Bodybuilder Sergio Oliva Jr. will not compete at the 2023 Arnold Classic South America contest taking place later this month. He confirmed the news in a recent Olympia TV interview while mapping out his current season in the sport.
Sergio Oliva Jr. is the son of bodybuilding legend and three-time Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva. Times have certainly changed since his father’s reign at the top when shape, balance, and proportions dominated the podium. The Men’s Open division slowly moved toward bigger versions of their predecessors with mass monsters taking center stage.
One of the competitors, Sergio Oliva Jr., built a career over the last decade with a unique blend of muscularity, size, and aesthetics. During his tenure, Oliva Jr. bounced back from a number of setbacks, like an arm nerve issue in 2020. His last competition came at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro, where he finished third, behind Regan Grimes and Shaun Clarida.
All signs pointed to his impending comeback given his recent physique updates. However, Oliva Jr. was involved in a car accident that resulted in a man losing his life, which looks to have stalled his chances of making a competitive return. The upcoming Arnold Classic South America show was on his radar, but he’s now confirmed the contest is officially off the table.
Sergio Oliva Jr. Won’t Compete at 2023 AC South America: ‘Shooting for the Next Show’
Oliva Jr. hasn’t given up on his motivations to become a Mr. Olympia. He confirmed he won’t compete at the 2023 Arnold Classic South America show April 14-16. Sergio’s tentative plan is to target ‘the next show or maybe the one after that.’
“You know what, I can do this. It’s great to see people that are watching me from an amateur until now – and on social media, I think people are just like, ‘If you don’t get first place then you’re not progressing and you’re not a good bodybuilder.’ But if you watched the sport before Ronnie Coleman, you’d know there were a lot of people that were trying, trying, trying, and then they hit it. You have to fill your body out sometimes and you have to make progress. It’s cool to see some of my favorite people in the sport that see that in me.”
He still hopes to attend the event as a guest for his sponsor Blackstone Labs but said he won’t compete after serving time in a Dubai jail following the car accident.
“No. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be competing there. I never even really said I was going to be competing there it was just the show I wanted to shoot for. I really wanted to qualify early and get this Olympia qualification off my back. I haven’t been to the Olympia since Shawn Rhoden won in 2018. So I really just wanted to get that off my back and then I could continue growing until the Olympia and be a force. That was kind of one of the shows in the beginning that I was thinking about. I’m still trying to go there for Black Skull – my sponsor,” added Sergio Oliva Jr.
“Competing in the show, I’m not going to be doing it. With the travel restrictions that I have, it wasn’t going to be for sure that I was going to be able to travel. So, I’m continuing to push my body.”
“I cannot just tell myself, ‘Oh, you’ll be fine.’ Oh, ‘No.’ Do another one and another one. So we backed off this week that we’re going to try and shoot for the next show after or maybe the one after that.”
According to Oliva Jr., he needed a break from the sport and plans to bring his best look ever on the horizon. He says he doesn’t enter competitions without seriously weighing the commitments and stressed that bodybuilding is still the ‘most important thing in the world’ to him.
“I wanted to take a break and it worked. It’s kind of really – what’s the point? I think a lot of people sometimes take breaks because they need a break from bodybuilding and I slightly needed that but I never took my foot off the gas with anything, I pushed it harder. So I want people to know that I took a break for a reason. I’m not just taking a year off to travel and live out in Dubai and enjoy myself, it will be the best I’ve ever looked. That’s why I’m really excited to make sure that when I do, do a show it’s not just after all this time to kind of, ‘Oh, I’ll just hop in this show.’ It’s very important to me.”
“Bodybuilding is the most important thing in the world to me. I’ve said it several times. I said it in my speech with Arnold. If it wasn’t for bodybuilding, I wouldn’t be born. Both my parents were pros. People don’t know my mom was a pro. It’s just different for me.”
Oliva Jr. has remained interested in the Open division’s evolution. The last time he tackled the subject, he suspected that the Open class was moving away from posing. He shared that it’s starting to seem like “posing is officially dead in Open Bodybuilding.’
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Fans would love to see Sergio Oliva Jr. return to action following his hiatus from the sport. Given his lineage, and combination of shape and size, many believe he has every tool in his arsenal to become a future Mr. Olympia winner.
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