Bob Cicherillo talks about the lack of passion behind the previous Mr. Olympia ownership.
One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind in the bodybuilding world is what the future holds for Mr. Olympia. Many have felt the prestige has gone downhill for years under the corporate ownership of AMI. Now that it’s sold, everyone is looking to Jake Wood. Will he make it better? Or will it continue struggle for the prestige it once had? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Bob Cicherillo gives an inside look as to why the Olympia has struggled for so many years… and what the future may hold.
Bob Cicherillo is best known as the voice of bodybuilding but he’s also very involved with the backend of many IFBB/NPC events. He would also suggest many ideas and changes that he thought would help make the Olympia better for the audiences. Some of them, like the change in how athletes qualify for the Mr. Olympia, were accepted and eventually implemented. But Cicherillo also claims he has had many ideas that AMI wouldn’t want to dedicate towards the actual Mr. Olympia event. The main reason normally came down to budget.
“But AMI certainly must have had a massive budget” might be something that crosses your mind while reading this. According to Bob Cicherillo, it was less about funds available and more about immediate return on investment. Cicherillo details how at the end of the day AMI was corporate. The Mr. Olympia was more facts, figures, and statistics than an actual passion project as it once was under Joe Weider.
And that’s the big issue that Bob Cicherillo sees with the Olympia brand. For over a decade, there was no passion put into the event beyond the actual league members and athletes. The Olympia lost prestige due to being stuck at a plateau under AMI’s leadership.
“That’s the problem when you get into, again, corporate vs private.” Bob Cicherillo states in our interview.
“Jake Wood has passion and love for bodybuilding. Women’s Bodybuilding, Men’s Bodybuilding, and the entire sport of bodybuilding… I think we spun wheels for the better part of 14 years. We didn’t take any steps backwards but we didn’t really go forward either.”
Bob Cicherillo goes on to detail specific instance where he tried to improve the quality of the Mr. Olympia weekend. He showcases what starts as a great idea eventually fizzling out due to lack of immediate returns. Cicherillo believes that now with the it being run by people passionate about bodybuilding, we’ll see bigger risks being taken, bigger ideas being formed, and a better experience overall for the fans of bodybuilding. Hopefully it will be fitting of the Olympia name. Only time will tell.
You can watch Bob Cicherillo’s full comments on the Olympia past, present, and future in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.