Hadi Choopan Wins Mr. Olympia 2022, Dedicates The Win to the Women & People of Iran
Iranian bodybuilder Hadi Choopan got the fairy tale ending he was hoping for when he become the winner of the Men’s Open division at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, held Dec. 16-17 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hadi Choopan finally won his first Sandow trophy at the 2022 Mr. Olympia. It was no easy task as many believed it to be one of the most exciting and competitive lineups in history. He went up against a slew of new talent as well as the defending two-time champion Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay. Former 212 victor Derek Lunsford also moved up to the Open division this year while standout Nick Walker brought on arguably his best package ever.
In the end, Choopan’s insane conditioning, muscle detail, and overall proportions saw him triumph over all.
Hadi Choopan may have moved on from the Men’s 212 division, but it is important to recognize that this is where he first established himself as a formidable bodybuilding competitor. In the past, some people questioned whether Choopan’s smaller size and shorter height would hold him back in the Men’s Open division. However, he has consistently delivered impressive performances that have silenced any doubters.
Hadi Choopan dedicates his win to the women & people of Iran
Following the win, Hadi Choopan dedicated his victory to the women and people of Iran during the interview on stage with Bob Cicherillo.
“I dedicate this medal to all the noble women of Iran and the people of Iran wherever they are and I hope,” Choopan said via a translator (transcribed by Generation Iron). “Racism ceases to exist among us and that we can all be friends and be proud of each other no matter what country we’re from.”
Being a product of the war-torn nation, Choopan used the moment when he had the most eyeballs on him to bring attention to a major issue that currently plagues his native land of Iran.
The inspiring story of Hadi Choopan
Choopan first gained attention as a Men’s 212 competitor in 2017, the same year prolific coach Hany Rambod took him under his wing. Their partnership got off to a strong start at the 2017 Mr. Olympia Amateur, where Choopan took home the top prize. While he competed another three times in 2017, Choopan made headlines for his intense battle with 212 icon Flex Lewis, a seven-time Mr. Olympia winner at the Asia Grand Prix. Although Choopan lost to Lewis, some argued that he had a better package and his stock skyrocketed in the world of bodybuilding.
Following a win at the 2018 Portugal Pro, the 35-year-old Iranian was aiming to join the Olympia ranks. However, his journey to the top was marred with obstacles often out of his control. He was forced to stay out of competition due to struggles in receiving a U.S. visa. He missed out on the Arnold Classic and could not make his case at the Olympia either.
In 2019, Choopan managed to get the visa issues resolved and made his way to the US just a few days before the most prestigious fitness showcase. He went into the show off a commanding Men’s win at the Vancouver Pro. There was little doubt over Choopan’s chances of winning the 212 Olympia in that edition, but he chose to leave the 212 category in favor of the Men’s Open division.
Choopan made a statement in his Olympia debut. He held his own against some of the freakiest mass monsters in the world and got the third spot on the podium. His impressive performance inspired a new generation of 212 competitors to stake their claim in the Open category for Mr. Olympia.
Over the years, Hadi Choopan, also known as “The Persian Wolf,” has proven himself to be a consistently dedicated and hardworking athlete. He has never placed lower than fourth in his professional career, solidifying his reputation as a top competitor. He earned another two top-five finishes and was also crowned the winner of the Olympia People’s Choice Award both times.
Hadi Choopan’s victory has further strengthened the growing influence of Iranian bodybuilders in the industry. Not only does it showcase the dedication and hard work of Iranian athletes, but it also acknowledges the many talented bodybuilders from the Middle Eastern region who have worked to make their mark in the IFBB Pro league. Choopan’s win serves as a testament to their efforts and solidifies the rising presence of Middle Eastern bodybuilders on the global stage.
Iranian bodybuilders have been making waves in the industry since the 1980s, and the Middle Eastern region as a whole has consistently produced highly skilled athletes. Oxygen Gym, located in Kuwait, has gained a reputation as a modern hub for bodybuilding, attracting top competitors from around the world.
With his victory at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Hadi Choopan proved that anything can be achieved no matter the obstacles in the way. His story will continue to motivate and inspire the next era of bodybuilders.