Despite being less than three weeks away from kicking off the action at the 2023 Mr. Olympia, IFBB Pro League officials managed to briefly shift all of the focus ahead to next year’s competition, following an announcement made by the official @mrolympiallc Instagram on Monday. Effective immediately, only the top three finishers in each division will be guaranteed automatic qualifications for the following year’s contest.
This season has witnessed a bevy of changes to the qualification systems, the Mr. Olympia, and IFBB Pro League. Most notably, major adjustments were made to the Classic Physique division's height and weight regulations, in an effort to level the playing field for competitors of shorter athletes, who were having an increasingly difficult time making weight under the previous weight cap structure.
Shortly thereafter this, we saw even more rule tweaks introduced for Men’s Physique. IFBB Pro League Vice President Tyler Manion shed light on these changes, citing a rising competitiveness between Men’s Physique and Classic Physique athletes as the driving force, and sent shockwaves throughout the division when he announced that the new rules will take effect after the 2023 Mr. Olympia, ushering in a new era for the Men’s Physique Division.
In a bid to elevate the excitement surrounding shows beyond the Olympia, the Pro League has decided to move forward with new changes that are set to have a huge impact for Open Bodybuiling, by potentially driving more high level athletes to compete in events outside of the bookend shows - the Arnold Classic and the Mr. Olympia - which should help to drive interest, and raise the overall talent level, across the board throughout the regular season.
Now, competitors who don't clinch a top three spot at the Mr. Olympia stage will no longer receive an automatic invite to the following year’s Olympia show. For all intents and purposes, this shift should help to create parody, and restore some excitement to the regular season by dispersing the talent across a wider range of shows, and preventing the marquee athletes in each division from effectively going into hibernation for the majority of the contest season.