The annual tradition continues. The 2023 Olympia Weekend kicked off with the annual press conference, but this edition had a new forma. Olympia President Dan Solomon spoke to the crowd briefly recognizing owner Jake Wood and IFBB Pro League president Jim Manion. The athletes then made their entrances and sat at the old school tables with contenders and champs from all 11 IFBB Pro League divisions.
Another difference with the conference was that a panel of media members and bodybuilding dignitaries asked the questions alongside MC Bob Cicherillo, and they challenged the folks on stage to express their confidence and pride in their ability.
The highlight of the event came when seven-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath passionately asked the top contenders in the men’s Open why they weren’t looking at the Sandow Trophy, presented front and center of the stage. He then asked defending champion Hadi Choopan if someone else’s name would be on it by the end of Saturday night, Nov. 4th.
“I will keep my title,” he said through his translator.
Another big moment for the fans came when Heath asked four-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead if fun was here to fun or dominate.
“I’m leaving with that trophy. Everyone else here is going for second place.”
All the reigning world champions spoke about their intentions to repeat while the contenders shared they weren’t here for second place. One of those contenders was three-time Fitness Olympia champ Whitney Jones, who sat out 2022 due to health issues. She is here to take her fourth win.
“I am ready to go. We train to win and battle. Tomorrow, it’s going down.”
Fitness upstart Taylor Learmont then stole the show by doing a handstand and split on the front of the stage to show she is ready to upset the favorites to win her first Olympia.
If you’re not in Orlando, FL for the 2023 Olympia weekend, go to www.olympiaproductions.com to purchase the Olympia pay-per-view and watch all the action from the Orange County Convention Center live.