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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 January 2021

Egyptian bodybuilder Mamdouh 'Big Ramy' Elssbiay crowned Mr Olympia 2020

He is the second bodybuilder from the Arab world to claim the prestigious title

Egyptian bodybuilder Mamdouh 'Big Ramy' Elssbiay has been crowned Mr Olympia 2020. Instagram / Mamdouh Elssbiay
Egyptian bodybuilder Mamdouh 'Big Ramy' Elssbiay has been crowned Mr Olympia 2020. Instagram / Mamdouh Elssbiay

Egyptian bodybuilder Mamdouh Elssbiay has been crowned Mr Olympia 2020.

Also known as “Big Ramy", he has competed in seven Olympias – the professional men's bodybuilding contest – in total since 2013, but this is the first time he has won.

Elssbiay, 36, previously won the People’s Champ Award, which is voted for by fans, in 2018.

He’s the first bodybuilder to win both Mr Olympia – which was claimed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1970 – and the People’s Champ Award.

Back in October, Elssbiay issued a statement after he tested positive for Covid-19 and was unable to compete at the NPC European Championships.

“I stayed five months stranded in Dubai after the cancellation of [bodybuilding competition] Arnold Australia and now another big chance to qualify for Olympia just vanished in front of my eyes,” he wrote on Instagram.

“But life goes on and the show must go on. If it was just about me I would go and compete. I have a little cough but nothing that bad, but it would be irresponsible for me to risk older people’s [lives].”

However, he was issued a special invitation to this year's competition which saw a number of other bodybuilders withdraw, including names such as Cedric McMillan, Flex Lewis and James Hollingshead.

Just a week before the event, Roelly Winklaar also had to pull out because he tested positive for Covid-19.

With this Olympia win, Elssbiay becomes just the 16th male bodybuilder and the second from the Arab world to win the Mr Olympia title since the contest started in 1965.

Samir Bannout, known as the "Lion of Lebanon" won in 1983.

The Mr Olympia top five for 2020:

Winner – Mamdouh Elssbiay, $400,000

Second place – Brandon Curry, $150,000

Third place – Phil Heath, $100,000

Fourth place – Hadi Choopan, $45,000

Fifth place – William Bonac, $40,000

Updated: December 20, 2020 05:41 PM

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