After years of competing at the highest level of bodybuilding, and coming so close to capturing a Mr. Olympia title, Hadi Choopan finally claimed the throne as the vaunted Mr. Olympia in December 2022. Leading up to the most recent iteration of bodybuilding’s flagship competition, the Iranian athlete had notched several top-level finishes, standing on the podium twice (2019, 2021) but never quite finished the job. Now, as Choopan looks to defend his first career Olympia title and enter rare air as a repeat winner, he seems to be wasting no time preparing for continued glory.
On Jan. 21, 2023, Choopan posted a pic to his Instagram showing off a pumped chest and piston-like arms worth every bit the profile of a defending Mr. Olympia. Given an appropriate written caption of “repeat everything to repeat,” it appears clear that Choopan is dead set on training and eating well to add another Mr. Olympia trophy to his mantel.
With his long journey to the top in account, and the reflective status of his peers like ousted two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, Choopan undoubtedly understands how tenuous an Olympia defense can be. In a sport with various mammoth-like titans seemingly always gunning for the top and keeping their eyes on the prize, if one is the defending champion, they might as well have a giant target on their back.
At the time of this writing, it’s unclear precisely how Choopan plans to attack his off-season and preparation for the 2023 Mr. Olympia with roughly nine months to go. Nevertheless, one of his first public physique updates of the 2023 calendar is a potentially illuminating insight into an athlete that will likely not rest on his laurels.
In the weeks and months ahead, a spate of challengers for Choopan’s crown will, in all probability, continue to make their presence known. For one, the 2022 Olympia runner-up in Derek Lunsford, is planning on skipping the upcoming 2023 Arnold Classic (AC), so he can be prepared to topple Choopan on Nov. 3-5, 2023, in Orlando, FL. There’s also the third-place 2022 Olympia finisher, Nick Walker, who, though participating in the 2023 AC in early March, seems to believe he didn’t leave his best on stage in Las Vegas, NV, in December.
When considering recent changes to the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League’s qualification for the 2023 Olympia — which eliminates a past comprehensive points system — a new battle-tested challenger might even emerge who more than pushes Choopan. It’s clear this edition of the contest could, unsurprisingly, present itself as a gauntlet.
By the time the 2023 Olympia rolls around, it seems apparent Choopan will be primed to take the best shots from any contenders for his title. After all of his hard work and dedication over the years, this doesn’t seem to be a competitor ready to release his grasp on greatness any time soon.
Featured image: @hadi_choopan on Instagram