• musclemecca bodybuilding forums does not sell or endorse any bodybuilding gear, products or supplements.
    Musclemecca has no affiliation with advertisers; they simply purchase advertising space here. If you have questions go to their site and ask them directly.
    Advertisers are responsible for the content in their forums.
    DO NOT SELL ILLEGAL PRODUCTS ON OUR FORUM

2023 Arnold Classic Recap - Top Heavy Show

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro Contributer
VIP
Author
Joined
May 30, 2014
Messages
1,371
Points
83
The 2023 Arnold Sports Festival, ne: Classic, is in the books and it was a very encouraging weekend for the bodybuilding/fitness industry. After a few years of Covid-related smaller crowds, things seemed almost back to normal and it was refreshing to see, indeed. Between the expo and a very competitive line-up (men's open bodybuilding is the focus of this article), it was crowded and loud - the way it used to be.

Let's cover the expo quickly and then get to the meat and potatoes section. Friday was a disappointment and it appeared that this would be another year of chasing the past. There were fewer booths than in the pre-pandemic years and the aisles did not go out as far as they did back then, either. The attendance was light, as well, giving it an air of negativity. But all that changed at the night show at the Grand Battelle, where the men's prejudging made up for it all. It seemed that the top three were going to be (in no specific order) Nick Walker, Chinedu "Andrew Jacked" Obiekea, and Samson Duada. Big Ramy was improved from the Olympia, but judging by the callouts, it seemed that he would not crack the top three.

That brings us to Saturday and the expo had that aura about it once again... the type that you only know if you've been there in the past when it was shoulder-to-shoulder. No, it wasn't as packed as in 2019 and prior, but it was thick enough that it was reminiscent of days past. There was a certain electricity in the air that, once again, you can only understand if you were there.

The evening finals had a touching tribute to Jim Lorimer, who started the Arnold Classic with the show's namesake in 1989 and passed away in November. There was also the annual Lifetime Achievement Award announcement, with Flex Wheeler winning the coveted trophy. Then they brought out almost every past Arnold Classic winner on the stage and it was wonderful to see some of the legendary folks such as Rich Gaspari (winner of the inaugural show), Mike Francois, etc.

All of that build-up culminated in the finals for men's open bodybuilding. Many competitors looked drier than they did 24 hours earlier, including Ramy and Duada, with the latter already putting himself in the conversation for the top spot before that. Once again, the same trio separated themselves from the rest of the pack and were so close that it would be hard to argue with any combination on the judges' scoring cards.

When it was all said and done, Duada got the nod, with Walker the runner-up and Obiekea third. All three walked away with awards, as Obekiea won the Best Poser and Walker the Most Muscular. Fan favorites across the board, all were given a raucous round of applause as their names were announced. So each had its contingent of vocal supporters, but it was obvious that the fans recognized each of them and the high placings.

Yes, it was a glorious few days in Columbus, Ohio, and the announcement that Schwarzenegger signed a three-year extension to keep it there was also met with an ovation.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2743.JPG
    IMG_2743.JPG
    1.8 MB · Views: 93
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: ArnoldS

Similar threads

MuscleSport TV
Replies
0
Views
572
MuscleSport TV
MuscleSport TV
MuscleSport TV
Replies
0
Views
432
MuscleSport TV
MuscleSport TV
Bodybuilding News
Replies
0
Views
647
Bodybuilding News
Bodybuilding News
razaul
Replies
0
Views
1K
razaul
razaul
Top