The 2022 Olympia is finally just around the corner. On Dec. 16-18, 2022, the world’s bodybuilding elite will compete on the Las Vegas, NV, stage. Eleven International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League divisions of athletes will be featured.
There is assuredly no shortage of storylines, but the Men’s Open portion of the contest will be the headline event. Two-time reigning Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay is seeking a legendary “three-peat” in potentially notching a third consecutive title. Contenders like Derek Lunsford, Nick Walker, Hunter Labrada, and Hadi Choopan will try to dethrone the Egyptian titan. Meanwhile, in the Classic Physique category, three-time defending champion Chris Bumstead is vying for his fourth straight championship. Expect athletes like a former two-time winner (2017-2018) Breon Ansley and Terrence Ruffin will attempt to push Bumstead.
To keep track of the action in every division across the entire contest, fans will have the option to livestream it all. Fans can purchase a pay-per-view premium package for $69.99 at the Olympia website — www.olympiaproductions.com.
There are over 200 athletes participating at the 2022 Olympia after a doozy of a qualification period over the 2022 calendar year. Here’s an overview of all the featured divisions at the 2022 Olympia:
2022 Olympia | Competitive Divisions
- Men’s Open (Mr. Olympia)
- Ms. Olympia
- Classic Physique Olympia
- Bikini Olympia
- 212 Olympia
- Fitness Olympia
- Men’s Physique Olympia
- Women’s Physique Olympia
- Wellness Olympia
- Wheelchair Olympia
- Figure Olympia
The expectation is that Elssbiay takes home his third straight Mr. Olympia title. Various legends of the sport, like eight-time Mr. Olympia (1998-2005) Ronnie Coleman, believe Elssbiay is a shoo-in for a victory. Another eight-time Olympia winner (1984-1991), Lee Haney, ironically asserted that Elssbiay is comparable to Coleman at the peak of his powers.
At the same time, the Men’s Open field might still resemble a gauntlet on paper. Lunsford is the former 2021 champion in the 212 division and, even with a recent transition, has drawn praise as a potential dark horse. Two top-five finishers from 2021 in Labrada (fourth) and Walker (fifth) have seemingly only improved while training over the last calendar year. There’s also Choopan, who has knocked on the door of victory with two podium finishes in the last three Olympias. Plus, not to be overlooked, some attention will fixate on William Bonac, who hasn’t finished outside of the top six since 2015.
Needless to say, while Elssbiay will be a heavy favorite (no pun intended), he should likely see the best from his respective peers in what certainly seems like a stacked field.
Featured image: @mrolympiallc on Instagram