Elssbiay wants a stellar rebound after a disappointing Mr. Olympia result.
Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay competed at the 2022 Mr. Olympia with a goal of becoming only the eighth athlete to win the competition three times in a row. He had the hype behind him, endorsements from living legends, and appeared “destined” to enter exclusive bodybuilding history. Then the competition took place in Las Vegas, NV, Hadi Choopan successfully toppled the Egyptian Dynamo for victory, and Elssbiay fell behind with a fifth place finish that surprised many bodybuilding fans.
Now, after some serious consideration in early January 2023 about what’s next, and with a new bodybuilding season ahead of him, it seems Elssbiay is aiming for a massive rebound before he even thinks about trying to win the Olympia again .
This was announced by the Arnold Sports Festival on January 20, 2023 Elssbiay would take the stage at the upcoming Arnold Classic (AC) 2023 from March 2-5, 2023.
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“Making his first appearance on the Columbus stage since 2020, ‘Ramy’ will seek to reestablish his position as the most dominant competitor in the bodybuilding world!”
The competition in Columbus, OH will mark the former two-time Mr. Olympia’s second appearance in the AC as he seeks to add a significant notch to his resume. In 2020, Elssbiay placed third in his first and only appearance on the show.
Elssbiay’s AC reveal may come as a surprise to some. The superstar had spent most of his final years almost exclusively training and preparing for his Olympic appearances for about a calendar year, only appearing occasionally in other competitions. It’s a calculated approach that many elite bodybuilders, particularly in the men’s Open division, often take to maximize their performance in the sport’s greatest competition.
With Elssbiay no longer the defending Mr. Olympia champion, Elssbiay may now be looking for a boost before jumping back into full-throttle Olympia prep. At the same time, a new lucrative cash prize could have motivated the athlete to finally compete in the AC. In mid-January 2023, the Arnold Sports Festival announced that the first-place prize for winning the Men’s Open at AC 2023 would be $300,000. That’s an increase of $100,000 over the 2022 rerun of the competition. Also in January 2023, former AC Champion (2021) Nick Walker claimed that this high financial incentive was part of his own decision to return to the AC.
Elssbiay will join other established stars at AC 2023 as he seeks to defeat previous winners such as Walker and William Bonac (2018, 2020) and two-time 212 Olympic gold medalist (2020, 2022) Shaun Clarida. Other confirmed names include Samson Dauda, Kamal Elgargni, Justin Rodriguez and Akim Williams. Elssbiay may be a newcomer to the competition, but given his Olympic precedent, this field will likely be ready for anything he brings to the stage in Columbus.
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The 2023 AC is becoming a focal point of a bodybuilding competition. If high-profile contenders like Elssbiay and Walker decide to compete before tackling any higher-level Olympic plans, it could be an incredibly intriguing show in early March.
Featured image: @arnoldsports / Instagram