Derek Lunsford is the reigning 212 Olympia champion from 2021, but it surely seems he won’t defend his title this coming December. On Sept. 15, 2022, Olympia LLC posted an Instagram announcement revealing Lunsford has obtained a “particular invite” to compete for the 2022 Mr. Olympia title. The information follows a latest request from the Worldwide Federation of Bodybuilding and Health (IFBB) Professional League athlete to change divisions.
“Lunsford submitted a proper request to obtain a particular invitation to compete within the open division this December,” the announcement wrote. “… After cautious consideration, the Olympia promoters and the IFBB Skilled League have granted Lunsford a Particular Invitation. The addition of Lunsford additional bolsters what many are calling ‘among the finest lineups’ within the historical past of the occasion.”
Lunsford’s official shift to the Males’s Open division, or vying for the Mr. Olympia title itself, comes on the heels of some latest now-clear hints of the bodybuilder’s future.
The athlete reportedly guest-posed at 257 kilos on the 2022 Pittsburgh Professional in Might. Later, in a mid-July 2022 version of Olympia TV on YouTube, Chief Olympia Officer Dan Solomon recommended Lunsford was “nowhere close to 212 [pounds] at this level.” At the time of Solomon’s comments, Lunsford didn’t deal with the emotions in public, however the writing appeared to already be on the wall.
“Earlier this 12 months, Derek Lunsford revealed a jaw-dropping new model of his championship physique when he made a shock look in Pittsburgh,” the Olympic LLC continued. “The reigning ‘212 champ’ went toe to toe with a few of the largest and finest on this planet. The photographs and movies had the worldwide bodybuilding scene buzzing with pleasure.”
Not lengthy after his Pittsburgh Professional cameo, Lunsford apparently filed his Open division request as his bulking nutrition filed swimsuit.
Lunsford’s new aggressive job in 2022 is overcoming lots of the identical elite athletes he featured alongside in Western Pennsylvania.
Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Ellsbiay is the two-time reigning champion (2020-2021). Nonetheless, established challengers like the ascending Nick Walker, former winner Brandon Curry (2019), and Hunter Labrada might all discover themselves in prime positions for the 2022 Olympia title. Former 212 winner and 2021 runner-up Shaun Clarida might also be an element within the Open class. On the time of this writing, Clarida has not confirmed whether or not he’ll compete within the 212 or Open division in December.
It’s a stacked discipline for Lunsford in his forthcoming Open debut. Within the occasion he captures the Mr. Olympia title, Lunsford could be the seventeenth distinctive winner of the championship. As well as, he’d be the primary IFBB Professional League competitor to ever win the Olympia in two divisions. The star bodybuilder should overcome a cadre of elite friends, however his potential historical past actually isn’t out of the realm of risk.
Featured picture: @dereklunsford_ on Instagram