Is an Olympia title still an Olympia title?

Every top athlete in the world strives for the highest achievable. Within Bodybuilding the highest achievable is the title Miss Olympia or Mister Olympia. It used to be that only one such title per year was awarded to one person. Then you were the absolute top of the world in the entire sport discipline. So world champion meant real champion of the whole world in your sport. And Mister and Miss Olympia were the world champions of all world champion winners: “the best of the best“.

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During that time, Juliette Bergmann, as a Dutchman, achieved this absolute world top no less than 3 times. Three times the very best in the world of Bodybuilding (plus two PRO world championships) was a performance of exceptional class that was never matched by anyone else.

Now we sometimes hear from someone that he is world champion or Mister Olympia “in his or her class”.
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What happened?

The “Olympia” title has been sold and commercialized. Everything is now about money and especially ‘how can I get even more money out of it’ as an organizer. As a result, several organizations have since been set up, each of which is organizing their own Olympia championship. To participate in these competitions, an athlete must be a member of that club (paid membership) and pay a registration fee for participation in each individual contest. Oh, and don’t forget… if you are a member of club A, you cannot be a member of club B. Otherwise you will be excluded from participation …

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In addition, countless new Olympia classes have been added. All this brings a lot of money to organizations. “Amateur Olympia” and “Professional Olympia” titles have also been created, so that you can now become, for example, Miss Olympia amateur in one of more than 10 different classes.
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If you add that up, over 80 (!) Different “Olympia” titles are currently being awarded each year. This makes absolutely no sense, because ultimately only one can be the ‘best of the best’. And that one was once in the women’s department Miss Olympia Juliette Bergmann, president of IFBB Netherlands.

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3x Miss Olympia & 2x Pro World Champion!

3x Miss Olympia & 2x Pro World Champion!

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What is it still worth?

So you can rightly ask yourself the question what an “Olympia” title is worth nowadays. The title has been completely scaled down and has become very opaque. Because in the end you are only champion of organization A, of the amateurs or the pros and only in one out of many different classes. Then you no longer can talk with any decency about the “best-of-best world champion”.

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That once coveted and all-embracing “Olympia” title has now largely lost its luster. That is why the winners from the “good old days” are the real heroes. Juliette Bergmann is such a unique hero, because she conquered the absolute top with the most titles ever won worldwide. No female athlete has ever done that after her. That is also one of the reasons why Juliette is an honorary member of the World IFBB Organization. The first and still by far the largest Bodybuilding Association in the world. Juliette is on the world board that does its work from Spain. It is internationally recognized by all organizations and clubs and keeps its finger on the pulse with regard to organization, new developments, health and doping.

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Did you know that

Did you know that in ALL contests in which Juliette participated, everyone was tested for doping. That is totally different now! The control in the PRO event has become a joke, because it is ultimately only about money. And money basically has nothing to do with fitness or health risks. At all costs people want to become champions and whether or not they go with or without “forbidden means” is of hardly any interest anymore to organizations. There are already cases known where this has led to permanent physical and mental damage, even to death a number of times recently…!

 

Back to “real” Olympia winners

I understand that IFBB Netherlands views this development with dismay and wants to dedicate itself, in this maze of organizations, classes and titles, to come back to one comprehensive world championship for amateurs and professionals per class, so with “real Olympia winners”. Because that’s what  the athletes deserve, who put in all their energy and enthusiasm day after day with sheer will power.

 

Collage van slechts een paar Mister Olympia Amateur winnaars in 2018

Collage of just a few Mister Olympia Amateur winners in 2018

Rick Gommers, webmaster IFBB Nederland and dedicated follower