Hadi Flirts with History Following His Arnold Classic Win

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Following his agonizing loss to Derek Lunsford at the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest, Hadi Choopan entered into last weekend’s Arnold Classic with more questions, and perhaps more to lose, than any other athlete in this year’s lineup. However, after delivering what many believe to be the best overall performance of his career and unseating a defending champion in Samson Dauda, the Persian Wolf now has a chance to carve out a unique place in bodybuilding history if he can reclaim his Mr. Olympia title later this year.

2024 marked the (35th?) year of the Arnold Classic and, during the three plus decades as one of the premier events in bodybuilding, only three men have won the Arnold Classic title and gone on to win the Mr. Olympia crown in the same season – Ronnie Coleman (2004), Dexter Jackson (2008), and Brandon Curry (2019).

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However, unlike Hadi, neither Ronnie, Dexter, nor Brandon had lost a Mr. Olympia title at that point in the career, and with last weekend’s highlight reel win he’ll have a chance to become just the second man to win the Mr. Olympia title for a second time after relinquishing it, and the first previous Olympia winner to reclaim bodybuilding’s top honor during the same year that he won the Arnold.

Hadi received intense praise from notable voices across the bodybuilding community following last weekend’s win; especially from IFBB Head Judge Tamer El Guindy on Olympia TV when he said:

“…it was Hadi Choopan’s best physique ever… He sent a message to Samson Dauda, you are not going to battle with me and Derek, I’m ahead of you. I’m going to win this show and the battle is between me and Derek, incredible performance by Hadi Choopan, congratulations.”

In the past, Mr. Olympia winners typically held onto their titles for years at a time and, as a result, we tend to think of these champions when we discuss bodybuilding throughout the history of the sport. However, that trend seems to have gone by the wayside and, in this new era of bodybuilding, we’ve seen the title change hands across multiple divisions more frequently than it ever had up until recently. And, if that trend continues this season, then Hadi’s historic moment of becoming the first Iranian bodybuilder to ever hoist the Arnold Classic trophy might up turning into an even more historic run that sees him carve out hiss own unique slice of history if he manages to take back his thrown.

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