Johnnie O. Jackson connected with Shaun Clarida – who told him that currently he is being asked to only compete in one division at the Olympia.

Late last year, Shaun Clarida made headlines by winning a Men’s Open bodybuilding competition at the Legion Sports Fest Pro. With his win, he is now qualified to compete in both Men’s 212 and Men’s Open. Since then, Clarida has signaled that he desires to possibly compete in both divisions at Olympia 2022. As this is a rare occurance, he planned to speak further with the Olympia team to figure out his options. Since then we have heard little on this story. In our latest episode of Hardcore Truth, Johnnie O. Jackson gets an update from Shaun Clarida – learning that as of now, the Olympia is only letting him choose one division.

Every once in a while, there are rare moments that occur in the world of pro bodybuilding that require a deeper glance at the league rule books. Shaun Clarida qualifying for the Mr. Olympia in two divisions is one such occasion. It led both Clarida himself and fans to wonder if he could compete in two divisions at the Olympia concurrently. Seemingly, there would be no reason not to – other than his own personal preference to not have to compete double the amount in one weekend.

However, Johnnie O. Jackson reconnected with Shaun Clarida this week to get an update on his Men’s 212 vs Men’s Open Olympia plans. From what he was told by Clarida himself, it seems the Olympia is making him choose just one division to compete in. While no details were given as to why this is the case – it seems as if perhaps the double qualification might conflict with some lesser known guidelines for the Olympia weekend. Jackson also reached out directly to Dan Soloman for comment – who has yet to respond since the time of this writing and recording.

If we’re speculating, it seems that this might fall under some sort of technicality. Similar to the small uproar that transpired after it was revealed that Flex Lewis was not technically qualified for the Men’s Open Mr. Olympia this year. According to the Olympia team earlier this year, Lewis would either need to directly qualify or receive a special invite. As of now, he has yet to officially receive such an invite – though it seems inevitable this will happen.

However, Johnnie O. Jackson thinks that whatever guideline that is requiring Shaun Clarida to choose one division is foolish. Jackson points out that Clarida is not asking for a favor or a handout. He fair and square qualified for two different divisions. In Jackson’s mind, the only reason he should not be allowed to compete in both is if both events happened at the same exact time. But we know from past years that this is not the case.

Now is it a good idea for Shaun Clarida to split his energy into two divisions? That’s up for personal debate. But if Clarida desires to do so – he should not be held back since he earned both with his own effort. Jackson points out that in the past when the Master Olympia still existed (which might return, by the way), a bodybuilder was allowed to compete in both the Masters division and the Men’s Open division at the Olympia. So why can’t Clarida do the same?

Ultimately, things may change. While Shaun Clarida confirms that he is currently being asked by the Olympia to only choose one division – an exception might later be made as we get closer to the show. Much like how we assume Flex Lewis will eventually receive his official special invite. Since Dan Soloman has yet to respond back to Johnnie O. Jackson, we don’t have a definitive statement on the subject other than Clarida’s word. Time will tell how this unfolds.

Until then, what side of the decision to you fall on? Do you think it’s fair to only let Shaun Clarida compete in one Olympia division? Let us know in the video comments or on our social media channels! You can watch Johnnie O. Jackson’s full comments in the latest episode of Hardcore Truth 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.