Persian Wolf’ to become the first ever two-division Olympia champion in the history of the sport by bagging the 2023 Olympia trophy. He previously held the 212 Olympia title in 2021. Hadi Choopan, who was obviously unhappy with the decision, stormed off the stage during the last few formalities.
Choopan then posted a cryptic message in Farsi language on his personal Instagram account. The meaning of this message is not confirmed by any official source with credible knowledge of Farsi language. However, many people in the comments section claimed that Choopan apologized to his supporters for not achieving the goal of defending the Mr. Olympia title this past weekend.
Hadi Choopan congratulates 2023 Olympia winners
Hadi Choopan’s reaction to the 2023 Olympia loss was driven by emotions and extreme disappointment in his failure to defend the top spot. The act of storming off the stage was unanimously criticized within the bodybuilding community. However, he seems to be looking at the situation with a more balanced perspective.
In an Instagram post, the former Mr. Olympia congratulated all the 2023 Olympia winners for their performances but did not share comment on his reaction.
In the caption, Hadi Choopan wrote:
“Well done on your achievements. I congratulate all of you on the championship and I wish you the best. Good luck and happy championship to all of you.”
See the post below, courtesy of Choopan’s personal Instagram account:
Newly crowned Mr. Olympia Derek Lunsford, who was visibly upset after Choopan left the stage, gave props to the Iranian bodybuilder with a heartwarming comment on the post.
“Thank you champ. You push me to bring my best. The Persian Wolf is an animal in the gym. Thank you for holding me accountable to work harder everyday. God bless you and your family Hadi Choopan.”
Milos Sarcev defends Hadi Choopan – “Do not judge him for it”
Veteran bodybuilder Milos Sarcev offered an explanation on Hadi Choopan’s actions after the decision was announced. In a post on his personal Instagram account, Sarcev suggested that a lot is being made about Hadi Choopan storming off the stage. He believes that Choopan had worked incredibly hard to defend the title and simply walked off because he did not want to be there after the loss.
Sarcev’s post implies that Hadi Choopan leaving the stage had nothing to do with him being a perceived ‘sore loser’. Instead, it was just a reaction to his disappointment in his own failure to score a victory.
“Saluting great champion Hadi Choopan, pride of Iran. Highly respected in our industry as one of the very best bodybuilders in the world that could have arguably already earned himself multiple titles. He has set the conditioning standard on completely another level… “Hadi’s conditioning” and he certainly brought it again this year.”
“Many people saw him winning and defending his title. Classy in victory and defeat (as he has proven so many times) – he accepted his placing, gracefully congratulated his teammate, took a group photo and simply walked off the stage – that many people criticize him for. Do not judge him for it! Not many of us understand the mindset of the champions – He gave his all in the prep, came ready and felt worthy of winning the title – when he heard he lost – he simply didn’t want to be there for long. I would be willing to bet – he is already in the gym training.”
See the post below, courtesy of Milos Sarcev’s personal Instagram account:
Hadi Choopan’s actions may seem controversial to those looking from the outside in. While we admit that leaving the stage in disappointment is not the right way to handle a loss, it is important to understand that a world class athlete sacrifices a lot in his life to achieve competitive success and loss at the highest level can bring out negative reaction.
2023 Olympia Results
- 2023 Mr. Olympia Results All Divisions
- 2023 Classic Physique Olympia Results
- 2023 Men’s Physique Olympia Results
- 2023 Bikini Olympia Results
- 2023 Wheelchair Olympia Results
- 2023 212 Olympia Results
- 2023 Fitness Olympia Results
- 2023 Figure Olympia Results
- 2023 Women’s Physique Olympia Results
- 2023 Ms. Olympia Results
- 2023 Wellness Olympia Results