The 2023 Arnold Classic is set to take place Mar. 2-5 in Columbus, Ohio. It will present an opportunity for many competitors to kick the year off with a big win. In recent posts made on Instagram, Darwin Uribe and reigning Wellness champ Isabelle Nunes announced their withdrawal less than two weeks out of the contest.
The Arnold Classic provides a huge platform for budding contenders. It is widely regarded as the second most prestigious show in bodybuilding next to the Mr. Olympia competition. The 35th edition of the annual event will feature seven events.
IFBB Pro Darwin Uribe gained attention for his slim v-taper and symmetry in the Men’s Classic Physique class in 2021. Uribe got off to a successful start with a dominant win at the 2021 IFBB Chicago Pro. The victory secured him a ticket to the Mr. Olympia contest but he did not compete at the event.
Uribe kicked last year off with a showing at the 2022 Arnold Sports Festival. He went up against a stacked lineup of contenders, including former two-time Classic Physique Olympia winner Breon Ansley, and rising sensations Urs Kalecinski, and Ramon Rocha Queiroz. Eventually, reigning two-time Arnold Classic champ Terrence Ruffin added the second title under his belt whereas Uribe placed eighth.
A few months later, Uribe went on to win the 2022 IFBB Houston Tournament of Champions. He earned an invite to the 2022 Mr. Olympia and ended up turning down the qualification for a second time.
Darwin Uribe pulls out of the 2023 Arnold Classic
In a recent post made on Instagram, Classic Physique contender Darwin Uribe pulled out of the upcoming 2023 Arnold Classic.
“I don’t know how start but well sometimes in life you gotta accept things even when you don’t want or even when you go against the situations and the same situation kick you and put a bigger obstacle just for make you understand it’s no the right time, life no always go as you planned…” he wrote.
Uribe hinted at health concerns as his reason for not competing.
“Before I decide no to compete at the Olympia, I sended already my application for the Arnold by that time and I am grateful for get invited for 2nd time as my 6th pro show in my short career as professional… unfortunately this is something that I won’t be able to finish, sadly no this time, sadly I can’t push through this now and finish because there is always more red flags, and red flags that indicate you it’s time to stop.”
He further explained how his body was not responding the same way and that he would be taking time off to get healthy.
“After being in prep pushing my body for the last 7 months straight and competing consecutive since 2021( with no long breaks between shows) my body it’s no responding anymore
I don’t make this post looking for acceptance, I don’t care what people thinks if they like or no, support or no, at the end I am living my own life, I haven proving myself of much capable I am so far and I know I can be more and trust me I will keep doing, but for now it’s time to rest and get healthy.
“This time I am prioritizing myself, looking for myself, taking my own decisions more than expectations or what people thinks or wants from me as an athlete… I need to live a life, my life! it’s passing away in front of my eyes just for be in preparations, l can’t allow that anymore if I want to stay longer in this sport, I am human too and I come to understand that bodybuilding it’s no everything! I am so grateful for being able to do this sport so far, but now it’s time to reset and come back stronger next year.”
Considering Darwin only became an IFBB Pro in 2021, he still has a long way ahead of him to figure out how to peak properly and stay healthy.
Wellness competitor Isabelle Nunes has cemented her place as one of the top contenders in the freshly minted category. Nunes rose to prominence for her impressive thighs and lower body muscle development in 2021. She secured her first win in the IFBB Pro League at the Milwaukee Pro, where she defeated fellow standout, Sunny Andrews. She followed up with another stellar showcase at the San Antonio Classic, scoring back-to-back wins.
Her next appearance saw her turn heads in the inaugural Wellness event at the 2021 Mr. Olympia. She placed third behind runner-up Angela Borges, and champion Francielle Mattos.
Nunes etched her name in the history books the following year as the first-ever champion in the Wellness division’s debut at the 2022 Arnold Sports Festival. A few months later, she narrowly missed out on winning the Olympia to Matto but did improve her standing to second place, ahead of rival Borges.
She was set to return and defend the Arnold Wellness title on stage next month.
Reigning Wellness champion Isabelle Nunes withdraws under two weeks out of the show
In a recent Instagram post, Wellness queen Isabelle Nunes announced her withdrawal from the 2023 Arnold Classic just two weeks out of the contest. She revealed the reason to be a worsening knee injury.
“Unfortunately I will not be competing in @arnoldsports,“ she wrote. “Since last year I’ve been treating a knee injury (meniscus) and everything was fine and under control, I had done the treatment when I was in Brazil and I was training without pain. But a few weeks ago the pain became unbearable to the point that I couldn’t walk in the supermarket or sit for a long time for example. Training and cardio were impaired, as many times I would wake up in pain and not be able to do them.
“I’m not an athlete who delivers 70-80%, I always want to show my best and unfortunately in this condition I wouldn’t be able to. It was an extremely difficult decision, after all, I am the current champion and I was preparing to defend my title. Believe me, the emotional pain is being much worse than the physical pain of the knee, but at the moment I believe that this is the best option.”
“I also make mistakes, I also get sad and sometimes I isolate myself, but I promise I won’t give up,” she added. “I’m already doing the necessary treatments again and soon I’ll be back 100%. I’m sorry to the people I’ve let down, but unfortunately it’s not something that was in my control.”
With Nunes out of the way, the door is open for a new champion to emerge in the Wellness class at the 2023 Arnold Classic next month.