The mountain prime

Every sport has its pinnacle, its highest achievement. Baseball has the World Series. In football it's the Super Bowl, in hockey it's the Stanley Cup - and in bodybuilding it's the Olympia, the title that changes lives, creates legacies and enables someone to call themselves the BEST in the WORLD.

More than just an event, the Olympia sits at the forefront of a year-round qualification system that connects more than 300 sanctioned competitions held in cities around the world. From New York to Dubai and Columbus to Los Angeles and places in between, the road to the Olympia is where you'll find the biggest stories and the biggest dreams.

An Olympic title is an identity. Phil Heath wears 7X as a badge of honor and Dexter Jackson's legacy was sealed the night he became Mr. O. It only takes one. Joe Weider knew what he was doing when he set those wheels in motion. President Bill Clinton was so impressed with Lee Haney's eight Olympic titles that he appointed him Chairman of the President's Council on Fitness. The list goes on. It's not just a win, it's a status, an identity, a legacy.

I recently visited the Instagram page of Arnold Schwarzenegger, a man who has achieved more than few can dream. I smiled when I noticed the first few words listed on Arnold's IG profile: "Former Mr. Olympia."

Imagine. This man was elected governor. He's the terminator. His films have grossed billions, but among all his accomplishments, his Olympic title is the first honor he lists in his bio. All of us here at Olympia are grateful to our 7-time champion for the millions he inspires.

Who won the Mr. Olympia in 1998, 1980 or 2006? I bet it didn't take you long to reply. This is what makes the Olympia so special. We remember the dates, we know where we were the night Ronnie won. We've watched "Pumping Iron" enough times to recite the story of the 1975 Mr. Olympia, and we'll never forget the night Cutler finally conquered Coleman, or the moment Heath turned the tables on Cutler. Olympic moments are rarely forgotten.

The strength of the brand was fully demonstrated when more than 700 athletes competed in the recent Amateur Olympics in Las Vegas, or when owner Jake Wood pledged nearly $1.7 million in prize money each year while maintaining profitability sustained the shoulders of record ticket sales and sponsorship packages that include fully integrated media components powered by a media portfolio that includes Muscle & Fitness.

During the Covid years, as events around the world retreated, the Olympia went all-in with a packed stage production and big celebrities in the building. Every ticket has been sold.

As bodybuilding reaches new levels of popularity, Jim Manion's IFBB Pro League continues to grow and the Olympia has grown with it. More divisions, new sponsors, upgraded venues and continued brand expansion. Olympia's licensing program continues its momentum as companies worldwide seek to capitalize on the power of the brand, including an Olympia apparel line that remains one of the fastest growing in the category. Last year, more than 5,000 athletes took part in amateur Olympics around the world.

The Olympia came onto the market in the mid-1960s. The Super Bowl followed shortly after. And for nearly 60 years, they've all been on the bucket list as their sport's most coveted prize, the holy grail, an experience for all who attend and all who are in attendance. The title that changes lives.

The mountain top.

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