Olympic Weekend is taking place again this year at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and we couldn't be more excited. The program, which takes place from November 2nd to 5th, is tough and features the craziest body shapes in the world. With Nick Walker, Andrew Jacked, Hunter Labrada, Samson Dauda and 2019 Olympic gold medalist Brandon Curry, everyone will have their hands full.
These competitors' Instagram posts show that they are killing it on the Olympic stage and that every competitor is gunning for the Sandow Trophy.
But there's one thing we're excited about more than anything else. It's the meeting of the Evogen athletes at the Olympics.
Last year, the 58th Olympic weekend was all about the Evogen athletes going head-to-head in the men's open class. Hadi Choopan and Derek Lunsford went into the show as favorites, and they didn't disappoint.
When the dust settled and the final name was called, Hadi took the Sandow home, bested Derek, and took a check for $400.000 back to Iran. With the fight returning to the Olympic stage this year, everyone can claim the Sandow and the check.
It's almost game time for the Evogen athletes
As if 22-time Olympic gold medalist Hany Rambod didn't have enough to do this year with moving his entire supplement company from California to Texas, on top of all the moves, he decided to move and build a new headquarters also for the construction of our own fitness studio with state-of-the-art equipment in collaboration with Panatta from Italy. We'll cover the gym and new headquarters in detail in another article, but let's just say it's an athlete's paradise.
"It's no different than when I coached Jay and Phil and they took first and second place. My job will be the same as always, which is to put all my athletes on the show as best as they can and let the judges decide "said Hany Rambod.
To make matters worse, Hany has several Evogen athletes competing in the Olympics, along with some of his other well-known clients who will most likely win their respective categories. But one division where Hany runs around like a chicken with its head cut off is the Men's Open.
The fight between Hadi and Derek has been talked about all year long. While Derek has been more open and transparent about his Olympic preparation on social media, Hadi hasn't been shy about posting some stunning photos and videos to silence the critics.
If you look at the physique of the two Evogen athletes, this Olympics could be the closest of all the Olympics in recent years. Some say that Hadi will win again this year because anyone is capable of losing the competition if they don't compete at their best. One thing is certain: Hadi Choopan is always on point when it comes to his fitness. In fact, he is the most in-form competitor on the Olympic stage every year. He is dry, toned and has stripes all over him.
Reigning Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan said: "Becoming a champion is hard, but to repeat your victory you have to work twice as hard. This year I worked day and night and tried harder than ever before. I trained with my heart and soul and really myself focused on my attitude. I hope I can secure victory again and maintain my place at the top."
But don't let Derek act as if Hadi had the Sandow in his pocket - because he doesn't. Derek has improved pretty much every aspect of his physique this offseason and will be incredibly difficult to beat. And Derek would love nothing more than to stand side by side with Hadi and give the judges a good comparison to showcase the total package he brings to the stage. With the improvements Derek has made, he could very well outdo Hadi and win his first Olympic title in the Men's Open.
Derek Lunsford added: "My training has been on another level. I've been focused on one mission all year long: making history. I want to be the first Olympic champion in two categories and the 18th in history. I'm giving absolutely everything to make this year mine To give my best. Where the mind goes, the body follows. My mentality is completely different. I have become spiritually stronger and that is the true meaning of it all. God's plan is perfect and I trust that what He what he's going to do is the best. If he wants it for me, he'll make it happen. I do the work, Hany lays out the details, but God knows the end result."
Let's not forget that Derek won the 2021 Mr. Olympia in the 212 category before he decided to let his body grow and see what happens before competing in 2022. Ultimately, his physique exploded and wowed everyone at the Pittsburgh Pro that year, where he appeared as a guest contestant. After discussions with Hany and some judges, Derek decided that he should compete in the Men's Open. And second place behind Hadi in his first Men's Open Olympiad is no reason to hang your head.
Will you be there when history is made?
If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, you're (mostly) out of luck. Tickets for the final on Saturday evening are already sold out. Even if you wanted to buy VIP packages, they are also sold out. However, there are still a few tickets available for the amateur divisions, the big exhibition and the final on Friday. Get your tickets while they're still available on the Mr. Olympia website.
Who do you think will win the Sandow this year? Will it be one of the Evogen athletes? Will Hadi win against Derek again, or will Derek shock the world and win his first men's Open Olympia title? Let us know in the comments who you think will win this year.
It's also worth noting that Hany Rambod could continue to make history at the 2023 Mr. Olympia weekend. Last year, two of his athletes won their events, bringing Hany's total Olympic victories to 22. This year he also has the chance to win in two divisions, which would bring him and his athletes to an incredible 24 Olympic titles.
We wish all of our Evogen athletes the best of luck with what remains of their preparation for the Olympic stage and look forward to seeing the final product in Orlando - hopefully they take home their respective division titles .
If you see us at the Olympics, be sure to stop by and say hello. We would love to meet you and all of our supporters. See you in Orlando!