Three days before the 2023 Mr. Olympia, Nick ‘The Mutant’ Walker had to break the devastating news that he was pulling out due to a hamstring tear. While fans of the sport were disappointed, to say the least, his withdrawal paved the way for other athletes to shine. In a recent YouTube video, Bob Cicherillo gave his thoughts on how the change will affect the competition.
Nick Walker has been a standout competitor thanks to his monstrous size and definition. Since 2020, Walker has steadily climbed the ranks and improved at an impressive rate. His relentless training and dedication saw him take home victories at the 2021 New York Pro and the Arnold Classic.
Walker then waltzed into the top five for his debut Olympia appearance that same year and secured fifth place. From there, ‘The Mutant’ took some time in 2022 to work on honing his physique. This decision would see him move up two places as he ultimately took third at his second Olympia show.
This year was shaping up to be his most impressive yet. Although he placed second to Samson Dauda at the 2023 Arnold Classic, Walker was adamant that this year would be the year he took home the Sandow trophy. Nick Walker was confident that his physique surpassed the look he had last year. Above all else, he was eager to run it back with Hadi Choopan, Derek Lunsford, and Samson Dauda.
In a major turn of events, Nick Walker was forced to the sidelines. With that, he won’t have the chance to prove he has what it takes to be the champion. Bodybuilding veteran Bob Cicherillo gave his take on Nick Walker’s injury:
“This was devastating news when we saw it: Nick Walker, The Mutant himself big, big fan base out there. People love what he brings, he’s a freak onstage.
Everyone’s picking him anywhere from winning the show to fifth place. We put out our predictions last week. The one thing we never saw coming was that he would NOT be at the Olympia” Bob Cicherillo said.
While the last thing anyone wanted was for Nick Walker to suffer an injury, especially one that would remove him from the 2023 Mr. Olympia, Cicherillo brings up a good point, stating that at least it is an injury that he will recover from in due time. However, he didn’t downplay the severity of his injury or the impact it had on fans.
Nobody ever forecasts an injury, I hate to minimize it but thank god it’s just that cause listen we’ve had people we’ve lost here like George Peterson just a few years ago. To hear it’s just an injury of that type of nature okay good for that.
He is a young kid, he has his whole career ahead of him but man this is devastating news not only for the fans of Nick Walker but for the fans of Olympia as well. Now let’s face even when the other competitors are competing against him you don’t ever wanna see a competitor go out like that.”
As for the competition, this opened up the board for those vying for a place in the top five. Anyone who would have fallen beneath Nick Walker now has the opportunity at a higher rank and a bigger prize, which includes names like Hunter Labrada, Andrew Jacked, and Michal Krizanek.
“Everybody is going to move up a slot. Now, who does it benefit? Well to me the Brandon Curry’s, Andrew Jacked, Hunter Labrada those guys who are kinda on that surface of scratching at the top three they’re all going to move up a slot. While it is sad to see it does create an opportunity for these guys obviously to move up a notch, put a few more bucks in their pocket.”
Bob Cicherillo doesn’t believe that Nick Walker’s hamstring tear will hold him back from competing for long. He predicts that Walker will recover before the Arnold Classic and make an attempt at another title.
“Well we’ve got a dog fight on our hands here and unfortunately Nick won’t be on stage but he will be there watching these guys and I’m sure it’s just going to light his fire even more. We will see him in action before then, I predict that he will be able to recover from this in a fairly quick time frame.
We’ll probably see him at the Arnold going back to try to recapture another Arnold title. I don’t think it’ll be too long that he is out of action and hopefully return to the Olympic stage next year.”
While competitors don’t have to worry about Nick Walker this year at the Olympia, the Men’s Open is still stacked with some massive talents like the reigning Mr. Olympia champion Hadi Choopan, who has been killing it in the gym proving he is determined to maintain the throne.
Meanwhile, his teammate Derek Lunsford is giving it his all and has been boasting a shredded back and rock-hard conditioning leading up to this weekend, and if those two weren’t enough, Samson Dauda is a dark horse to win the whole thing. Taking this year to work on the areas he was lacking previously such as his back, Dauda is coming into the 2023 Mr. Olympia the best he has ever been.
This weekend, November 2-5, the 2023 Mr. Olympia will be an action-packed event sure to deliver awe-inspiring performances across all 11 divisions. Fans can tune in to the event in person in Orlando, Florida, at the Orange County Convention Center or can watch the event livestream with the Olympia pay-per-view.