In his current competitive ventures, Shaun Clarida has little to prove. The bodybuilder has won two of the last three 212 Olympia titles (2020, 2022) and, as he maintains his impeccable physique with diligent nutrition and training, he seems destined to continue said reign for as long as he pleases. However, for the time being, the athlete might be ready to challenge himself and try ventures outside his usual comfortable scope. He’s implied as much by competing in the upcoming 2023 Arnold Classic in the Men’s Open division.
A recent update on his 2023 AC preparation suggests Clarida is set to maximize this opportunity. On Jan. 31, 2023, Clarida posted a picture to his Instagram profile where he wrote that his body weight in the photo is 190 pounds (86 kilograms).
“We ain’t hiding for this one. Ready to shake things up in Ohio!”
With the 2023 AC roughly five weeks on Mar. 2-5, 2023, in Columbus, OH, Clarida’s present mass — including stacked lat muscles on his 5-foot 2-inch frame— makes it appear he could push his larger peers.
According to NPC News Online, the 2023 AC will not be the first instance where Clarida competes in the Men’s Open division. His previous and only other appearance in the category happened at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro, where he came in first place. Otherwise, the bodybuilder has been a 212 athlete in 22 of 25 career contests.
Some in the bodybuilding community have surmised that Clarida would eventually work toward a permanent shift to the Men’s Open division. In 2022, the athlete did not quell these rumors until mid-November, noting he had “unfinished business” en route to his second 212 Olympia title the following month. At the time of this writing, Clarida hasn’t made his plans clear for the 2023 Mr. Olympia — set for this November in Orlando, FL. He may choose to chase a repeat championship and his third 212 victory in the last four years. Or he might follow in the footsteps of the peer who supplanted him for the 212 title in 2021, Derek Lunsford, and try to shine on the Men’s Open level under brighter lights.
What Clarida’s berth in the 2023 AC might suggest (a $300,000 prize notwithstanding) is that he’s now seriously considering making a move. He could be starting a new journey in his illustrious career in due time.
Regardless of where Clarida takes his career next and how he fares at the 2023 AC, it’s apparent that this titan isn’t planning to fade into obscurity any time soon. Be it in the 212 or the Men’s Open, Clarida is liable to continue making noise on enormous stages for the foreseeable future.
Featured image: @shaunclarida on Instagram