The former bodybuilding champion reveals his plans for the future.
Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay has decided to forgo an opportunity to win his third Men’s Open championship by officially taking himself out of the mix for the upcoming competition scheduled to take place from Nov. 2-5, 2023 in Orlando, FL.
Elssbiay, who won his first Sandow trophy in 2020, spoke with RXMuscle on Saturday, Sept. 23 about his decision to back out of the 2023 Olympia.
“I have to be smart to know the best time for me to be on stage and the best time for me to stop a little bit,” the 39-year-old told RXMuscle’s Siddique Farooqui. “I think this year I have to get a break for the show, and if I have the chance to come better and bring something different, yeah, I would be in the next show.”
A native of Egypt, Elssbiay has helped the sport expand throughout the Middle East thanks to his sizable frame and success on stage. Ironically, he revealed his decision during the 2023 Dubai Pro, an event that undoubtedly draws more attention thanks in part to the two-time Olympia winner.
“For many people in the Middle East, that’s not making them happy. But I work hard to give them the best version of Ramy, and I don’t think this is the right time to go to Olympia this year,” Elssbiay explained. “Me and my team spoke about that and I think the best thing we can do right now, we’re looking forward to the other goal. Yeah, we’re thinking about next year.”
Not long ago, it looked like Elssbiay had a chance to completely take over as one of the preeminent figures in the sport. Yet since capturing top honors at the Olympia in both 2020 and 2021, it’s been a difficult two-year run.
Elssbiay went from winning back-to-back titles to placing fifth at the 2022 Olympia. Following that disappointing showing, he fell short of expectations again by finishing in fourth place at the 2023 Arnold Classic.
Moving forward, it’s clear Elssbiay and his team have their sights set on coming back bigger and better than ever in 2024. However, his absence from the 2023 Olympia lineup certainly raises questions about whether he can reclaim his place atop the Men’s Open division in the near future.
With Elssbiay removing himself from the competition roughly five weeks out, it will be interesting to see who replaces him in a stacked field of contenders that includes reigning champion Hadi Choopan, former 212 division winner Derek Lunsford, and 2019 Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry.
Featured Image: Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay / Instagram