by Christian Duque
As the Arnold Classic 2020 approaches quickly, more and more people are going to Big Ramys IG. They feverishly check the message boards and read every magazine they can get their hands on. Hardcore bodybuilding fans depend on the commentators, from legends like Ron Harris from MD, Shawn Ray from Digital Muscle and Nick Miller from Nick's strength and strength. Even Dave Palumbo gets some hits.
The truth is, since Big Ramy has broken his silence on social media, it is much more likely that something will happen. Let us not forget that many fans became disillusioned when they heard in 2018 that Mr. Olympia Shawn "Flexatron" Rhoden was actually not going to compete despite the confusing graphics that appeared in late 2019 showing him and Ramy. Many thought the worst and assumed that Big Ramy would also fail someday. The fact is that a recent contribution from Ramy and another from his sponsor have created a lot of the much needed reassurance between the Ramy camp and fans. The people who buy the tickets, the supplements, and who keep the sport alive have been disappointed too much. People want Big Ramy to compete with his first Arnold – it's long overdue. The big question is, will Ramy show up? Will he compete?
I honestly cannot believe that we will have this discussion in January 2020, but I am still not convinced that we will see The Egpytian Phenom on stage. The Arnold Classic is the second largest bodybuilding competition in the world. We know that one of the most famous athletes of all time will compete there. For starters, this competition is an invitation, so you can't qualify. Not everyone can decide whether to do the Arnold. There are a limited number of places and the prize money is out of this world. The boastful rights that come with a victory in Columbus are also in second place at Olympia. There is a lot at stake, to say the least. There are also not too many people who do not appear for an event of this caliber. On the other hand, I still remember watching videos about Ramy's shoulder problem that displaced him from Arnold 2019. I just hope that nothing prevents him from going on stage in less than two months. It would be a huge success if the two boys didn't make it onto the stage with this confusing promo (Shawn & Ramy). I realize that the problem with Ramy last year was supposedly a shoulder injury, but Ramy skipped both Arnold and the Tampa Pro in 2019, which also caused him to miss the 2019 Olympics. The two IG posts, one of the Ramy training shoulders and the other back, actually create some confidence. However, Ramy is covered up in great detail. This is a proven approach to preparation. It increases the hype, throws off the competition and ensures that the athlete focuses on the stage instead of receiving meaningless awards from athletes and social media people.
Still, I find it unsettling that we still don't know who is training Ramy. We know it's not Neil Hill, though Ramy repeated Hill's assessment in 2019, claiming that he needs to become lighter, leaner, and more conditioned. We don't know if he's with Dennis James, the Camel Crew, or Chris Aceto. We don't really know anything, and after less than two months, my worries that he will compete will increase. On the flip side and not that I would have ever thought a champion would do this, but flirting with the idea of competition, publishing content in consideration of competition, and especially speaking about competition will become an undeniable factor for growth of the audience have relevance and sales increase. Again, I don't think that's Ramy's style, but there are a handful of champions who master this approach and laugh to the bank every year.
If Ramy contested and won his first Arnold Classic in less than two months, it would be the greatest moment in his career. I have a feeling that this win would outdo his NY Pro title, bring Phil second at the 2017 Olympics, and really put him on the map – again. At the moment, Ramy is mainly talked about because of his past. He really needs either a very strong top 3 finish in Columbus or a real win to secure his place for Mr. Olympia 2020, one of the most competitive in recent years. If he wins, he can concentrate on the Olympics; However, if he is about to win, he has to start again to qualify. He could win a show or collect enough points. Hopefully it is the former as opposed to the latter.
Here we are. We know that Ramy should compete, we have all two videos to prove and a lot of questions. What will he look like when he competes and who will he have in his corner? If he competes and wins, then what? We also have to ask ourselves what happens if he takes part in the competition and the optimized experiment is a flop?
Let's not forget that Ramy is not a spring chicken and that exaggerated size has been his calling card since day one. If he suddenly changes gears now, with an unnamed trainer (or not an actual trainer), and tries to present this new look on the sport's second largest stage, probably the most stacked lineup in the past five years. What happens if he descends to second place? If he goes back to the drawing boards, is it for the year what? What happens then? I mean, I know that nobody wants to ask this question, but Ramy was runner-up in 2017 and sixth in 2018. Is it so hard to believe that his new look is not 100% striking? falls outside of the top 6 in Columbus? This is not Arnold of 2017, it is 2020, and in 2020 it will be a war in which the best of the sport fight for the top spots.
There are many unanswered questions ahead of us. I have the feeling that we only know many answers when the day in question arrives. Apart from that, we live in a very exciting era of sport – where anything can happen!
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