The 2023 Olympia (Nov. 2-5) is underway at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Of the 11 divisions featured at Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend, Mr. Olympia (Men’s Open division) is the only contest that spans two days. The two-day format adds an extra layer of thrill and suspense to the show. The reigning champion, Hadi Choopan, entered the show aiming to win his second-consecutive Sandow trophy.
The 2022 Olympia silver medalist Derek Lunsford and 2023 Arnold Classic champion Samson Dauda were considered Choopan’s most formidable competitors heading into the 2023 Olympia. This notion was confirmed during the final callouts.
Choopan held back no punches at the 2023 Olympia presser. “I’m a wolf, and I’m here to do the hunting. I’m not scared of any lions or elephants,” said Choopan in the Olympia presser, referring to Dauda and his moniker “The Nigerian Lion.”
The unexpected exit of 2022 Olympia bronze medalist Nick Walker, just two days before the 2023 Olympia due to a hamstring tear, was one of the most disheartening developments leading up to the event. His absence left a noticeable void on the stage.
Nonetheless, here is a turn-by-turn breakdown of the 2023 Mr. Olympia pre-judging round:
Individual Posing Round
Andrew Jacked opened the pre-judging routine and came out of the gates hot, setting the tone of the competition right from the beginning.
Hassan Mostafa stood out in the initial individual posing round because of the sheer muscle mass on his relatively small frame. Michal Krizanek “Krizo” showed up with his signature muscle size and density, determined to improve on his 12th-place finish from the 2022 Olympia.
Samson Dauda had the crowd fired up as soon as he stepped on the stage. He is arguably the finest poser in the Men’s Open division and knows how to highlight his strengths while concealing his weaknesses, not that he has many.
Lunsford had the wildest crowd response. Everything is bigger and rounder with Derek Lunsford this year at the Olympia. He has significantly improved his chest and shoulders, which were not his best suits at the 2022 Olympia. Although he brought a bigger physique from the previous year, he also improved his conditioning.
The only other Olympia champion at the 2023 Olympia, Brandon Curry, was hospitalized a day before the show due to ulcers and missed the press conference and the athlete check-in meeting. However, he was cleared to compete by the doctors and looked dangerous in the pre-judging round.
Choopan knows how to work a crowd, and he was at his finest in the individual posing round. He is as wide as a house, symmetrical, rock-hard, and grainy, and most importantly, much more improved than the previous year.
Judging by the crow response, Dauda, Lunsford, and Labrada were the favorites to win it all at the 59th edition of the Olympia.
Choopan, Lunsford, Dauda, Jacked, Labrada, and Curry were in the first callout at the 2023 Mr. Olympia. IFBB Pro League head judge Steve Weinberger put the athletes through the paces and switched up their positions to ensure a fair and comprehensive comparison.
Krizo, Mostafa, Regan Grimes, Charles Griffen, and Tonio Burton were in the second callout. Krizo and Grimes were centerstage throughout this comparison and fighting for a chance to move into the final callout.
Samson, Lunsford, and Choopan were in the final callout, making them the frontrunners to win the 59th edition of the Olympia. Each bodybuilder got their turn in the middle, and the crows went wild each time the athletes swapped positions.
Although Samson, Lunsford, and Choopan appear to lead the pack, nothing is set in stone yet. As per Olympia tradition, the Men’s Open division finals will serve as the grand finale of the entire event, scheduled for November 4 (Saturday), 2023, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.
If Choopan emerges victorious, he will be the 12th bodybuilder to win multiple Mr. Olympia titles. However, if “The Persian Wolf” slips on the final day, we will have our 18th Mr. Olympia champion crowned.
2023 Olympia Schedule
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023
Olympia Prejudging — *9:30 am
- Classic Physique
- Men’s Physique
- Pro Wheelchair (Prejudging & Finals)
Olympia Saturday Finals — *7:00 pm
- Mr. Olympia
- Classic Physique
- Men’s Physique
*All times are in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
2023 Olympia Results
- 2023 Mr. Olympia Results All Divisions
- Men’s 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
Friday Prejudging Recap:
- Men’s 212 Prejudging Report
- Fitness Prejudging Report
- Figure Prejudging Report
- Women’s Physique Prejudging Report
- Ms. Olympia Prejudging Report
- Wellness Prejudging Report