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Ever since 2020 Olympia 212 Champion Shaun Clarida won the 2021 Legion Sports Fest open contest, the topic of conjecture has been whether the New Jersey native should be allowed to compete in both the Olympia 212 and the Mr. Olympia contests this December. Currently, Clarida is only allowed to choose one of the other, but he and many fans are hoping that the rules will be changed in his favor,
Dennis James brought up the topic on a recent episode of The Menace Podcast with three guests to discuss the topic. 2008 Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson, renowned coach Milos Sarcev, and longtime competitor and coach George Farah all shared their opinions on whether Clarida should be allowed to try to make bodybuiding history in Las Vegas this coming December. Jackson initially expressed that due to the rigors of competing so much in one weekend, Clarida should have to choose.
“I say one or the other. Because that’s how it should be – one or the other,” he said. “It’s on the same weekend. Why would you want to do both shows?”
Sarcev was on the opposite side of the debate, and he used legendary Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt as an example to make his point.
“He runs the 100, 200, and the rally, right? So, why not?” he asked. “Shaun Clarida, earned, earned, his qualification on the stage…I think it should be allowed.”
Farah sided with Sarcev, feeling that since Clarida punched his ticket the old-fashioned way, he should be allowed to compete twice if he chose to.
“I think because they let him compete in the open, and he’s qualified, he has all the right to do both of them.”
James brought up a great point that would help Clarida’s cause, and it has to do with the scheduling of the competitions that weekend.
“The 212 is over on Friday evening, and the prejudging for the Open is afterwards. So, he could still be literally warm and ready to go for the open prejudging,” said the host. That point was what swayed Jackson to agree with the rest of the panel.
“I agree with you on that. He should be able to do both,” he said. This roundtable discussion covered numerous other topics, including the other Olympia contenders, whether anyone can be Derek Lunsford at this year’s 212 contest, if the divisions “water down” the sport, and more. Catch TMP every Sunday over at the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel.