Awodibu wants to take a step back before embarking on his next Olympic journey.
Blessing Awodibu entered the 2022 Mr. Olympia with high hopes. A verifiable dark horse contender, some believed that Awodibu would enjoy one of the better performances of his career on the stage in Las Vegas, NV. Instead, Awodibu ended up outside the top 15 as he watched Hadi Choopan enjoy his long-awaited moment of glory as champion, successfully defeating Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. After such a humbling performance, it seems like Awodibu prefers to recalibrate first.
On January 10, 2023, Awodibu took to his Instagram to announce this He would decline a formal invitation to the 2023 Arnold Classic in Columbus, OH.
Big thanks to the [Arnold Sports Festival] for the invitation, one of my all time favorite shows but unfortunately I won’t be doing the Arnold [Classic] this year.
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Awodibu’s main reason for retiring from the 2023 Arnold Classic is to focus on self-care before he can really try to achieve any ambitious goals in the coming months. When discussing why he’s missing out on one of bodybuilding’s top competitions, Awodibu didn’t overlook a detail. Awodibu, the winner of the 2022 International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Indy and New York Pro competitions, noted that he felt his schedule was too busy over the past year.
Ultimately, it appeared to have a negative impact on his subsequent performance and presented physique at the 2022 Mr. Olympia.
“Totally shut down after Indy and New York for almost three months [Pro] Shows and travel have really negatively impacted my Olympic preparation,” Awodibu wrote. “I definitely lost some muscle mass and I didn’t have enough time to fill up my physique before the Olympics. So I’m giving my body some much-needed time right now to rebuild my shape before any prep. Expect a crazy comeback later this year.”
Awodibu isn’t the first notable name to reveal he won’t be attending the 2023 Arnold Classic. Rather than focus his energies on preparing for another competition, 2022 Mr. Olympia runner-up Derek Lunsford announced he would also be skipping the Arnold Classic. Instead, he will spend his 2023 solely on finishing the Olympia job early this new year. This competition will be held in Orlando, FL sometime in November 2023.
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As a top athlete, it can understandably be a lot to admit that you need time to recover instead of keeping your foot on the gas 99 percent of the time. Such a patient approach is theoretically unconventional for Awodibu, but it could pay off for him in 2023.
Featured image: @blessing_awodibu on Instagram