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Fans packed the Zappos Theater in Planet Hollywood on Friday night as the 2022 Olympia was in full force. Friday night is usually considered “ladies night,” but the Mr. Olympia prejudging also took place, and there were several big happenings throughout the evening in the other contests held in Las Vegas.
The final callout of prejudging was eyebrow raising – not because of the men in it, but their positions in that callout. Hadi Choopan maintained his position in the center of that callout, but he was joined in the center at different points by Derek Lunsford and eventually 2019 Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry. Joining them was Samson Dauda, Nick Walker, and defending champion Mamdouh Elssbiay. What was surprising was that Big Ramy never saw the center of the callout, meaning the judges don’t have him in consideration for the win. That means there’s a great chance that either Curry will regain the title or we will have a 17th Mr. Olympia.
Natalia Abraham Coelho is one of the msot popular female athletes across all divisions, but her goal is to be a champion in Women’s Physique. That dream came true because Coelho showed up in the best shape of her life and secured the Women’s Physique Olympia title from two-time winner Sarah Villegas, who came in second place. Coelho had been the runner-up multiple times, but this was her night, and it capped her year in grand fashion. She also won in Pittsburgh and New York earlier this year. She’s the first champion to win all three of those shows in the same year.
Ms. Olympia Andrea Shaw has dominated the women’s bodybuilding division since its Olympia return in 2020. She had won the Rising Phoenix and Olympia in 2020 and 2021. She matched that feat again in Las Vegas by winning her third Olympia one month after winning the Rising Phoenix for the third time. The repeat three-peat has started a conversation about whether Shaw could become the greatest of all-time by the time she calls it a career.
Shaun “Giant Killer” Clarida is going to be a dad soon, but he became a two-time Olympia 212 champion this weekend. Clarida edged out Angel Calderon Frias and former 212 titleholder Kamal Elgargni to win the title back. He’s the first man to win the Olympia 212 title back after losing it.
Missy Truscott was supposed to be joined by other Fitness Olympia winnere Whitney Jones and Oksana Grishina, but both had to withdraw before prejudging started. That put Truscott in the driver’s seat, and she cleared the finish line. Jaclyn Baker finished in second, and Ariel Khadr settled for third place.
The one contest that appeared to be a formality was Figure, and Cydney Gillon didn’t disappoint. Gillon won her sixth Olympia, extending her Figure record for the most in history. The runner-up was Jessica Reyes Padilla, and the third-place finisher this year was Lola Montez.
Gillon and Shaw weren’t the only champions to defend their championships successfully. Francielle Mattos held off a strong charge from both Isabelle Nunes and Angela Borges to win her second straight Wellness Olympia title. This year represented the first time the finals were held on the main stage, and the champ made the most out of her opportunity to shine.
The Olympia Weekend rolls on with the finals of the Mr. Olympia, Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, Bikini, and Wheelchair all taking place on Saturday, December 17th.