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Flex Lewis made history in the Olympia’s 212 Bodybuilding division, winning seven straight times before his retirement in 2018. He was literally unbeatable, but clearly ready for something more. As the dust settled from his final win and retirement, Lewis confirmed that yes, he’d really retired — from the 212 division. But he had his sights set on an even bigger (literally) goal: competing in the Open Bodybuilding division and becoming Mr. Olympia in 2020.
It’s a lofty goal, but it’s been a long time coming. In a recent Instagram repost of a poster featuring a few of this year’s most exciting Mr. Olympia competitors, Lewis reflected on his 17-year journey and recalled the day he first met Neil “Yoda” Hill back in September of 2003. The poster features Lewis; defending Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry; seven-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath, who will return this year for the first time since his loss to Shawn Rhoden in 2018; and Dexter Jackson, a former Mr. O who plans on closing out his historic bodybuilding career after his 21st Olympia competition this year.
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Only those close enough to me know my REAL path to this point. September 2003 I competed in my first show The Mr Wales held at the Princesses Royal theatre, Port Talbot in my country of Wales, it was were I met @neil_yoda_hill1 for the first time. This has been a 17yrs of persistence, consistency, and dedication to my craft. I made the decision that in order to better my and my family’s life I had to make the move to America at 22. I have lost out on many things in order to see my face on this poster, but let me make it clear I am not here to take part, every man has there own story and I will NEVER shit on another mans dreams. I am only following what I believe is mine! #ChampChamp – Who’s excited for this years @mrolympiallc? ————————————————————————- #repost @mrolympiallc ・・・ Scores to settle. Records to chase. Legacies on the line. It’s going to be insane!!! #Olympia2020 @ifbb_pro_league @dansolomon_official @npcnewsonlineofficialpage @t_manion @trifectasystem @jake_wood_wos @drinkchillh2o @phvegas
“I have lost out on many things in order to see my face on this poster, but let me make it clear I am not here to take part,” Lewis wrote. “Every man has their own story and I will NEVER shit on another mans dreams. I am only following what I believe is mine!”
While his 212 Olympia victories alone didn’t qualify him for the 2020 Mr. Olympia lineup, Lewis was given a well-deserved special invitation to the show earlier in the year. Now, the time to show off his efforts on bodybuilding’s biggest stage is quickly approaching.
In the time since, there have been some welcome changes to the contest. Namely, it will now be held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino right on the Vegas strip. The Ms. Olympia is back, and a number of former champs in various women’s and men’s divisions are returning. More recently, the announcement that Heath is returning this year in hopes of picking up where he left off in 2018 shook the bodybuilding world.
For more information about the December 17-20th event, including tickets, visit MrOlympia.com as Trifecta Presents Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend brought to you by Northern Chill and by Wings of Strength.