Dennis James on the Olympia 2020 Men’s 212 results: “Shaun Clarida was the surprise of the weekend.”

With the Olympia 2020 weekend just over a month behind us, we’re starting to get even more of a clear perspective on the biggest moments from the show. We previously spoke with Dennis James about his thoughts on the Big Ramy win and the rest of the Men’s Open results. In our latest GI Exclusive, Dennis James shares his retrospective analysis of the Men’s 212 results.

Dennis James is a former pro bodybuilder now turned trainer and guru. He has been a commentator on bodybuilding for decades. This is true both in official capacities, such as the Olympia press conferences and also via his social media video posts. His opinion is often respected and insightful.

That’s why with a month behind us from the Olympia 2020, we wanted to get Dennis James’ retroactive analysis on the results from the competition. This week, we specifically dig into the Men’s 212 Olympia 2020 results.

“Shaun Clarida was the surprise of the weekend,” Dennis James confidently states during our interview. He goes into detail about how many people underrated Shaun Clarida as a possible champion this year. His physique was so on point that it shocked nearly everyone in the audience and watching at home.

Dennis James does admit that it was a close match. Based on the score sheet, Shaun Clarida only won over Kamal Elgargni, the previous champion, by one point. This made the competition both a shocking one and an extremely exciting one. It’s rare for the top spots to be so close. The back and forth between these competitors from the pre-judging to the finals was a sight to behold.

Shaun Clarida was so on point, in fact, that Dennis James believes a pro bodybuilder only gets one moment like this in a lifetime. This is not to say that James believes that Clarida cannot be Olympia champion again. Far from it. But the state of Clarida’s physique at the Olympia 2020 was the definition of perfection. It’s the kind of perfection that even repeat Olympia champions don’t benefit from with every win.

“He absolutely nailed… that’s 100%… that’s when you’re nailing 100%,” Dennis James noted in our interview. He continued:

“He had the conditioning. He had the size with his height. He had the fullness, the roundness, the 3-D look, he had everything. I told him backstage or I think it was after… I told him listen. This is the once in a lifetime shape that all bodybuilders have. You have that one time when you nail it and then you just chase that shape and conditioning… I told him you’re going to be chasing this for the rest of your career.”

But perhaps that chase is part of what keeps champions on their toes. It was prevents them from becoming complacent. Dennis James thinks a bodybuilder only gets that perfect moment once. That may or may not be true. But the chase will be a driving force to make Shaun Clarida a powerful athlete to be reckoned with.

You can watch Dennis James’ full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

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Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.