THE LONG ASCENT TO THE TOP OF MOUNT OLYMPUS
Big Ramy was someone nearly all of us pegged as a future Mr. Olympia from the moment he stormed the stage at 285 pounds in May of 2013 to win his professional debut at the New York Pro. His climb up the steep terrain of Mount Olympia was steady in his first five attempts: eighth, seventh, fifth, fourth, and then second place. Then came a tumultuous tumble down to sixth in 2018, which upset Elssbiay so much that he left Kuwait and the Camel Crew and returned to his native Egypt to regroup, deal with a nagging shoulder injury, and come up with a new strategy. He didn't even qualify for the 2020 Mr. Olympia but was instead granted an invitation due to extenuating circumstances. Ramy had prepared for the Europa Pro in Alicante, Spain where the top two finalists would earn a qualification for the 0 on the very last weekend before the Olympia lineup would be solidified, and no further entrants would be allowed. Certainly that was virtually guaranteed to happen, except that Ramy tested positive for COVID-19 and was not allowed to travel to Spain to compete. Earlier that year, he had been stranded in Dubai for five months away from his wife and children in Egypt due to travel bans. Luckily, there is a longstanding tradition of allowing one special invitation to the Mr. Olympia, which is up to the discretion of the promoter and the IFBB Pro League and is not always exercised. After the gamut of misfortunes that had befallen Ramy, it was granted to him for the 2020 edition of the contest. You know the rest of the story. A best-ever Big Ramy finally fulfilled the prophecy made seven years prior and became the 16th man since 1965 to hold that coveted title that defines a man as the absolute best bodybuilder on planet Earth at that moment. Now that Ramy has the Mr. Olympia title, the big question on everyone’s mind is, can he keep it? No one knows the answer to that yet, but I can make a convincing case as to why it’s more than likely Big Ramy will successfully defend his title and be crowned Mr. Olympia once more on the night of October 9 in Orlando, Florida.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to physiques, but still, the Mr. Olympia has a pattern of champions who overwhelmed their opponents with mass. Think of Sergio Oliva, Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, and Ronnie Coleman. Each of those legendary champions had the biggest and most complete physiques of his respective era. At its essence, competitive bodybuilding will always be about the biggest muscles, the “freak factor” if you will, assuming all else is equal. That’s why it’s been said for decades that a good big man always beats a good smaller man. At 5-foot-10 and 290 pounds, Big Ramy is the biggest man heading into the 2021 Mr. Olympia. Others have plenty of size too, no doubt. But with his height, width, and the sheer volume of thick muscle on his frame, Ramy will once again be the biggest man on that stage. Certainly he would have met his match in terms of mass against Ronnie Coleman, Nasser El Sonbaty, or Markus Rühl in their primes, but right now, the biggest man on the mountain is the one with Big already in his damn name.
HE FIGURED OUT HIS CONDITIONING
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Brrrrrr, can you feel that chill, guys? We'd all best fetch our thermal undies, whack up the heating to “11 and wait out what could be a very, very long winter. I am of course referring to the repeat of Big Ramy's sensational and decisive win at the Mr. Olympia, so for now, winter is clearly here to stay. For at least a couple more years at least, I'd estimate.
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