Unhappy with his latest Olympia performance, Walker teased a resurgence.
Nick Walker entered the 2022 Mr. Olympia with legitimate ambitions to claim bodybuilding’s most celebrated title. A top-five finisher on his debut in 2021, many suspected Walker would improve on that result and edge former two-time reigning champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay for the crown. As it turned out, Elssbiay would not be able to defend his title, instead Hadi Choopan would. Walker would technically build on his debut Olympia by finishing third, but it still wasn’t exactly what he wanted.
On January 1, 2023, Walker appeared on a YouTube podcast episode of The Mutant & The Mouth. In the discussion, he reflected on his performance at the 2022 Olympia and looked ahead to potentially completing his climb to the top of bodybuilding’s highest peak in 2023. (Note: the video contains NSFW language.)
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Walker doesn’t talk about his performance. In a candid assessment, the athlete admits he was happy with his third place finish, but thinks that in an ideal setup he probably should and could have finished even higher. At the same time, he acknowledged that he, Derek Lunsford (runner-up) and Choopan might just be able to hold their place at the top of the current Olympia pantheon for a while. Unless rising stars like Samson Dauda (sixth) and Andrew Jacked (eighth) break the party.
“I’m very happy to have finished third [place]’ Walker explained. “But I think as an overall package I could have finished second. derek [Lunsford]hadi [Choopan]and I’ll probably struggle with that for years, unless Samson [Dauda] comes from the woodwork or when Andrew [Jacked] nail it once. I think the three of us will be around for quite a while.”
It’s the last two contenders in Dauda and Jacked that Walker seemed surprised by. The pair impressed Walker so much that he believed that with the right refinements, they could make a real noise in the next year or so.
“I suppose I could have had Samson [Dauda] beat Ramy [Elssbiay] To be honest,” Walker said. “Samson is a freak. I’m definitely excited to see what he can do at the Arnold [the Arnold Classic in March 2023]and what he can do at the Olympics next year [in November 2023]. My personal take on Samson is that I think he should sit out the Arnold and focus on making more improvements for the Olympia. He could wreak havoc. His only downside was that he wasn’t conditioned enough. … Andrew [Jacked] made us look like amateurs. When this man was just chilling in his little speedo, just relaxing, you were like, ‘What the [expletive] is this?’ He’s one of the nicest guys.”
Walker himself will not participate in the 2023 Arnold Classic. Similar to 2022, he will focus his efforts on training for the Olympics to maximize his best possible results.
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As for many of his peers, 2023 will be pivotal for Walker. Already a household name in the bodybuilding sphere, all he has to do is win his first career Olympic title. The next edition of the competition will be held sometime in November 2023 in Orlando, FL. Given some of the names he’s been impressed by, that task probably won’t be easy. As Walker surely understands, winning the sport’s most prestigious award rarely comes without a few challenges.
Featured image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram