The Men’s Open lineup for the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest just decreased by one competitor. In a recent YouTube video published Sept. 7, Iain Valliere officially announced his exit from bodybuilding. He clarified that the decision stemmed from a lack of passion for competing and the health ramifications associated with the sport.
“We’re here to announce my departure from the stage of competitive bodybuilding. Yeah… I don’t even know where I start with this. This wasn’t a decision that came quickly. This is something that’s been on the back of my mind for well over a year. I think over the last few months it started to creep into my mind as more of a reality,” Iain Valliere revealed.
Open Class’ Iain Valliere was brimming with potential the moment he arrived in bodybuilding. However, in 2018, fans immediately took notice of his hard muscle density and conditioning on his way to taking 14th place in his maiden Mr. Olympia showing. In the years to follow, Valliere became a regular face amongst the top talent in the Open class.
When he returned to his next Olympia competition in 2020, Valliere displayed vast improvements to his physique, having earned seventh place against a stacked lineup that featured Hadi Choopan, Phil Heath, Brandon Curry, and former two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh Elssbiay.
In 2021, Valliere remained active in North America competing at four shows in total. He picked up notable victories at the Tampa and Texas Pro before taking runner-up to Nick Walker at the Arnold Classic that same season. When he stepped up for the sport’s biggest show of the year, Valliere defended his seventh-place spot when the pressure was on.
Valliere faced obstacles last year after claiming gold at the 2022 Vancouver Pro. With his qualification in hand, Valliere attempted to improve on the Olympia stage but fell to 11th place. He said nutritional issues like sodium played a role in the performance. He bounced back recently at the 2023 Toronto Pro Supershow. And while fans expected him to take to the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest in less than two months, it now appears Valliere has stepped away from competing for good.
Iain Valliere Issues Statement on Retirement, Chris Bumstead & Bodybuilding Community React
According to Valliere, he was beginning to get older (32 going on 33) and wants to have kids in the future. He said that health risks and “desire and passion” for actually competing were major factors that influenced his exit from the sport
“I started to get older into my 30s and Melissa and I are at the phase where we want to have kids. The thought of the risks that I was putting myself in when you’re also pairing that with maybe a lack of desire and passion for actually competing. ”
“It wasn’t a decision that came quickly. It’s something I could feel that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. I felt that really became apparent to me when I was still winning shows and it wasn’t making me excited anymore. The idea of competing at this year’s Olympia really didn’t make me excited anymore.
I remember how I felt — my first two or three Olympias and I was so excited to get there and so excited to compete and to be a part of that experience. That wasn’t something that really felt like a goal that was in my mind that was something that really made me excited. It was something I felt like I kind of done. I was starting to get anxious and ancy for the next phase of my life.”
Valliere is content with how many years he put into bodybuilding. He added that he no longer had the same level of excitement to compete as he once had.
“I’ve been doing this for 15 years. I’m only 32 – almost 33… but I started doing this when I was 18. So when you put it into context with someone who was competing from 25, that’s competing until 40 you know. I’ve done almost 30 bodybuilding shows and I’ve been Pro for a decade.”
“It was just not something that I was feeling an excitement to do anymore. When you pair that with the potential health consequences associated with bodybuilding, it was just getting harder and harder in my mind to justify what I was doing.”
“I’m never going to stop going to the gym and training hard,” added Iain Valliere.
While the decision was difficult to make, Valliere emphasized that his body ‘didn’t want to do this anymore’ and his mind followed.
“That phase of my life being 280+ 99% of the year, the chemical side that comes with it, it was just not something that really felt like me anymore. I really could feel I was putting – pushing myself through the motions.”
“My body just didn’t want to be doing this anymore because my mind didn’t want to be doing it anymore. Obviously, it was a decision that wasn’t easy to pull the trigger on.”
“I was so hyper-focused about fear of the future that it was just sucking me dry of any enjoyment of actually doing what I was doing. I think bodybuilding is awesome. I think that if you love bodybuilding, you should be a bodybuilder.”
Valliere shared that even if he placed higher at 2023 Olympia this year, it wouldn’t incentivize him to continue further.
“Even if I was to go to this year’s Olympia and place better than I’ve ever placed, say I came sixth, I don’t know how realistic that is but we’ll speak in hypotheticals, even if I was to… I would not feel any different. It wouldn’t make me more excited about bodybuilding.”
“It’s been a week since I really made this decision. About a week since I officially made the decision and it’s a week already that I’ve been eating when I’m hungry and eating when I want to eat. It’s been very liberating.”
“Wouldn’t be where I am or who I am without you brother. Proud of your career and this decision.”
Valliere’s IFBB Pro League Competition History
- 2015 Toronto Pro Supershow, IFBB Men’s Bodybuilding, 5th place
- 2016 Toronto Pro Supershow, IFBB Men’s Bodybuilding, 7th place
- 2016 Vancouver Pro, IFBB Men’s Bodybuilding, 9th place
- 2018 Indy Pro – 4th
- 2018 Vancouver Pro – 4th
- 2018 Big Man Weekend Pro Men’s Bodybuilding – 1st
- 2018 Olympia – 14th
- 2019 Toronto Pro Men’s Bodybuilding – 2nd
- 2019 Vancouver Pro Men’s Bodybuilding – 4th
- 2019 Portugal Pro Bodybuilding – 3rd
- 2019 Tampa Pro Men’s Bodybuilding – 3rd
- 2020 Tampa Pro Men’s Bodybuilding – 2nd
- 2020 New York Pro Men’s Bodybuilding – 1st
- 2020 Mr. Olympia – 7th
- 2021 Tampa Pro – 1st
- Texas Pro 2021 – 1st
- 2021 Arnold Classic Ohio – 2nd
- 2021 Mr. Olympia – 7th
- 2022 Vancouver Pro – 1st
- 2022 Mr. Olympia – 11th
- 2023 Toronto Pro Supershow – 1st
Known for his brash nature, Iain Valliere leaves behind an incredible career full of highs and impressive feats on stage. He will always be considered one of the greatest Canadian bodybuilders to ever grace the IFBB Pro stages and we at Fitness Volt look forward to the next chapter of his life!