Clash of Evogen Athletes at The 2023 Mr. Olympia: Hadi vs. Derek
Nov 02, 2023
The Olympia Weekend is back at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, this year, and we couldn’t be more excited about the event. Being held from November 2 through November 5, this lineup is deep and features the most insane physiques on the planet. With the likes of Nick Walker, Andrew Jacked, Hunter Labrada, Samson Dauda, and 2019 Olympia champion Brandon Curry, everyone is going to have their hands full.
Going into the show, the Instagram posts from these competitors show they’re bringing it to the Olympia stage, and each competitor is coming for that Sandow trophy.
But there’s one thing we’re excited about more than anything. It’s the clash of Evogen athletes at the Olympia.
Last year, the talk of the 58th Olympia weekend was all about Evogen athletes going head-to-head in the Men’s Open division. Hadi Choopan and Derek Lunsford were favorites going into the show, and they did not disappoint.
When the dust settled, and the final name was called, Hadi took home the Sandow, edging out Derek and taking a $400,000 check back to Iran. With the battle making its way back to the Olympia stage this year, it’s anybody’s Sandow and check to claim.
It’s Almost Game Time for Evogen Athletes
As if 22X Olympia winning coach Hany Rambod didn’t have enough on his plate this year with moving his entire supplement company from California to Texas, but on top of all the moving parts that come along with moving and building out a new HQ, he decided to also build his own gym with state-of-the-art equipment in a collaboration with Panatta from Italy. We’ll have a full update on the gym and new HQ in another article, but let’s just say it’s a lifter’s paradise.
"It's no different than when I coached Jay and Phil and they finished first and second. My job will be the same as it always is, and that's to bring all my athletes into the show at the best of their ability and let the judges decide." said Hany Rambod.
Adding to the stress of the move, Hany has several Evogen athletes competing at the Olympia, along with some of his other well-known clients who will more than likely win their respective divisions. But one division that is having Hany run around like a chicken with its head cut off is the Men’s Open.
The battle between Hadi and Derek has been talked about all year. While Derek has been more open and transparent with his Olympia prep on social media, Hadi didn’t shy away from posting some jaw-dropping photos and videos to silence the critics.
Looking at the physiques of both Evogen athletes, this Olympia could be the tightest on the scorecards of any Olympia in prior years. Some say that Hadi will win again this year, it’s truly anyone’s competition to lose if they don’t come in at their best. One thing is for sure, Hadi Choopan is always on point with his conditioning. In fact, he is typically the most “in-shape” competitor each year on the Olympia stage. He’s dry, full, and has striations out the yin-yang.
Reigning Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan said, "Becoming a champion is tough, but to actually repeat your victory, you have to work twice as hard. This year, I've been working day and night, paying more attention than I ever have. I poured my heart and soul into training and really focused on my mindset. I hope to secure the victory again and maintain my spot at the top."
But you can’t count Derek out as if Hadi has the Sandow in the bag — because he doesn’t. Derek has improved just about every aspect of his physique this off-season and is going to be incredibly difficult to beat. And Derek would love nothing more than to stand side-by-side with Hadi and give the judges a good comparison to showcase the package he’s bringing to the stage. With the improvements Derek made, he could very well edge out Hadi and win his first Olympia title in the Men’s Open.
Derek Lunsford chimed in to say, "My training has been on another level. I’ve spent the entire year focused on one mission, make history. Be the first two division Olympia champion and the 18th Mr. Olympia of all time. I’m giving absolutely everything to bring my best this year. Where the mind goes, the body follows. My mentality is much different. I’ve grown spiritually stronger, which is the true purpose of it all. God’s plan is perfect and I trust that what He has in store is best. If He wants it for me, He will provide. I’m doing the work, Hany is laying out the details, but God knows the final outcome."
Let’s not forget, Derek won the 2021 Mr. Olympia 212 division before deciding he wanted to let his body grow and see what happens before competing in 2022. Ultimately, his physique exploded and blew everyone’s minds at the Pittsburgh Pro that year, where he guest posed. After speaking with Hany and some of the judges, Derek decided the Men’s Open was where he needed to be. And placing second behind Hadi at his first Men’s Open Olympia is nothing to hang your head on.
Will You Be There to See History Be Made?
If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, you’re out of luck (for the most part). Tickets to the finals on Saturday night are already sold out. Even if you wanted to purchase VIP packages, they’re sold out as well. That said, you can still find a few tickets for the amateur divisions, the massive expo being held, as well as the Friday finals. Grab your tickets while they’re still available at the Mr. Olympia website.
Who do you think will take home the Sandow this year? Will it be one of the Evogen athletes? Will Hadi edge out Derek again, or will Derek shock the world and win his first Men’s Open Olympia title? Let us know, down in the comments, who you think is going to win this year.
It’s also worth noting that Hany Rambod could continue to make history at the 2023 Mr. Olympia Weekend. Last year, two of his athletes won their divisions, pushing Hany’s total wins at the Olympia to 22. This year, again, he has a chance to secure wins in two divisions, which would propel him to a mind-blowing 24 Olympia titles with his athletes.
We would like to wish all our Evogen athletes the best of luck with what’s left of their prep to the Olympia stage and look forward to seeing the final product in Orlando — hopefully taking home their respective titles in each division.
If you see us out at the Olympia, be sure to come and say hi. We’d love to meet you and all of our supporters. See you in Orlando!