Shawn Ray believes the Mr. Olympia competition would thrive in Dubai.
The 2023 Olympia is approaching fast and many are making predictions about how the competition could play out on stage. Shawn Ray recently spoke on other aspects of the Olympia, such as how the competition would fair with a potential move to Dubai.
The first Olympia competition took place in 1965. Larry Scott hoisted the first ever trophy in New York, where the competition was held for six years. From there, it has taken place in many different locations such as Paris, West Germany, Belgium, and Sweden, among many others.
In 1992, Dorian Yates won his first of six consecutive Olympia titles in Helsinki, Finland and this would be the last time the competition was held out of the United States. Recently, the show has been held in Las Vegas all but two years since 1999.
According to Ray, the show would do well in Dubai because of all it has to offer.
Shawn Ray Talks Olympia Potential In Dubai
Shawn Ray joined Chris Cormier and RXMuscle’s Siddique Farooqi to discuss the 2023 Dubai Pro, which was held on Sunday. From there, the trio got the chance to breakdown what the Olympia would look like there.
“This felt, this had all the makings of a Mr. Olympia weekend to me. It felt like it. It was grand, it was all the personalities were here. The prize money was on par. This was a very good weekend in Dubai,” Shawn Ray said.
The Olympia weekend is an entire production where many competitors and fans from around the world gather in one place for the biggest spectacle in the sport. This means that the location of the weekend will have to be able to accommodate all of the people in attendance. Ray continues to explain how Dubai fits the mold.
“I wouldn’t count it out that the Mr. Olympia winds up here on some level.”
“The hotels are competing. They are all five stats. Even the cheap hotels are five stats. It’s very affordable for the tourists but for the sport of bodybuilding, this region is probably growing faster than any other region and it’s very close to Oman and Saudi and other countries that are participating in our sport.”
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Chris Cormier chimed in and agreed that Dubai has what is needed to run the weekend.
“Everything you need is going to be here in Dubai.”
“If I’m running the show, I mean I’m definitely considering it,” Ray responded.
“Like Chris said, it’s a vacation destination. It’s Vegas without the casinos but those casinos won’t be far behind. I can tell you that. It’s a bucket list place to go. I’ve been around the world. There’s more to see.”
The 2023 Olympia competition will return to Orlando in November. Moving forward, it is possible that the committee looks to venture outside of the United States and Shawn Ray, among others, believes that Dubai would be the perfect location.