No bodybuilding season seems complete without the Arnold Classic, which is why so many fans were thrilled when the news was announced that this year’s edition will take place on September 25, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. Now that fans know that the competition will be taking place, the next question is who will participate in it? Unlike regular performances in the IFBB Pro League, there are only three ways to compete in the Arnold Classic.
- Mr. Winners Olympia are automatically eligible to enter any competition they like including the Arnold Classic and Olympia.
- Previous Arnold Classic winners are also eligible to enter any Arnold Classic.
- The last way is at the invitation of the Arnold Sports Festival officials. Competitors must apply, and the organization selects the field within four months of the competition, so that the athletes have time to prepare.
Below, you’ll find a list of 14 athletes competing for one of the most prestigious bodybuilding titles and a ticket to the 2022 Mr. Olympia competition.
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Arnold Classic 2021 lineup
After all applicants were considered, the official list was released on June 15, 2021, via Arnold Sports’ Instagram page. The contestants are listed below in alphabetical order (by last name).
- Lionel Pique
- William Bonac
- Max Charles
- seung chul lee
- Mohamed El Eman
- Steve Kuklow
- Cedric MacMillan
- Hassan Mostafa
- Sergio Oliva Jr.
- Justin Rodriguez
- Ian Valier
- Achim Williams
- Nick Walker
- Roly Winklar
So who is the favorite to win the second biggest bodybuilding title and qualify for the 2022 Mr. Olympia Championships?
Previous Champions in the 2021 Cup squad
Of the two men competing in the 2021 Arnold Classic, only two have won this show. This automatically makes them the best choices for address security.
Bonac is the 2018 and 2020 show winner and the only multiple-time winner of the competition. Although he finished fifth in the 2020 Mr. Olympia Championships, he is still supposed to be considered the favorite given his track record of success in recent years. Plus, his look for 2020 was one of his best looks ever, and if he did it again, it would be hard to shake it off.
Macmillan is the other former champ on this list. The 2017 winner had a memorable exchange with Arnold himself during the win interview, but his full physique was another memorable aspect of his win. However, it took sixth place in this exhibition in 2020. It will need the 2017 volume with more detail and adaptation. He has been recovering from a bicycle accident but has been allowed to train and plans to compete in Columbus.
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The other top contenders
Here are our guys ready to win the 2021 Arnold Classic Cup and place to qualify for the 2022 Olympia!
Kuklu finished fourth in that show last year, which was his highest result in an Arnold Classic. “Kingsnake” took a long time to set in size, and this show has been a target for some time. His great upper body and presentation serve him well. However, if he wants to finally claim the Arnold Classic title, he’ll have to bring his best to Ohio.
Sergio Oliva Jr.
Olympia’s son Sergio Oliva three times finished fifth last year, but also won the “best poser” award. He is rumored to be the biggest person he ever drove to prep him for the competition for this show. He had planned to compete in the Chicago Pro later in the season but announced that he wouldn’t be.
This will be Canadian Arnold Classic’s debut, but he finished seventh at Olympia in December 2020, so we have to put his name into the mix. His most recent win was the 2020 New York Pro. One of the biggest competitors in the lineup, don’t be surprised if Vailliere takes the stage with a weight between 270 and 280 pounds.
Williams was a competitor who needed some time to take his lead, but it was worth the wait. He finished sixth at Olympia, with his best appearance ever. His body is full of muscles. However, he needs to make sure of his adaptive matches if he wants to overtake any of the aforementioned athletes.
Olympia 2021 Qualifiers Offers
Olympia 2021 qualification deadline is September 12, 2021. However, there are still six shows remaining that athletes can participate in in the O, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see any of these contenders jump at these shows resulting in Columbus.
- Puerto Rico Open June 26-27, Nassau, Bahamas
- Mr. Big Evolution July 16-18, Estoril, Portugal
- Chicago Pro – July 23-24, Atlanta, Georgia (relocation due to COVID-19 regulations)
- Tampa Pro August 6-7, Tampa, Florida
- Texas Pro August 13-14, Irving, Texas
- Europe Pro – August 15, Spain (City not announced as of this writing)
The 2021 Olympia will be held October 7-10 in Orlando, Florida. There, the athletes will compete with returning champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Al-Sabi’i, for the honor of winning the biggest title in bodybuilding.
Featured Image: william_bonac on Instagram