Bodybuilder Samson Dauda turned in a sensational appearance at the 2022 Mr. Olympia last month. The contest received criticism after it got dragged on for several hours, with reports indicating challenges in production. In a recent video posted on YouTube, Dauda shared his side of what went down at the Olympia and how he managed to power through the difficulties.
Samson Dauda rose to prominence for his stellar combination of muscle size and symmetry in the Men’s Open division in 2018. He made a name for himself by competing regularly at many shows in the IFBB Pro League. In 2020, he emerged as one of the most promising talents in the UK after strong performances at the IFBB British Grand Prix and the IFBB Europa Pro Championships.
Dauda narrowly missed out on winning the 2021 Arnold Classic UK and finished runner-up behind champion Nathan De Asha. He went on to win the EVLS Prague Pro a few months later, which secured his spot in the Olympia lineup. ‘The Nigerian Lion’ racked up consecutive fourth-place finishes at the 2022 Arnold Sports Festival and IFBB Boston Pro before making his way to the most prestigious fitness showcase in the world.
Samson turned heads on stage in Las Vegas and broke through the top six in his Olympia debut. Following the outcome, a major talking point of the show was the production itself.
Bodybuilding icon Jay Cutler, a four-time Mr. Olympia, took issue with the contest dragging out the production. He believes the Men’s Open division, traditionally the main attraction, should have been prioritized instead of the other categories. He also bashed making the Open competitors wait as it likely impacted their performance.
Last month, Men’s Open athlete James Hollingshead sounded off on his lackluster experience participating at the Olympia. He highlighted the need for better conditions backstage, especially regarding the lack of space and proper lighting.
Samson Dauda reveals his experience of competing at the 2022 Mr. Olympia
In a recent YouTube video, Samson Dauda shared his experience of competing at the 2022 Mr. Olympia.
He gave his take on what went wrong at the event along with what could’ve been improved. Although they were required to be at the venue at 6 pm, they did not take to the stage until around 11 pm. Dauda detailed how his prior experience helped him power through the challenges.
“We’ve been waited that whole time backstage. We sat there, waiting, and everything else. Because I’ve done so many shows all around Europe and the world, everywhere else, in an odd way, we are used to waiting in backstage,” said Dauda. “A lot of guys that want to catch on to Olympia only do big shows. They are probably not used to that themselves. But we are used to that like be backstage for seven o’clock and you don’t go on stage till 10 o’clock. We know that.
Take your meals with you, take the water, whatever you need, go down backstage and just lay down and fall asleep and just relax like you’re in the hotel. If the next meal time comes up, you have that meal and wait. When they tell you there’s an hour, 45 minutes, or 20 minutes left, that’s what you have. But still play it like you’re in your hotel room waiting. Just try to relax.”
“We just played it by ear and not by the idea of okay, we have to be on at this time and why are you not on at this time. It’s having that experience where we’ve been backstage so many times and they never go exactly the time you got to be on. As an athlete, you have to prepare for that. That’s your job to be a professional. You’re supposed to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
Dauda admits it could have been more difficult for him, similar to some of the other competitors who did not have the same level of experience as him.
“It could have been really stressful because honestly when you’re sitting there, waiting with the idea of like, ‘okay, I gotta go.’ The stress level builds. If you learn to just relax and just take it like you were in your hotel room. It’s a lot harder when you’re sitting there and basically all squashed together trying to find a space. But once you have your space, you just relax and try to relax as much as you can. That’s what we did.”
Samson Dauda is currently in preparations for his next showing at the upcoming 2023 Arnold Classic, scheduled for Mar. 2-5 in Columbus, Ohio. He will battle it out with the likes of Nick Walker, former Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay, and 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida. Despite the intense competition, many believe Dauda can score a victory if he comes in his best form.