The Item: IFBB Pro League Olympia Preview, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: Promoters of Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend of Fitness and Performance -- "Where Legends Are Made" -- just posted the final competitors list of athletes that qualified to compete at the 2013 IFBB Olympia Bodybuilding Championships in Las Vegas, NV, this weekend (September 28). As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," the following lists represent the final tallies of the Olympia Qualification Series Point System.    

Mr. Olympia - Open Division Qualified Competitors
IFBB Pro Baitollah Abbaspour, IFBB Pro Lionel Beyeke, IFBB Pro Brandon Curry, IFBB Pro Evan Centopani, IFBB Pro Jay Cutler, IFBB Pro Mamdouh Elssbiay (Big Ramy), IFBB Pro Toney Freeman, IFBB Pro Kai Greene, IFBB Pro Phil Heath, IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson, IFBB Pro Johnnie Jackson, IFBB Pro Steve Kuclo, IFBB Pro Victor Martinez, IFBB Pro Cedric McMillan, IFBB Pro Ed Nunn, IFBB Pro Essa Obaid, IFBB Pro Ben Pakulski, IFBB Pro Robert Piotrkowicz, IFBB Pro Shawn Rhoden, IFBB Pro Branch Warren, IFBB Pro Roelly Winklaar, IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf.

Olympia 212 Showdown - 212 Division Qualified Competitors

IFBB Pro Troy Alves, IFBB Pro Al Auguste, IFBB Pro Guy Cisternino, IFBB Pro Eduardo Correa Da Silva, IFBB Pro Mark Dugdale, IFBB Pro Kevin English, IFBB Pro Sami Al Haddad, IFBB Pro David Henry, IFBB Pro Tricky Jackson, IFBB Pro Raul Carrasco Jimenez, IFBB Pro Flex Lewis, IFBB Pro Muhammad Masoom, IFBB Pro Jose Raymond, IFBB Pro Marco Rivera.

The "So What?": The 2013 Olympia Weekend marks the first Olympia since the passing of the departed IFBB Pro League and Olympia founder Joe Weider in March. Reigning Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Phil Heath aims for a 3rd Olympia Sandow trophy and defends his crown against the athlete he yanked the title from in 2011, Jay Cutler (who did not compete in 2012). Other athletes reportedly electing not to take the 2013 Olympia stage for various reasons: Ben Pakulski (who underwent hernia surgery this year), Ed Nunn, and Robert Piotrkowicz (due to triceps injury).

A knee injury kept 2011 Showdown Champ Kevin English from defending the title, but he is reportedly returning to face the reigning Olympia 212 Showdown Champion James Flex Lewis. Word is visa issues may keep Masoom out of the 212 Showdown. Set to make Olympia debuts in the Open Division: Elssbiay and Kuclo. 212 Division Olympia debuts: Alves (ironically, an Open Division veteran) and Al Haddad.

Andrew Oye's Verdict: In the Open Division, the buzz is about how 2012 IFBB Amateur Olympia Winner and super-huge, rookie pro Mamdouh Elssbiay (a.k.a. Big Ramy) will fair against past winners like Heath, Cutler and Jackson and could push out of a top spot vets and faves like Greene, Warren, Martinez, Rhoden or Wolf. In the 212 Division, Flex Lewis could be pushed by Correa and past Showdown winners Henry and English.

It will be a bittersweet Olympia Weekend celebration without Joe Weider, (the man dubbed the "Father of Modern Bodybuilding") a year before the 50th Anniversary of "the Super Bowl of bodybuilding" he created, which made legends out of past Mr. Olympias like IFBB Pro Larry Scott, IFBB Pro Lee Haney, IFBB Pro Ronnie Coleman, IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger, IFBB Pro Dorian Yates, IFBB Pro Sergio Oliva, IFBB Pro Frank Zane and IFBB Pro Franco Columbu.

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