Ronnie Coleman, a living legend with eight Mr. Olympia titles, has seen talent come and go since stepping away from the stage. In a recent YouTube video, Coleman named Derek Lunsford and Samson Dauda as his favorite two bodybuilders.
While making history as one of the winningest Mr. Olympia athletes to ever take part in the sport, Coleman built a massive physique that has stood the test of time. En route to defending his title for almost a decade, he battled on stage with fellow icons such as Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, and Flex Wheeler.
Since retirement in 2007, Coleman has been open about his career. He credits Flex Wheeler for helping him win his first Mr. Olympia after connecting with coach Chad Nicholls. The sport has certainly undergone changes since Ronnie’s time on top, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped sizing up the Men’s Open.
Weeks before last December’s 2022 Olympia event, Coleman predicted Derek Lunsford would serve as Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay’s greatest threat. However, the contest’s outcome saw Hadi Choopan reign supreme against a stellar lineup. Coleman was blown away by Lunsford’s runner-up appearance though, so much so, he is now predicting the former 212 champ will win 2023 Olympia this November.
Ronnie Coleman Discusses New Era: Names Derek Lunsford & Samson Dauda As His Favorite Athletes
Coleman named Derek Lunsford and 2023 Arnold Classic winner Samson Dauda as his favorite bodybuilders of this generation.
“My favorite bodybuilder at the moment, let’s see… hmm, Derek Lunsford, probably the number one favorite. Probably my number two favorite… I kind of like that guy that won the last Arnold Classic, name is Samson Dauda. If I had to pick a favorite, it’d be those two.”
After taking a closer look at today’s Open class, Coleman praised athletes for hard training and strict dieting.
“I see every generation has its own era. Mostly all of us have to work extremely hard and diet extremely hard and make the biggest sacrifices ever. So, I think that the next generation of bodybuilders is a pretty good class of guys. They work extremely hard. They train hard. They diet hard. So, I think the new generation is a pretty good generation,” said Ronnie Coleman.
Lastly, an optimistic Ronnie Coleman gave fans an update on his health.
“Well, I’m doing pretty good. I’m in great health and my last check-up was back in March. I had a really good clean bill of health as far as my last check-up goes. Now, I have another one probably in a couple of months. So, we’ll see how that goes. But for now, I’m doing pretty good.”
In addition to backing him as a title threat, Coleman recently collaborated with Derek Lunsford. They took part in a grueling back and biceps-focused training session. During the workout, Coleman introduced Derek as the next Mr. Olympia champion.
Whether Hadi Choopan defends successfully has become a topic of debate. William Bonac who decided to take the year off for improvements, believes Choopan will handily retain gold in a few months. However, 2022 third-place Olympia finisher Nick Walker doesn’t see ‘The Persian Wolf’ repeating as champion. Therefore, he predicted the outcome will be determined following a showdown between himself and Lunsford.
Meanwhile, former champ Big Ramy has set his sights on redemption. He finished fifth at the last Olympia and fourth at the 2023 Arnold Classic. Having received a stem cell treatment, fans are hopeful that Ramy will win back his title in Nov. but questions about his commitment to the sport continue to swirl as of late.
There’s no denying that the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest is shaping up to be even more unpredictable than the previous year’s edition. Fans look forward to seeing their favorite athletes back on stage, including Ronnie Coleman.