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Saturday night at the Olympia is the biggest night of the year for bodybuilding fans, and the Zappos Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada provided many memories that will last long after the sold-out crowd goes home. History was made on multiple levels in multiple divisions, Three of the four titles changed hands on this evening, which is far from usual in bodybuilding. Here’s a brief look at how all the action on Saturday night went down.
Bodybuilding has a new world champion, and his name is Hadi Choopan! Choopan won the 58th Mr. Olympia, and is the 17th man in history to win the title. Aside from the Sandow Trophy and gold medal, he won $400,000 for his efforts.
The finals came down to five men – Choopan, Derek Lunsford, Nick Walker, Brandon Curry, and now former champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. That is also the order of the top five for the evening. Both former Olympia champions finished at the bottom of the top five while Walker, Lunsford, and Choopan apparently have introduced a new generation to the elite of the sport.
Walker was also announced as the 2022 People’s Champion, which garnered him a championship belt. Among the audience were actor Michael Jai White and magician Criss Angel. They along with the rest of the sold-out crowd, were shocked at the winner being announced.
Winner: Hadi Choopan
Runner-up: Derek Lunsford
3: Nick Walker
4: Brandon Curry
5: Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay
6: Samson Dauda
7: Hunter Labrada
8: Andrew Jacked
9: William Bonac
10: Rafael Brandao
Choopan wasn’t the only one to claim a trophy for the first time. The new Ms. Bikini Olympia is Maureen Blanquisco, who pulled off the upset of the weekend by defeating the 2021 winner, Jennifer Dorie. Three-time winner Ashley Kaltwasser finished that show in third place. This is the second win of 2022 for Blanquisco, who also won the Boston Pro in March.
The Men’s Physique field was the largest in history with 68 men in the field. As many expected, the final two standing was three-time defending Men’s Physique Olympia champion Brandon Hendrickson and Erin Banks. To the crowd’s surprise, Banks celebrated the moment as the new champion, and he is now the fifth champion since that contest started in 2013.
The only champion of the night that defended his title successfully was Chris Bumstead, who held off a strong challenge from Ramon Rocha Querioz to win number four, and he committed to going for at least number five if not more. Rumors had been swirling that Bumstead may retire, but he denied that clearly during his victory speech.
Among the other moments that stood out during the evening included Criss Angel’s announcement of a charity on behalf of his son. Olympia owner Jake Wood and IFBB Pro League President Jim Manion each donated $25,000 to that cause. And Wheelchair Olympia winner Harold Kelley, who won his fifth title Saturday afternoon, also posed for the audience in celebration of his victory earlier in the day.