by Matt Weik
To say that Big Ramy's fans are a little disappointed is an understatement. 2019 was the most epic failure of all years. After Big Ramy did not even reach the top 5 at the 2018 Mr. Olympia competition, he did not make it onto the stage in 2019. While many are thrilled to see him jump on a bodybuilding stage in 2020, there are few concerns about how long Big Ramy will continue to compete.
Things seemed to be getting better?
If you look back at the shows Big Ramy has attended over the years, he ranked better and better each year. Just look at how he has developed at the Olympics over the years. In 2013 he was eighth, in 2014 he was seventh, in 2015 he was fifth, in 2016 he was fourth, in 2017 he was second, and in 2018 the wheels fell off and he finished sixth.
Big Ramy went in the right direction. If he had come to Vegas last year, we might be talking about Big Ramy coming back this year to defend his Olympic title. Last year could have been his year. What happened?
After his sixth place at the 2018 Olympics, Ramy took a step back and literally jumped into unknown waters. Big Ramy started working on his family's fishing boat (which is why he might have looked like a fish out of the water at the 2018 Olympics). A little fun fact for those who like the backgrounds of their favorite bodybuilders … in case you didn't know, Big Ramy is married with two children.
At the age of 35, it is difficult to determine where Ramy's head is in competition. After not even competing in 2019, I thought it was almost over for his drive and motivation to step onto a bodybuilding stage. I thought he would continue to work in the family business and want to be more with his wife and children. But as you know, he vowed to return in 2020 better than ever. I personally think Big Ramy still has a few good years to go in pursuing this Sandow.
They say sometimes change is a good thing
Ramy seems to have been jumping around lately and it has worried me a little. As I mentioned earlier, Ramy's placements at the Olympics continued to improve year after year and it seemed that the Oxygen Gym in Kuwait was one reason for its success. Well, after his placement at the 2018 Olympics, Ramy left the Oxygen Gym. I don't know the real reason for it, but I feel like he's making a mistake.
Sure, looking at Ramy's recent updates as we approach Arnold Classic Ohio looks good, but how often were photos of Big Ramy shown to us a few weeks before a show, and when the show was going around, it wasn't somewhere in the Closeness to the state in which he had to be? Ramy is a great man and if he picks up his conditioning, he can hit anyone you put in the lineup next to him. But we didn't see him 100%. Either it is too big and is flat and watery or it is smaller and in better condition, but it is still beaten. If he can keep his size and fit, the light is out.
Can Ramy qualify this year?
I think without a doubt that Ramy will qualify for the Olympics this year. I think he really does feel like he's letting his fans down in 2019 by not competing. Was an entire year free for HIM? Probably. But that was also a year in which he did not lose weight and saw where he was. Has anything changed since his body is another year older?
It's a good idea to start the year with a couple of shows. Big Ramy can then see how his body reacts to the diet and continue to improve as the year progresses. Whether he's winning a show and automatically qualifying for the Olympics or getting in on points, I absolutely think we'll see Big Ramy in Vegas this year.
If you look at the 2020 Arnold Classic Ohio series, it's stacked. I mean … stacked! Cedric could come in and win, Bonac could show up in typical Bonac form and have his hand raised by Arnold, Dexter could overtake anyone and win another Arnold Classic to add bodybuilding victories to his laundry list, even someone like Josh Lenartowicz or Patrick Moore could come in and steal the show. If you were expecting to see Roelly on stage since his name was on the list, he has since retired from both Arnold Classic Ohio and Arnold Classic Australia.
Is there a chance Big Ramy will go away with a Sandow in 2020?
This is a bit of a look ahead as we have just started the bodybuilding season and this type of prediction is … well … ruthless. But since when have I been on the safe path by expressing my opinions and making predictions?
I've been saying for some time that Phil Heath will skip the Olympics and prepare for Athleticon. I'm right? We will see. But that means when Phil bows out of the Olympics again this year it opens the door for someone like Big Ramy to step in and fight for the Sandow. I also don't see Shawn Rhoden playing this year, which is another threat to Ramy. However, this will not happen this year.
There is a lot of time until the Olympics, which means that everyone else has all the time to make progress as well. Which Ramy will we see on stage this year? Who knows, but I have my popcorn ready.