Derek Lunsford Reflects On Olympia Win And Details His Battle With Shaun Clarida

Derek Lunsford gives us insight into his mindset winning the Men’s 212 Olympia 2021 and a play-by-play of his face-off with Shaun Clarida.

The Men’s 212 division was one of the most thrilling competitions of the Olympia 2021. This is due to the pure impressiveness of the top athletes in the division. A battle between Shaun Clarida, Derek Lunsford, and Kamal Elgargni could have fallen in any direction by the time finals hit. That lack of clear winner made the event electric. Ultimately, Lunsford earned his first ever Olympia victory in a stunning showcase. We connected via video chat with Lunsford to follow up on his victory. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Derek Lunsford dives deep into his Olympia win and gives and inside look into his neck and neck battle with Shaun Clarida.

It’s always exciting when a new bodybuilder earns an Olympia trophy for the very first time. Derek Lunsford is a competitor that has long since been hyped as the next coming of Men’s 212 Olympia greatness. In 2021, he finally fulfilled that hype with a close call – but well deserved win. We linked up with Lunsford to congratulate him on his win as well as go into detail about his mindset from prejudging through to finals and his victory.

During our interview, it quickly became clear that Derek Lunsford is a very humbled and appreciative champion. In many ways, he’s still riding on the waves of excitement and shock from the win. He claims that he feels like he was “made for this.” But emphasized that this is not meant as a cocky statement. It’s simply what feels right – and he acknowledges that victory came through patience and confidence rather than cockiness and rushing towards the goal.

He also notes that he it is surreal to now be a champion interviewed by the very network that inspired him as a young bodybuilder. The original Generation Iron film was a major inspiration for Lunsford to become a bodybuilder. Now all of these years later, not only is he a champion, but he’s speaking with the very director of the film that helped him head down this path.

We asked Derek Lunsford to give us an inside play-by-play of his battle on the Olympia stage from prejudging to finals. What was his mindset like during such a close call match? Lunsford claims that he walked out of the prejudging feeling very confident. But the more he reflected back – the more he recognized just how close the battle would be during the finals. He “went back and forth” on whether or not Shaun Clarida had the edge over him. That razor thin tightrope walk remained throughout the entirety of the finals.

Derek Lunsford acknowledges that his physique is very different that Shaun Claridas. Both of their physiques were in top form – but their aesthetics were very different. The title win might have very well come down to personal preference of the judges. Do they prefer a denser physique like Clarida? Or would they go for a more streamlined look in Lunsford?

It’s this very fact that Derek Lunsford makes sure to speak clearly about in our interview. He is so impressed by Clarida’s physique – and was so honored to see Clarida smiling upon Lunsford winning the Olympia trophy. In Lunsford’s eyes – both of them are top brass bodybuilders. He is proud to now share the distinction of Olympia champion with the likes of Clarida – while also sharing the stage with him.

You can watch Derek Lunsford’s full comments on his Olympia 2021 win in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!

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.