Nick Walker is mapping out his plans for the future after Derek Lunsford upset Hadi Choopan to claim the 2023 Mr. Olympia title. In a recent YouTube video, Walker revealed he won’t compete at the nearing Arnold Classic in March, reflected on his injury, and explained why he deserves a special invite to 2024 Mr. Olymia.
“Once I win the Olympia maybe then I’ll return, but my focus is Olympias,” Walker shared.
No one could have predicted how last week’s Olympia festivities would unfold. Leading up to the headliner on Friday and Saturday night, the community was rocked by a pair of unforeseen events. First, 2022 Olympia third-place finisher Nick Walker announced that he was out of the competition after sustaining a severe hamstring tear in the middle of a chest workout.
Then, Brandon Curry, a former Mr. Olympia winner, was rushed to the hospital after an issue with ulcers. He missed the annual press conference and his participation was in jeopardy until just hours before taking to the stage. Now, it seems the Arnold Classic will have to go on without Walker too.
“I Could Not Walk At All” – Nick Walker Reflects on Hamstring Tear That Prevented His 2023 Mr. Olympia Entry
“It was last Tuesday was when I actually felt it. I wasn’t even training legs, I was training chest and I kind of remember just standing up and I felt a tinge. I didn’t think nothing of it I just thought it was oh, a little jolt or something. As I got home and stuff, it was still bothering me.Wednesday morning I had my wife Maria just rub it out and as she was rubbing it, it was one of the most painful things in the world. Wednesday when I wanted to go work out, it started to bruise, it started to inflame a little bit, so I just kind of knew in that moment like fuck me right?”Thursday, I sent pictures to Matt and it just really got worse and it was blurring all the lines and we went to train on Thursday, did shoulders and after that workout specifically, I just couldn’t walk. I could not walk at all. Friday I was supposed to train legs, it was my last leg day, I obviously didn’t do it,” Walker shared.
“I trained back but it was hard. I just couldn’t walk. Literally, I couldn’t walk. We still tried. Saturday, we had all our shit packed. We came here and kind of panicked a little bit and tried to get as much work on it as we could. And I think that kind of just made it worse.”“It was a freak accident.”
“No I don’t do that shit [MRIs]. No it’s not going to need surgery, it just needs rest. I had this happen in 2018, I tore this hamstring. I already know this like the inside of my hand. It’s simple shit.”
“I just think this one is more severe. For one, I was less body fat right now when this happened, which is why it looked as bad as it does. Two when this side happened, I didn’t touch it I let it be. So it didn’t, I didn’t irritate it. So it’s the same tear.”
“We panicked and should of just left it alone. Granted I probably still wouldn’t of been able to do the show but it wouldn’t have looked as bad as it did.”
As for his future, Walker made it clear he won’t be competing at the 2024 Arnold Classic. In light of his unique circumstances, he feels a special invitation to 2024 Mr. Olympia is justified:
“No. I’m not doing it. No, I’m not doing that [2024 Arnold Classic]. I don’t need it. I already have an Arnold Classic, my goal is the Olympia.”
“For the Olympia, yeah of course. I don’t want to be arrogant, but I think I deserve one [a special invitation] to be honest. It wasn’t like I dropped out right? This is something I couldn’t control, this is beyond my control, and I like to think I bring a lot of excitement to the shows as well. With how good this prep was and with how everything was going I personally think my competitors are very lucky I’m not doing it this year.”
With the IFBB changing its rule so only the top three Mr. Olympia finishers receive automatic qualifications, Nick Walker is not currently eligible to compete at 2024 Mr. Olypia. There are only two routes that lead back to the big stage: winning a Pro show or receiving a special invitation from the Olympia promotion.
The last bodybuilder to accept a special invitation for the Olympia was Derek Lunsford in 2022. At the time, he was the reigning 212 Olympia titleholder, and he capitalized on his Open debut with a shocking second-place finish.
Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t see “The Mutant” back on the Arnold Classic stage this year. However, in the months to come, fans will have a clearer picture of the lineup expected to compete at the second biggest event of the year.