by Matt Weik
For those of you who were looking forward to Athleticon this year, you have to wait another year. Many of us are not surprised that Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia postponed the first live event to October 2021. I think it is best to do so and I agree with her decision to postpone the event until then the following year.
I received a press release that also took me to their website and social media sites to confirm that Athleticon will be moving to Atlanta, GA from October 9-10, 2021. In the press release and the current Athleticon website, Dany and Dwayne said:
"Greatness begins now
Today, we announce the strategic development of the brand and the revolutionary launch of a free, interactive, cross-platform digital community that contains accessible and exclusive content to inspire passion and arouse curiosity through the power of the brand's athletics, wellness and entertainment pillars. The first live event experience will now take place on Saturday, October 9th and Sunday, October 10th, 2021.
We developed Athleticon to inspire the next step on your path to health and wellness – and that won't stop in 2020. Visit Athleticon.com and our social channels for new wellness content from us. Expect to laugh, sweat, and stay motivated all year round.
Athleticon's sturdy slate features constantly evolving, free content in high-performance fitness, yoga and dance, mental health and relationships, entertainment and fitness competitions, food and nutrition, and technology and games. The recurring series include heartbreaking dance lessons, extensive cooking tutorials, top performance lessons, and tools to maximize endurance, longevity, and relaxation with members of the Athleticon family. The audience has the option to submit personal clips of their fitness routines and techniques, which will be reviewed and evaluated by the Athleticon professionals.
We hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe. We can't wait to see you in Atlanta next year. "
The participation would be low
As people say to open the economy and allow everyone to move freely (I'm one of these people), we sit back and think about Athleticon for a minute. Atlanta is a HUGE city, and with Athleticon so busy, I'm not sure if the same people who were thrilled to go to Athleticon in early 2020 are still so excited.
Moving around in your hometown and returning to your daily life is one thing, but surrounding yourself with thousands of people in a confined space while the Rona is still spreading is probably not the best idea. Sure, we don't know what the world will look like in 2020, but the last thing Dany and Dwayne want to do is get everything in order, spend all the money, and line everything up just for that Cancel last minute show (Think of the chaos at Arnold.
The safer game is to simply push the event back to 2021, regroup, refocus, and continue planning. It also gives them more time to pull out all the stops to make Athleticon as big an event as they thought it would be (or at least as we bloggers and media people imagined).
Some people complained that they waited too long and kept people in the dark about what was going on, but I don't see their silence as negative. I am sure that they took great care to find out what was going on, whether they could secure the location for 2021 and related logistics before they released a press release announcing the announcement.
More time to rethink your first impression
They say that you only get one opportunity to make a good first impression, and Athleticon is no different. Dany and Dwayne want to cause a sensation with this event – there is no doubt about it. If you postpone the event by another year, you'll have even more time to line up athletes and celebrities. More time to increase and improve the production value. And maybe even the time it takes to secure a cable network to cover the event like an actual sport (ESPN, hear me? A spelling bee and poker are NOT a sport and do not require any sporting skills).
I can't see Dwayne and Dany leaning back with their feet raised for a year and not working to improve Athleticon. I see them double up to literally make it the 2021 show and keep people excited about next year's event. It's too early for me to say, but I could try heading to Athleticon in 2021 just to do some reporting and content (but that's in the air right now – Hey Dwayne, I want to set up in a nice hotel? LOL).
What does that mean for the 2020 Mr. Olympia?
I'm sure this will upset a lot of organizers, but at this point nobody but the competition really cares about shows outside of the 2020 Olympics. Dan Solomon, Jake Wood, and their team did a great job of hosting the Olympics through December it in a new and amazing place that makes a lot more sense and I think there will be one of the best productions we've ever seen in bodybuilding.
That being said, everyone who wondered if Phil would skip the Olympics and keep up for Athleticon just threw a wrench into the mix. If that were true, Phil would have to wait another year after sitting out the previous one to get back on stage. I just don't see it.
Phil is not getting any younger, and since Phil wants to make history, he will be back in 2020 to try to take his crown back. If he skipped the 2020 Olympics, we would probably never see Phil on stage again and he will officially retire. After all, he has nothing to prove to anyone.
But with more time to plan Athleticon, 2021 could be the year The Rock breaks the internet.