Big Ramy wins the Mr. Olympia 2021.
For a moment there, it seemed like Big Ramy might not retain his Mr. Olympia title. During the Mr. Olympia 2021 prejudging Friday night, Ramy looked off with his conditioning. Fans worst fears were realized – his inconsistent condition was rearing its ugly head again. But just like so many amazing Olympia stories – Ramy sharpened up by Saturday night and reminded us why he’s champion in the first place. It’s no longer a fluke – Big Ramy is the Mr. Olympia 2021 champion.
Mamdouh Elssbiay, more commonly called Big Ramy, had been a fan favorite to win the Mr. Olympia for years now. True to his name, he brings a level of size that is hardly seen by even the top pro bodybuilders currently competing. Due to his massive size, some fans even hoped he would be the second coming of Ronnie Coleman.
Big Ramy represented the pinnacle of a growing bodybuilding Mecca coming out of Kuwait. Though originally from Egypt, Ramy moved to Kuwait to train in Oxygen Gym – a location known for transforming pros into massive titans. Over the years, many pro bodybuilders moved temporarily to Kuwait for a reboot to their training. This included Mr. Olympia 2019 champion Brandon Curry.
But the initial hype behind Big Ramy did not come to fruition immediately. With ever year, Ramy showed bigger and bigger muscle during his prep leading up to the competition. But with each year he would fall short. Most notably, his conditioning was often criticized as the reason he could not bring in an Olympia victory. As of today, that all changed.
Big Ramy’s first Mr. Olympia competition was in 2013. He placed eight just a few notches below the top 6 highlights. But even with the lower placing, he immediately turned heads. His mammoth size was hardly seen in current crop of competitors. It wasn’t long before the hype train build up steam. Fans were clamoring – with time, will he become a powerhouse reigning champion?
Over the following years, Ramy improved in placing with each Olympia competition. This came to a head at the Mr. Olympia 2017 where Big Ramy placed 2nd.
It was at this competition that his promise seemed to turn into a reality. For what seemed like the first time in forever, Phil Heath actually appeared threatened. With his massive size, Big Ramy looked like a real possibility to win standing next to Phil Heath.
The competition was so close that many fans believed that Big Ramy was the rightful winner. Similar to the 2007 Mr. Olympia with Victor Martinez, the competition became controversial for potentially making the wrong call.
With Big Ramy so close to victory in 2017 and Phil Heath appearing to slightly fade – fans were excited more than ever before the Mr. Olympia 2018. Anticipation was in overdrive as fans expected to see an even more improved Big Ramy. With his conditioning issue seemingly under control – victory was just around the corner.
This would not end up being the case. In 2018, Big Ramy dropped down to a disappointing 6th place at the Mr. Olympia. His conditioning was off and he appeared to fade as the competition went on. Fans were so disappointed that Big Ramy himself issued an apology immediately after the event.
Shortly after, Big Ramy quit Oxygen Gym and changed his entire training regimen. Under a new trainer, Neil Yoda Hill, he aimed to take a new approach towards prepping for the Mr. Olympia.
Unfortunately, more bad news was on the horizon as Big Ramy announced in 2019 that he would not compete in the Mr. Olympia. Original reports of injury seemed to be the reason behind his absence – though he initially denied these reports. After a lackluster appearance in 2018, fans were disappointed to see him miss a full year.
Of course, this story ultimately has a happy ending. It seems his year break helped further improve Big Ramy’s physique. Still sporting incredible size and a renewed conditioning – Ramy towered over the competitors at the Mr. Olympia 2020 and finally won the title.
Fast forward to 2021, the question now wasn’t whether Big Ramy will be a champion – but if he can remain a reigning champion. There has been a streak of one off Olympia champions as of late – it started with Shawn Rhoden followed by Brandon Curry. Would Ramy suffer the same fate? We now know the answer is a resounding no. But it wasn’t a straight shot to get there.
When Big Ramy appeared at the Olympia 2020 – it almost seemed obvious that he would be champion. He was so on point and stood out among all other competitors. This year, however, his conditioning seemed off compared to last year. In a top two face off during the prejudging – Brandon Curry was so on point it seemed he could exploit Ramy’s weakness and take the big win.
But a lot can change between the prejudging and the finals. Unlike many competitions throughout the year – Men’s Open have a full day between the two phases. Big Ramy was able to improve his conditioning. Combine that with a new sponsorship contract at Enhanced Labs, his massive size and there was no way Brandon Curry could match up. It was a close battle overall. It was electric, exciting, and ultimately a well won victory.
For the full Mr. Olympia 2021 results – you can check out our coverage right here.