Derek Lunsford is the reigning 212 Olympia winner from 2021, but it seems he will not protect his title this coming December. On Sept. 15, 2022, Olympia LLC posted an Instagram announcement revealing Lunsford has obtained a “special invite” to compete for the 2022 Mr. Olympia title. The information follows a recent request from the Global Federation of Bodybuilding and Health (IFBB) Professional League athlete to switch divisions.
“Lunsford submitted a formal request to obtain a special invitation to compete in the open up division this December,” the announcement wrote. “… Soon after thorough thing to consider, the Olympia promoters and the IFBB Experienced League have granted Lunsford a Special Invitation. The addition of Lunsford additional bolsters what lots of are calling ‘one of the ideal lineups’ in the record of the celebration.”
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Lunsford’s formal change to the Men’s Open division, or vying for the Mr. Olympia title alone, comes on the heels of some modern now-obvious hints of the bodybuilder’s potential.
The athlete reportedly guest-posed at 257 lbs . at the 2022 Pittsburgh Professional in May possibly. Later on, in a mid-July 2022 edition of Olympia Tv set on YouTube, Chief Olympia Officer Dan Solomon proposed Lunsford was “nowhere in the vicinity of 212 [pounds] at this issue.” At the time of Solomon’s responses, Lunsford did not address the sentiments in community, but the producing appeared to previously be on the wall.
“Earlier this year, Derek Lunsford disclosed a jaw-dropping new edition of his championship physique when he produced a shock look in Pittsburgh,” the Olympic LLC ongoing. “The reigning ‘212 champ’ went toe to toe with some of the major and finest in the entire world. The pics and videos had the world bodybuilding scene buzzing with excitement.”
Not extended soon after his Pittsburgh Professional cameo, Lunsford seemingly submitted his Open division ask for as his bulking diet filed match.
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Lunsford’s new aggressive job in 2022 is overcoming quite a few of the very same elite athletes he featured together with in Western Pennsylvania.
Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Ellsbiay is the two-time reigning champion (2020-2021). Even so, established challengers like the ascending Nick Walker, former winner Brandon Curry (2019), and Hunter Labrada could all locate by themselves in prime positions for the 2022 Olympia title. Former 212 winner and 2021 runner-up Shaun Clarida might also be a component in the Open classification. At the time of this writing, Clarida has not verified whether he will compete in the 212 or Open division in December.
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It is a stacked area for Lunsford in his forthcoming Open up debut. In the occasion he captures the Mr. Olympia title, Lunsford would be the 17th special winner of the championship. In addition, he’d be the initial IFBB Pro League competitor to ever get the Olympia in two divisions. The star bodybuilder will have to defeat a cadre of elite friends, but his possible history definitely isn’t out of the realm of probability.
Showcased image: @dereklunsford_ on Instagram