A notable change in the Men’s Open has been made.
Qualifying for the Mr. Olympia — the most exclusive bodybuilding show on the planet — just got harder. On Oct. 23, 2023, the Olympia Qualifying System rules were announced; they’re nearly identical to the 2023 Olympia Qualification System (OQS) save for one important distinction: Only the top three finishers in the Mr. Olympia (aka Men’s Open division) will qualify for the following year’s contest.
In the past, the top five Men’s Open competitors were granted a free pass to the following Mr. Olympia. Olympia owner Jake Wood shared in an Instagram post the reasoning for this change:
Note: bolding below added for emphasis.
“Starting with this year’s event, only the top three in the Mr. Olympia will automatically qualify for the following year’s Olympia,” said Wood in the caption of his Instagram post. “We are making this change in an effort to add some additional star power to the various regional events held worldwide. This change is being made with the full support of the IFBB Pro League as we all share an interest in maintaining a system that strengthens events at all levels.”
This change matches the other 10 divisions, which follow the same guidelines. As for the other ways of qualifying, the 2024 Olympia qualifying season began on Oct. 9, 2023, and concludes on Sept. 15, 2024. All pro show winners qualify for the 2024 Olympia.
If a pro show winner has already qualified, no qualification is passed to the runner-up. In some cases, already-qualified competitors compete in shows to play defense, preventing other top contenders from earning a spot on the Olympia stage.
The only division that has different rules is the Men’s Wheelchair division. It will retain the OQS of points for second through fifth-place finishers. The top five finishers in that system who did not win a pro show will earn an invite to compete in the 2024 Wheelchair Olympia. The points for those placings are below.
- Second Place — 10 points
- Third Place — 9 points
- Fourth Place — 8 points
- Fifth Place — 7 points
The Olympia clarified the existing, albeit murkier, past champions rule. The rule has been that past Olympia champions are eligible to compete in the Olympia for life in the division they won. However, the IFBB Pro League emphasized that if more than five years have passed since a past champion’s last Olympia win, they will have to receive approval from the IFBB Pro League before they can compete.
Using the 2024 Olympia as an example, any champion whose last title came before 2019 would need IFBB Pro League approval to compete in the 2024 Olympia unless they won a pro show during the qualifying season or placed in the top three of the 2023 Olympia.
The full announcement of the OQS can be seen on the IFBB Pro League website.
Featured image: @mrolympiallc on Instagram
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