Ever since 2020 Olympian 212 champion Shaun Clarida won the Legion Sports Fest 2021 open competition, the topic of conjecture has been whether the New Jersey native will be allowed to compete in both the Olympia 212 and Mr. Olympia competitions this December. Currently, Clarida is only allowed to choose one of the others, but he and many fans are hoping that the rules will be changed in his favor.
Dennis James addressed the topic on a recent episode of The Menace podcast with three guests to discuss the topic. 2008 Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson, renowned trainer Milos Sarcev and longtime competitor and trainer George Farah all shared their opinions on whether Clarida should attempt to make bodybuilding history in Las Vegas next December. Jackson initially commented that the rigors of competing so much in one weekend meant Clarida had to make a choice.
"I'll say one or the other. Because that's the way it should be - one way or the other," he said. "It's the same weekend. Why do you want to do both shows?”
Sarcev took the other side of the debate, citing legendary Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt as an example to get his point across.
“He runs the 100, 200 and the rally, right? So why not?" he asked. "Shaun Clarida, deserves, deserves, his qualifications on stage...I think it should be allowed."
Farah sided with Sarcev, feeling that since he punched his ticket the old-fashioned way, Clarida would be allowed to compete twice if he wanted to.
"I think because they're letting him compete outdoors and he's qualified, he has the right to do both."
James brought up a great point that would help Clarida's cause and it is involved in planning this weekend's competitions.
“The 212 is over on Friday night and the prelim for the Open is after that. So he could still be literally warm and ready to go into the open prelim,” said the host. It was this point that made Jackson agree with the rest of the panel.
"I agree with you. He should be able to do both," he said. This panel covered numerous other topics including the other Olympic contenders, whether someone can be Derek Lunsford at this year's 212 competition, whether divisions are "watering down" the sport, and more. Watch TMP every Sunday on the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel.