Derek Lunsford, Nick Walker and different Males’s Open stars can be friends on the 2023 Pittsburgh Professional
Bodybuilding gets a little taste of this year’s Olympia in early May.
The 2023 Mr. Olympia will be a long wait. With this year’s flagship bodybuilding competition not taking place until November 3-5, 2023 in Orlando, FL, the stars of the Men’s Open division have plenty of time to rally. This spring they will give a taste of what could happen when they perform together at a relatively smaller International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League competition.
On March 23, 2023, the National Physique Committee (NPC) organizers of the Pittsburgh Pro 2023 announced who will be guests at this year’s competition on the weekend of 12./13. Here’s a rundown of big names who are expected to show off an early spring look at their bodies without anything tangible at stake:
2023 Pittsburgh Pro Guest Posing Athletes
Reigning four-time Classic Physique Olympia Champion (2019-2022) Chris Bumstead has also been announced for a special appearance but is not expected to pose as a guest.
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Aside from defending Mr. Olympia, Hadi Choopan, this list of guest posers at the last Pittsburgh Pro is arguably a laundry list of potential contenders for the next Mr. Olympia title. There could always be an unexpected dark horse that pops up out of the blue, but one of those names (including Choopan) will likely be the 2023 Olympic champion.
Certainly there’s no shortage of storylines leading up to this first look at most of the main cast from Mr. Olympia 2023.
For Lunsford, the athlete will now likely pull out all the stops to win his first Mr. Olympia title after successfully moving out of the 212 division. Taking home second place in his first attempt at the men’s Open may have just been the beginning of a fruitful career in the top bodybuilding class. When it comes to Walker, The Mutant has had relatively disappointing performances of late. Back-to-back podium finishes at Olympia 2022 and AC 2023 are nothing to scoff at, but Walker expected a win. That potentially makes what he’s bringing to the Orlando stage even more exciting.
Elssbiay returns to guest pose at the Pittsburgh Pro after skipping the 2022 iteration. The former two-time Olympic gold medalist has been on the wane lately and could use the Pittsburgh Pro to build some momentum for another fall Olympic appearance. Dauda surprised the bodybuilding world with his new AC title, but some established icons no longer believe coming wins will come as a huge shock. He certainly seems to have established himself as a household name.
Finally, among the main Pittsburgh Pro pantheon, Clarida will likely be just a supporting man, posing among Men’s Open competitors while pushing for a 212 Olympic title record. It doesn’t look like “The Giant Killer” is going to slay any of the athletes on stage in a main competition any time soon. As for Labrada, after his seventh-place finish at the 2022 Olympics, he didn’t seem to be coping well with the outside noise. The athlete is planning a streamlined physique for 2023, which he may show a glimpse of in the early stages of in May.
At the time of writing this article, it’s unclear what role Bumstead plans to play at the Pittsburgh Pro since he’s not posing as a guest. However, it’s always welcome for fans to have another Superstar on hand.
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From a competitive standpoint, none of these dynamos have anything significant at stake at the 2023 Pittsburgh Pro. They are there merely to provide some public information on their training progress while also fulfilling IFBB performance “obligations”. However, seeing the Men’s Open’s current elite bodybuilder mix is an engaging way to spark debate and garner attention before they actually take the stage later this year.
Featured Image: @npcifbbpropittsburgh on Instagram
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