Flex Wheeler Discusses Possibility Of Arnold Classic Becoming “Premiere” Show: ‘That Might Change Simply Because Of Money’

Flex Wheeler/Hadi Choopan Instagram

Could the Arnold Classic top the Olympia? Flex Wheeler believes it could because of prize money.

Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the prize money for his event will increase to $500,000 next year. This sailed passed the prize for the Olympia and opened the conversation asking, will the biggest show of the year respond? Flex Wheeler asked another question as well. That is, will the Arnold Classic ever surpass the Olympia?

After Hadi Choopan reclaimed his glory with an epic first place victory at the 2024 Arnold Classic, Schwarzenegger took a moment to address the audience about what is to come for the future of the event.

Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged that the 2024 Mr. Olympia made history by raising the first place prize money to $400,000. In what seems to be a direct response to that record-breaking increase, Schwarzenegger claimed that would be raising the Arnold Classic prize money for first place to $500,000 next year.

“We’re competitors and we wish we got paid more but let’s, if you allow me, let’s dive into this deeper. The Olympia is the prestige show. The number one show…Now, the times have changed. We’re talking 59 years now. Times have changed.”

This is a big deal because it continues to lure athletes to compete in Columbus. Flex Wheeler joined OlympiaTV to discuss what it means moving forward.

2024 arnold classic prize money and Hadi Choopan
Image courtesy of Instagram (@mrolympiallc)

Flex Wheeler Talks Premiere Bodybuilding Shows

For decades now, the Olympia has been the biggest bodybuilding show in the world. That is not going to change this year but Flex Wheeler brought up the possibility if it does not respond to the increase in prize money by Arnold.

“I think that it might change simply because of money.

I think it’s going to be a very interesting conversation if the Olympia doesn’t respond because I think these athletes of today will jump into the Arnold first and that’ll be their premiere show and secondary as like a backup game, go to the Olympia.”

Wheeler continued to explain that this does not need to happen right away but if the Olympia does not make a change by 2025, this could jumpstart the process.

“If Arnold raises money to that amount and the Olympia doesn’t respond, not this year next year, they don’t have to respond. If they don’t respond next year, I think there is now an argument that what is the premiere show. I think them, today’s time, we cared about the Olympia title back in our time but today’s time, the athletes I think care more about money than they do a title.”

For now, the Olympia remains the biggest show of the year. It will be interesting to see how the overall attention around the Arnold changes with prize money at half a million dollars.

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NJ.com, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.